INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Northern Michigan University Volleyball finished the University of Indianapolis Invitational Saturday by taking on two teams receiving votes in the AVCA Top 25 poll.
Early in the day, the Wildcats fell to Saint Leo University 3-1. They then bounced back to gather their first sweep of the season by defeating Gannon 3-0.
| STARTING THE DAY
The day started with the Wildcats taking on Saint Leo, opening the first set with a 8-2 lead. However, Saint Leo was able to recover and eventually snagged a 25-21 first set victory. In the second set, NMU would pull ahead 20-15 but the Lions managed to rally back and tie it at 22-22. This time, the Wildcats scored three straight points for to win the set.
Freshman Abigail Durecki (South Lyon, Mich.) had a kill followed by two straight kills from sophomore Hailey Wickstrom (Calumet, Mich.) to seal the victory. All three assists came from freshman Lauren Van Remortel (Carmel, Ind.).
SLU managed to win a close third set 25-23 and then followed it with a 25-20 fourth set to win the match 3-1.
| COLLECTING A SWEEP
In the afternoon, the Wildcats faced Gannon and captured the first set 26-24. Facing a 24-22 deficit in the set, NMU took advantage of two attack errors from Gannon to tie the set at 24-24. Wickstrom and Durecki then converted a kill each to win the set 26-24.
In the second set, the score was tied 12-12 but NMU would take a lead and hold it, eventually leading 24-20. The Golden Knights fought back and tied the match at 24-24. After a Gannon point made it 25-24, Durecki and Wickstrom combined for a block to tie it at 25-25. Senior Sarah Kuehn (Green Bay, Wis.) then followed a Golden Knight score with two kills followed by an ace from senior Gabriela Martinez (Vega Baja, Puerto Rico) to win the second set 28-26,
NMU jumped out to a 12-7 lead in the third set before powering to a 25-18 victory and the 3-0 sweep.
| ON THE OFFENSE
Sophomore Lizzy Stark (Minneapolis, Minn.) paced the offensive attack with a total of 31 kills on the day. Durecki added 20, hitting at a .390 clip while Wickstrom chipped in with 18. Kuehn aided the effort with 15 kills.
Van Remortel tallied 79 assists and tied for the team's lead with three aces. Martinez also posted three aces with sophomore Alli Yacko (Oak Lawn, Ill.) posting two.
| GETTING DEFENSIVE
Sophomore Lauren Caprini (St. Charles, Ill.) led the defense and totaled 38 digs. Stark notched 21 digs and Van Remortel had 19. Yacko contributed 14 with Martinez recording 11.
At the net, Durecki tallied a team-best 11 blocks. Wickstrom finished with six and Stark added five.
| UP NEXT
NMU falls to 2-5 on the season while Saint Leo improved to 3-2 and Gannon moves to 4-4. The Wildcats will now turn their attention to conference play as they visit Grand Valley State University Friday night and Davenport University Saturday for Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference action.