MARQUETTE, Mich. -- Marquette, Mich. will be quiet as all Northern Michigan University athletic teams will be hitting the road this weekend. The NMU volleyball team will travel to Cedarville, Lake Erie and Ashland. Wildcat football hits the road and returns to Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletics Conference action at Hillsdale. NMU soccer will open GLIAC play at Michigan Tech and the NMU golf team will open their fall schedule at the GLIAC Fall Invitational.
Sept. 18 Volleyball at Cedarville 6 p.m. Cedarville, Ohio
Sept. 19 Volleyball at Lake Erie 7 p.m. Painesville, Ohio
Sept. 20 Football at Hillsdale 1 p.m. Hillsdale, Mich.
Sept. 20 Volleyball at Ashland 2 p.m. Ashland, Ohio
Sept. 21 Soccer at Michigan Tech 12 p.m. Houghton, Mich.
Sept. 20-21 Golf at Hawkshead Golf Club South Haven, Mich.
Kyle Wittenbach begins his first full season as head coach of the NMU golf team. The squad will open up their fall season at Hawkshead Golf Course in South Haven, Mich. The Wildcats will have three more meets this fall before they open up their championship season in the spring.
The Wildcats return three golfers from a season ago in sophomores Dustin Dishaw and Hunter Mires and senior Ayrton Mantha. NMU will look to build off the leadership of Mantha who was at the top of the pack for most of the year last season.
Wittenbach was able to bring in four new golfers for NMU this season; freshman Austin Elsner, Emil Lundgren and juniors Ben Johnson and Alex Palmer.
NMU looks to build on last year and jump up a couple spots in the GLIAC after finishing in 8th last season with a +63. Mantha finished the tournament tied for 9th at +11 for Northern Michigan.
The Wildcats opened up GLIAC play in fine fashion with a sweep of Northwood and Lake Superior State. NMU defeated the Timberwolves in a five set thrilling come back that saw the 'Cats open the match down 2-0. The Wildcats were able to sweep the Lakers in straight sets.
Junior outside hitter Lisa Studnicka led the charge on the offensive side with 25 kills over the weekend, while hitting .242. Freshman middle hitter Kayla Chosa had a good opening weekend with 17 kills over the two wins and hitting a team high .361. Fellow freshman setter Meghan Seymour stepped up as well as she had 50 assists on the weekend with a team high five service aces.
On the defensive side, junior libero Alex Berger played well once again with 44 digs for an average of 5.5 digs per set on the weekend. Chosa was excellent at the net all weekend for the 'Cats as she led the team with 10 total blocks.
The Wildcats will have a busy weekend as they will play three matches in the span of the three days in Ohio. NMU opens up with a non-conference tune-up against the Cedarville Yellow Jackets Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. Cedarville currently sits at 4-5 on the season and is 1-1 against GLIAC opponents with a five set loss to Hillsdale and a 3-1 victory over Ohio Dominican. This will be the first meeting between Cedarville and Northern Michigan.
NMU will get back to GLIAC play Sept. 19 with a match-up against Lake Erie set for 7 p.m. The Storm will come into the game 2-5 overall and 0-2 in the GLIAC. Last weekend Lake Erie was swept in straight sets by Hillsdale and Findlay. The Wildcats have had great success against the Storm in the past, going 4-0 in the all-time series and has never dropped a set to Lake Erie going 12-0 in the four match-ups.
The Wildcats finish the weekend with Ashland Sept. 20 with first serve at 2 p.m. Ashland was picked to finish 1st in the South Division in the preseason GLIAC Coaches Poll but fell in the opening weekend to Findlay and Hillsdale dropping the Eagles to 0-6 on the season. NMU holds the all-time series lead with Ashland with a record of 17-9. Last season, NMU went 0-2 against the Eagles including a 3-1 loss in the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals.
NMU was able to notch their first victory of the season last weekend when they defeated Minnesota-Duluth 2-1. The Wildcats then finished last weekend with a 1-1 tie against Minnesota-Crookston. Sophomore forward Paula Hafner, junior defenseman Hailey Beyrand and senior defenseman Kim Rietveld all had goals for Northern Michigan over the weekend.
After playing four non-conference games NMU will now open up GLIAC play when they travel to Houghton, Mich. to take on rival Michigan Tech Sunday, Sept. 21 with kick-off scheduled for noon. This game will be the beginning of the longest stretch of road games for NMU as they play the next three games away from Marquette, Mich.
The all-time series between the Huskies and 'Cats is tight, but NMU holds a slight advantage with a 4-3-1 record. Last season NMU dropped a 5-0 decision to the Huskies at home but tied 1-1 at Michigan Tech.
The Wildcats were able to bounce back after a season opening loss and rolled past the Quincy Hawks 31-14. NMU found themselves down 7-0 early but rattled off 31 consecutive points, including 14 in the 2nd quarter and 10 in the third quarter.
NMU produced 377 yards on the game and were led by junior running back Wyatt Jurasin who rushed for 135 yards and two scores. Senior wide receiver Kelvin Smarwt had another good game with six receptions for 114 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore quarterback Shaye Brown had a productive game behind center completing 16 of 23 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown pass.
The Wildcat defense was solid as they held the Hawks to only 71 yards on the ground. Junior linebacker Levi Perry led the way with his 12 tackles, 10 of which were solo hits. Senior defensive lineman Jordan Adediran scooped in a fumble which was forced by senior defensive lineman Trever Kruzel for the lone turnover forced by the defense in the game.
Northern Michigan will get back into GLIAC action when they take on Hillsdale Sept. 20 with kick-off at 1 p.m. The Chargers are also coming off of their first win of the season when they defeated Lake Erie 48-41. Hillsdale opened their season with a 46-38 loss at Findlay. This will also mark the home opener for Hillsdale.
In last year's meeting, Hillsdale jumped out to a quick 17-3 lead by halftime as the Chargers scored the first 17 points of the game. NMU was able to put up a come-back as they were only down by a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but a late field goal for Hillsdale gave the Chargers the 27-17 victory.
Hillsdale and NMU is a match-up that dates back to 1958 with the Chargers holding the all-time series lead at 14-24-1. Hillsdale has won six of the past seven games against the Wildcats.