The Cardinal volleyball team traveled north this weekend for matches against Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan University.
The Cardinals returned home with a win and a loss this weekend. They fell to Michigan Tech on Friday before defeating Northern
Michigan on Saturday.
Friday, the Cardinals struggled to outscore the Huskies while still producing 20-plus points in all three sets. In the first set, the Cardinals kept the score close until falling 26-24 to the Huskies after two consecutive attack errors. Similarly, in the second set the Cards were within three points of the Huskies but could not manage to pull ahead in the end. In the final set, the Cardinals played well enough to score 25 points but were outplayed on the final two serves, losing 25-27.
Senior Olivia Dean, who played in all three sets, credits the Cardinals loss to a lack of energy and execution on the court.
“We needed better execution against Tech, plain and simple,” Dean said. “We are a team that thrives when we have a lot of energy and we didn’t bring that to the court.”
Dean had six kills and five assists in the match. Fellow senior Sarah Tabit led the match with 16 kills.
On Saturday, the Cardinals played against Northern Michigan University. The match took five sets to decide. The Cardinals started with an early advantage over the Wildcats, winning the first set 25-14.
In the second and third sets, Northern was able to take an early lead and close both sets out 25-20. Down two sets to one, the Cards went to work, outscoring the Wildcats 25-18.
In the final set, the Cards tied 11-11, both teams were neck and neck until a late kill by Emily Friesl, and a service ace by Maria Vukaj gave the Cardinals the match point.
Dean said the Cardinals were able to learn from their mistakes and come out livelier.
“Our energy is what really helped us to win,” she said. “During the second and third sets, our intensity was low, and we ended up losing. We fought back during the fourth and fifth sets and had a lot of energy. We pulled out the win under pressure.”
Next up for the Cardinals is a matchup against Lake Superior State on Tuesday, Oct. 1. The Cards will be on the road again this weekend, at Wayne State University on Friday, and Ashland University on Saturday.
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