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MARQUETTE, MI– Northern Michigan University Volleyball will host their first matches of the season this weekend as they host the Wildcat Open Friday and Saturday.

The first match of the Wildcat Open will begin at 9 a.m. Friday morning. The final game Friday comes at 7 p.m.  Saturday features the same schedule, with the first match of the day beginning at 9 a.m. and the final match starting at 7 p.m.

The full schedule, live stat and video links and Wildcat Open program is available at the Wildcat Open Page.

Follow @NMU_Wildcats on Twitter for continued coverage throughout the weekend.

Last weekend, NMU started the season at the Capital Classic hosted by University of Illinois-Springfield. In their first match, the Wildcats defeated McKendree 3-1 and followed it with a 3-0 victory over Walsh University. The next day, NMU bested Cedarville University 3-1 and then finished the weekend by defeating University of Illinois-Springfield 3-2.

Senior Maggie Liebeck (Luxemburg, Wis./Luxemburg-Casco) started the 2018 campaign strong as she was named the Most Valuable Player at the Capital Classic. Liebeck finished the four matches with 53 kills and posted a .404 hitting percentage.  Defensively, she finished second on the team with eight blocks.

Two players achieved 50 kills and 50 digs during opening weekend for the Wildcats. Senior Autumn Monsma(Grand Haven, Mich.) posted 50 kills and 51 digs.  Sophomore Leticia Antunes (Florianopolis, Brazil/Colegio Ofelia Fonseca) finished the weekend with 50 kills and added 52 digs.  The pair also added five total blocks as well.

As a team, the Wildcats are ranked 14th nationally with 217 kills on the season.  In addition to Liebeck, Monsma and Antunes, junior Sarah Kuehn (Green Bay, Wis./De Pere) chipped in with 40 kills. NMU is also receiving votes in this week’s American Volleyball Coaches Association National Top 25 Poll. 

The Wildcats can also be found among the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Liebeck is fifth in the league with 3.31 kills per set and fourth in total kills. She leads the league in hitting percentage with Kuehn fifth.  Senior Lynzi Svoboda (Minneapolis, Minn./Minneapolis Southwest) is fourth with 10.31 assists per set.  As a team, NMU is third in aces, kills, hitting percentage and assists.

The Wildcats are 8-0 all-time against the Golden Eagles but the teams haven’t played since the 2013 season.  Minn.-Crookston enters the weekend at 1-3 on the year and their lone victory was a 3-1 decision over University of Wisconsin-Parkside.

The Bulldogs enter the weekend ranked #1 in NCAA Division II with a 4-0 record and have controlled the all-time series lately.  NMU will look to pull the upset as well as end a current 10-game losing streak to the Bulldogs.

The Beavers collected three victories at the Parkside Tournament last weekend.  Last season, NMU swept BSU 3-0 and are now 9-1 overall against the Beavers, including eight sweeps.

The Huskies get back to action this week after returning from Hawaii after SCSU was forced to cancel two games due to Hurricane Lane.  NMU has won the past 14 matchups between the two schools which includes a 3-0 sweep last season.