Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Volleyball Wildcats enter NCAA tourney

by Kaitlin Leichtnam and Brice Burge

The Northern Michigan University women’s volleyball team is headed to the University of Indianapolis this weekend to compete in the 2009 NCAA Division II Midwest Regional. This is the second straight appearance for the Wildcats, as they lost to the UIndy Greyhounds in the opening round last year.

“(We’re) really excited to play at the NCAA Regional Tournament. It was the team’s goal to make it back to the tourney and compete at a higher level,” said NMU head coach Dominic Yoder.

Northern is one of six GLIAC teams, along with Hillsdale, Saginaw Valley, Grand Valley, Ferris State, and Michigan Tech, to advance to the NCAA regional. The other two teams, the top seeded University of Indianapolis Greyhounds and the Lewis Flyers, compete in the Great Lakes Valley Conference. Indianapolis grabbed the top spot in the regional after a 3-1 victory on Sunday over Lewis in the GLVC Championship, giving the Greyhounds their 21 straight win this season. This will be their third straight NCAA appearance.

The NMU Wildcats, who tied for second place in the GLIAC North with Grand Valley, will be paired up in the quarterfinals against the fifth-seeded Hillsdale Chargers, who are coming off of five straight wins and their first GLIAC Championship Tournament title after beating Saginaw Valley Sunday 3-2. Despite Hillsdale’s tournament title, Hillsdale is seeded below both SVSU and NMU. Of the six GLIAC teams that advanced to the regional, Hillsdale is the only team from the GLIAC South. The GLIAC North had 56 conference wins to only 40 for the South. The Chargers lost to NMU 3-1 in Marquette and went 1-2 in the GLIAC-GLVC crossover tournament last month.

“It will be fun to play (against) Hillsdale again. They have a very competitive team that is playing very well,” said Yoder.

Indianapolis will host the regional, which lasts from Thursday, November 19 through Saturday November 21.The quarterfinals begin at Indianapolis on Thursday at 12pm. The match-ups and times for Thursday’s Quarterfinals are as follows:

Match # 1: No. 3 Saginaw Valley (21-9, 12-4 GLIAC) vs. No. 6 Grand Valley (16-12, 11-5 GLIAC) at 12pm Cat Chat prediction: SVSU 3-1 (25-21, 25-17, 22-25, 25-20)

Match # 2: No. 2 Lewis (30-4, 14-0 GLVC) vs. No. 7 Ferris State (19-11, 10-6 GLIAC) at 2:30pm Cat Chat prediction: Lewis 3-1 (20-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-19)

Match # 3: No. 4 Northern Michigan (19-11, 11-5 GLIAC) vs. No. 5 Hillsdale (23-7, 12-4 GLIAC) at 5pm Cat Chat prediction: NMU 3-2 (21-25, 19-25, 28-26, 25-22, 15-12)

Match # 4: No. 1 Indianapolis (35-1, 13-1 GLVC) vs. No. 8 Michigan Tech (14-14, 10-6 GLIAC) at 7:30pm Cat Chat Prediction: UIndy 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 25-18)

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