|DETROIT, Mich. – For the second consecutive the Northern Michigan University volleyball team defeated a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) opponent in five sets.|
The Wildcats took down Wayne State University 3-2 on the road Friday night.
The Warriors earned the opening point but the ‘Cats would turn in a quick 3-0 run to go up 3-1.
The Wildcats fell behind after a WSU run but fought back to take the lead at 6-5 on a Lizzy Stark block.
NMU held the lead earned on the run until the 20-19 point when the Warriors took the advantage. The ‘Cats fought back and back-to-back kills, the first coming from Jacqueline Smith and the second coming from Ania Hyatt, to go up 21-20.
A 5-0 run for Wayne State to close out the frame gave the home team the 25-21 set one victory.
Hyatt scored the opening point in set two and, after some early back and forth, the Wildcats used a 4-0 run to go up 7-3.
WSU pulled within two six times after the NMU streak but failed to get any closer until the 20-19 point.
Consecutive kills from Hyatt pushed the NMU lead to three at 22-19. The lead grew to four moments later after a Stark kill and a Caylie Barlage service ace.
The visiting team held on to the lead and claimed set two 25-21.
The third frame was all Wildcats from almost the very beginning of the third.
After falling behind 2-1, NMU broke off a 6-0 run that featured kills from three different ‘Cats and a Barlage service ace.
NMU’s lead continued to grow as they built a 17-6 advantage on a 3-0 run that included a Smith kill and two Warrior errors.
A late push from the home team pushed them within five, but the Wildcats withstood the storm and picked up the 25-17 set three win.
It was a competitive affair early in the fourth set with the teams trading 3-0 runs early.
NMU held the lead in the fourth over three points before a 7-0 run by WSU gave the lead back to the Warriors.
The teams traded the next five points before Wayne State added to the lead at 15-8.
Another large run came for the Warriors but the Wildcats did not give up. Two points came after the run for NMU with the last being a block assist from Meghan Meyer and Hyatt.
WSU prevailed in the set and their 25-13 win sent the match to a deciding set.
The fifth set proved to be a nail biter.
A Stark kill was the frame’s first point but two quick Warrior points followed to move the home team ahead.
NMU answered back with a 4-0 run that began with a Stark kill and ended with a Barlage service ace.
WSU took the lead at the 8-7 point but a Meyer kill kicked off a 3-0 ‘Cat run that gave the advantage back to the Wildcats.
The lead moved to 14-11 in favor of NMU later in the set but a 3-0 run by the Warriors tied the match at 14-all.
The Wildcats used two errors from Wayne State to clinch the set 16-14 and the match 3-2.
Lizzy Stark had an impressive night with a season-high 22 kills and 19 digs to earn a double-double. The 22 kills were just two shy of tying her career mark. Her hitting percentage of .321 was also good for her second-best performance of the season.
Jacqueline Smith added double-digit kills with 18 to her name in the match.
Caylie Barlage also notched a standout performance for the ‘Cats as she contributed a career-high five aces to the NMU effort.
The Wildcat block party was out in full force with a season-high 20 block assists for the ‘Cats. Olivia Webber led in that effort with six.
NMU closes out the regular season tomorrow with a 2 p.m. match at Saginaw Valley State University.