MARQUETTE, Mich. – A young lineup helped guide Northern Michigan University Volleyball to a Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament return to highlight the 2019 season.
This year's squad featured seven players who appeared in all 29 matches with six of them either freshman or sophomores. Sophomore Lizzy Stark (Minneapolis, Minn.) led the team with 400 kills, becoming the 22nd player in program history to reach 400 kills in a season. She was second with 20 aces and third with 283 digs. Freshman Abigail Durecki (South Lyon, Mich.) added 288 kills and paced the squad with a hitting percentage of .314 and 31 aces. She was also second with 86 blocks. The pair was also named Second Team All-GLIAC.
Joining them with All-GLIAC honors was sophomore Hailey Wickstrom (Calumet, Mich.). Wickstrom got her season started by being named to the Keweenaw Classic All-Tournament Team before capping the season with Honorable Mention All-GLIAC honors. The sophomore finished the season with 253 kills at a .235 clip and added 62 blocks.
Senior Sarah Kuehn (Green Bay, Wis.) was the only Wildcat to be named GLIAC Player of the Week this season, an honor she won on October 28. Kuehn tallied 258 kills while hitting .230 and added 98 total blocks through the season. The senior finished her career with 352 blocks which places her seventh all-time in NMU history. Her 54 solo blocks are 12th while her 298 block assists also places her seventh. She leaves the Wildcats ranked eighth all-time with 1.09 blocks per set.
Freshman setter Lauren Van Remortel (Carmel, Ind.) made an immediate impact in her rookie season as she tallied 1,085 assists and added 76 kills, 19 aces, 215 digs and 40 blocks.
The season started with a 3-2 victory over the University of Mary at the Keweenaw Classic. The Wildcats then started GLIAC action by defeating Grand Valley State University and Davenport University. NMU finished the GLIAC schedule at 8-8 to earn an appearance in the GLIAC Tournament where they upset Ashland University 3-2 in Ashland to advance to the GLIAC Tournament Semifinals.
The Wildcats expect to lose just three players total from the 2018 squad and will look to the experiences they gained this season to build on more success in 2020 and beyond.