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Huskies wrap up road trip with loss at NMU

Huskies wrap up road trip with loss at NMU

MARQUETTE, Mich. – The Michigan Tech volleyball team fell 3-2 at Northern Michigan on Tuesday (Oct. 31). The Huskies won the first two sets at Vandament Arena 25-18 and 25-12, before the Wildcats stormed back 25-21, 25-23, and 15-4.

"What a heartbreaking way to lose," Tech coach Matt Jennings said. "That we allowed our energy and approach to change that much after Lindy went down was the most disappointing part of that match. To be rolling the way we were in the first two sets, up two, then fall apart in the backcourt that way was a huge letdown and simply unacceptable."

The Huskies never trailed in the first two sets and dominated to take a 2-0 lead at the break. They finished the opening frame on a 9-3 with kills by Lindy Oujiri and Kaycee Meiners putting down the final points. Oujiri hit .600 and had six kills in the first.

The second was more of the same as the Black and Gold built a 10-point lead after a 6-0 run. Tech scored the final four points, and Kaycee Meiners walled up a solo block for the final score. Meg Raabe had four kills and Oujiri put down three kills before departing the match with an injury.

The teams battled through five ties and three lead changes in the third. After trading 4-0 runs, NMU turned to senior Jacquelin Smith who put down four kills and the Wildcats drew within one.

The Huskies trailed for most of the fourth set but battled back to cut it down to a one-point at 23-22. NMU tied the match, scoring two of the final three points even after a monster block by Tricia Kennedy. Jacqueline Yancy had six kills for the Huskies in her first quality court time of the season.

Tech wasn't able to find its footing in the fifth after NMU hit .353 and was 5-for-5 on sideout.

"Credit to Northern for taking advantage of us playing so tentative all of a sudden," added Jennings. "And to be clear, yes Lindy was having a great match, but Jackie came in and did more than her part in what was a really tough moment.

"In combination with what others were doing, she gave us enough offense off the bench to win. Our offense was excellent at the start in large part because our passing and defense were too. That all changed in the third set, for reasons that have no room at this level of competition.

"If we don't learn from this moment, then it's for naught. When adversity sets in, we are required to do the opposite of what we did in sets three through five here tonight. And you can never ever give a good team, your rival no less, opportunities to make their way back into a match."

Meg Raabe led the Huskies with 12 kills and Jacqueline Yancy finished with a season-high 11. Lindy Oujiri tallied nine kills while hitting .562 in the first set and a half. Kaycee Meiners added eight kills, three solo blocks, and six block assists.

Amelia Albers tied a season-high with 22 digs. Tess Hayes tallied 44 assists and 14 digs. Brynn Erickson (12) and Alayna Corwin (11) also had double-digit digs.

Tech wraps up the week hosting Wayne State on Friday and Saginaw Valley State on Saturday at the SDC Gym. Saturday is the annual Tadych's Marketplace Foods Kids Day at Michigan Tech. Tadych's of Houghton has purchased 100 youth tickets for Saturday's volleyball match that will be given away Wednesday at noon.

Lindy Oujiri, Zoe Rhines, Lauren Richards, Leiya Rybicki, and Kate Walch will be honored on Senior Day in their last regular season home match on Saturday.