Volleyball ‘Cats Combine for 19 Aces in Midwest Region Crossover Tournament Win

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HAMMOND, Ind. – The first day of the 2021 Midwest Region Crossover Tournament was kind to the Northern Michigan University volleyball team as a program record-tying 19 ace effort from the Wildcats lead to a 3-1 victory over Southwest Baptist University of the Great Lakes Valley Conference. 

After falling behind 4-0, NMU pulled within two at 5-3 thanks to a kill from Ania Hyatt followed by one from Angelina Negron

A 4-1 run came later for the Wildcats to keep the team in the game. The run included a Meghan Meyer kill, a Madeline Crowley service ace, and a Lizzy Stark kill.

SBU pulled away in the late moments of the set and held on to pick up a 26-16 win in the first frame.

A Jacqueline Smith kill got NMU on the board to open set two. From there, the match was close for the next few moments with the teams exchanging the lead seven times until the Bearcats took a 9-8 advantage as part of a 7-0 run. 

The Wildcats battled back within two with a 5-1 run that saw two Smith kills, a Hyatt kill, and a Smith service ace. 

After the teams tied 18-18, it was all NMU the rest of the set. An 8-1 run for the Wildcats propelled them to the 25-19 set win to even the match at 1-1.

NMU jumped out to another quick lead in set three, going up to 3-1. 

Four ties came after that point as the teams battled with a 2-1 match advantage on the line. 

The Wildcats jumped out from that point to claim the lead with the 10th point and never looked back the rest of the set. 

Runs of 3-0, 4-0, and 4-0 gave NMU a 20-11 lead. Four service aces occurred in that stretch with Crowley serving up two and Stark and Caylie Barlage each contributing one.

It was a Hyatt kill that served up set point in the 25-15 set three win for the ‘Cats.

The fourth set never seemed to be in doubt for the NMU team as a 5-1 lead for the Wildcats quickly came together. The streak of excellent serving continued as a Lauren Van Remortel service ace put the set’s first point on the board.

It was solid hitting and capitalizing on the opponent’s errors that gave the ‘Cats a 6-0 run to go up 22-12 in what ended up being the final frame.

After that point of the set, SBU only scored one more point in the match. Three consecutive WIldcat kills secured the 25-13 set win and the 3-1 match victory.

The 19 aces for the ‘Cats ties the program record set in 1989 that was also reached in 2003.

Smith had a match-high 11 kills for the Wildcats while also adding a team-high five service aces and 11 digs. 

When it came to hitting percentage, Meghan Meyer hit .529 on 17 attempts while Hyatt was next for NMU with a .500 clip coming on 14 attempts.

Service aces came for seven total Wildcats as Stark (2), Van Remortel (1), Crowley (3), Smith (5), Barlage (4), Julia Bouma (3), and Negron (1) added tallies to the category.

Van Remortel had 40 assists which were good to earn her seventh match with 40 kills or more this season.

NMU continues Midwest Region Volleyball Crossover action in Hammond, Ind. tomorrow with two matches. The Wildcats face Maryville University (Mo.) at 10:30 a.m. and Ursuline College at 5 p.m.

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