HOUGHTON, Mich. – The Michigan Tech Huskies fell to longtime rival Northern Michigan in a four-set GLIAC Conference matchup. Huskies fought hard to overcome match three, but lost momentum in the fourth leading to a Wildcat win 3-1.
"I'm disappointed in the outcome, of course, but I'm proud of the way we fought," said Tech Head Coach Matt Jennings. "It was slated to be a close match and I think it turned out to be that way. The first set was a nail biter and they caught us there in the end in a couple of rotations."
Huskies held a steady lead in set one, 18-11, but the Wildcats responded to tie the match 24-24. Tech failed to close the tight first and second set, but triumphed in the third set, with a winning kill from MacAulay Petersen to close the match 29-27. There were six ties in set three and the Huskies had a glimpse of redemption. Northern's resilience in the final frame sealed the victory 25-14.
"It was a tough one," Jennings added. "It was a game of runs and I think in the second set we got off to a slow start and that put us behind in the beginning. Volleyball isn't always easy to come back from."
Ultimately, the Wildcats out blocked the Huskies 17-1 and hit at .318 overall. Tech pushed back with several unstoppable kills on the net. Four hitters reached double digits. MacAulay Petersen owned 17 kills, followed by Mariah Sherman with 13, Lauren Emmert (11) and Olivia Ghormley (10).
"When we have a hard time controlling the ball, we become predictable and therefore their block is easier to set," said Jennings. "They are a good serving team too, and they take you out of system. We struggled with that tonight."
Elle Heinonen led the Huskies' defense with 19 digs. Freshmen Anna Jonynas and Laura DeMarchi recorded double-figures with 10 digs each. DeMarchi recorded another double-double on the season (51 assists and 10 digs).
"The nice part is that we get them [NMU] again later in the year back at their place," Jennings added. "Right now, we have to pick it up, get back in the gym and get better. We are on the road here right away this Friday for a big fight against Ferris."
Concluding tonight's match, the Huskies are 2-1 in the GLIAC and are 7-4 overall.
Tech travels this weekend to Ferris State and Northwood for their first GLIAC road matches of the season. Serve time for Friday's match versus Ferris State is set for 7:00 p.m. in the Ewigleben Sports Arena.