Volleyball Closes Regular Season with Fourth Straight Sweep on Senior Day

Lizzy Stark and Jacqueline Smith each came up with 15 kills, Alli Yacko led the way with 22 digs, and Lauren Van Remortel registered 41 assists.
Published: Nov. 5, 2022 at 9:58 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Northern Michigan University volleyball team closed out the regular season in impressive fashion and are riding a hot streak into the postseason, as they put together their fourth straight sweep for a 3-0 win over Parkside. On Senior Day, Lizzy Stark and Jacqueline Smith each came up with 15 kills, Alli Yacko led the way with 22 digs, and Lauren Van Remortel registered 41 assists.

Olivia Webber and Rayne Thompson were consistent forces at the net, combining for six blocks. NMU finishes the regular season 22-7 and 14-4 in the GLIAC. The Wildcats have earned the #2 seed in the upcoming GLIAC Tournament and will host Saginaw Valley State on Wednesday, Nov. 9th at 7 p.m.

The Wildcats came out clicking, running seven of the first nine points leading to a early Parkside timeout with the ‘Cats up 7-2. NMU continued to surge, as Lizzy Stark and Jacqueline Smith alternated a series of kills leading to another timeout for the Rangers with the scoreboard dented 14-6 in favor of the ‘Cats. Out of the timeout, Olivia Webber started to find a groove. She first teamed up with Rayne Thomspon for a block then had a pair of kills.

Webber was doing it all, picking up a solo block to get to set point. Jacqueline Smith finished it off with a kill. NMU cruised in set one, 25-14. She and Lizzy Stark each had five kills, with Lauren Van Remortel recording 13 assists.

The Rangers reversed roles to start the second, claiming an early 5-1 lead. Northern responded, returning a 6-1 run of their own to lead 7-6. Alli Yacko, Van Remortel, and Smith teamed up with a textbook dig, set, and kill, as NMU led 12-9 mid-set. UWP didn’t back down, pulling even at 14. After some ensuing back and forth, McKenzie Gruner denied a kill at the net to put NMU in front 18-16. Webber continued to be a force at the net, adding her second solo block leading to a Parkside timeout as NMU was in front 23-20. The Ranges made it interesting, but Lizzy Stark polished off the set for NMU, 25-22.

Caylie Barlage put in a great diving effort to keep the ball in play and Gruner finished it off to keep the score even early in the third set, 4-4. Parkside responded to the play that fired up the NMU faithful, taking the next four points for an 8-4 edge. A few sets later, Coach Lozier opted for a timeout to regroup, down 10-5. Another Webber block pulled the Green and Gold back within a couple at 12-10 in the middle of the set. The Rangers then put together a 5-1 run to go up 17-11 as NMU opted for a timeout.

Senior Lizzy Stark turned it to another gear when NMU trailed 19-11, pulling off five straight kills of her own to make it 19-16. As Stark rotated out, Smith took over where she left off, picking up four kills of her own. A Rayne Thompson block led to an eruption from the crowd and a UWP timeout. NMU was within one at 22-21. Neither side would go away easily to close the set, but NMU was able to close it out 28-26.

NMU will be home for the GLIAC Quarterfinals, as they are set to host the Saginaw Valley State Cardinals on Wednesday, November 9th.