MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Northern Michigan volleyball team fell in four sets to Saginaw Valley State Friday (Sept. 9) night to open the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season.
The Cardinals took the match 22-25, 25-20, 28-18 and 25-21. The 'Cats fall to 1-4 overall and 0-1 in the GLIAC, while the Cardinals improve to 2-3 and 1-0 in the GLIAC.
NMU opened the match winning a back and forth first set 25-22. The 'Cats trailed at the mid-way point before scoring four straight points to take the lead and never looked back.
The 'Cats service game began to deteriorate in the second set, committing 11 service errors and six receiving errors in the match.
The Cardinals flipped the tables on the 'Cats in the second set, taking the lead after an early 2-2 tie and leading by as many as six points to take the set and even the match at one set a piece.
"We struggled with service reception tonight and that's something that has been a strong point for us in the past," Yoder said. "We need to improve in our service game in general and get back to the form we were a year ago."
SVSU came out of the break on fire, once again breaking a 2-2 tie and taking the set 25-18. The Cardinals exploited the 'Cats front in the set, which struggled to control the Cardinal attack throughout the night.
"Both teams struggled blocking tonight but we had a tougher go of it," Yoder said. "That is a testament to their offense."
SVSU took advantage of NMU errors to start the fourth set, taking an early lead and never trailed again after a 13-13 tie to capture the match.
The 'Cats were led offensively by senior Emma Wolfe, who had a career best 22 kills. Junior Abby Lovell established the attack with 39 assists, while sophomore Lina Lopes controlled the defensive front with 13 digs.
The Cardinals were led offensively by Katie Fitzgerald with 12 kills and Sam Breault with 40 assists. Defensively, Laura Ward led the Cardinals with 19 digs.
"Tomorrow's a new day and a fresh start, so we'll be prepared for Grand Valley," Yoder said.