Two unranked Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference teams upset No. 1 ranked Minnesota Duluth in back-to-back matches Friday from the Wildcat Open. Michigan Tech and Northern Michigan now look to keep rolling and stay atop the GLIAC standings.
Michigan Tech got the action started in a stunning sweep of the top-ranked Bulldogs. It took a thrilling final set, but the Huskies rose triumphant after a 27-25 victory.
"I'm almost at a loss for words, I don't know what to say," said head coach Matt Jennings. "We beat the number one team in the country, on a neutral court, and fought back like that, there's a lot to be proud of. It was a clean game on top of that, and I knew that if we could play the game clean, play the game crisp, and play our game, then I knew we could win.”
It was a dominant performance from the Huskies who edged Minnesota Duluth in kills by one but forced eight more errors than they committed. Olivia Ghormley and Mariah Sherman led the way with 12 kills apiece, with Ghormley now leading the GLIAC with 102 kills on the season. The Huskies are now out to a 5-1 start, second in the GLIAC North.
That’s because Northern Michigan remained undefeated in its upset of the Bulldogs, moving to a perfect 6-0. The Wildcats jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead, dominating the second set 25-15 before Minnesota Duluth snuck in its lone victory of the day. Northern Michigan came back to take the fourth in a tightly contested 25-23 battle. Leticia Atunes had a monster day at the net with a match-high 21 kills. Rachel Braunschweig and Lynzi Svoboda chipped in with 12 digs apiece.
🏐 @NMU_Volleyball 🏐— NMU Athletics (@NMU_Wildcats) September 1, 2018
ARE YOU NOT ENTERTAINED?!?! The Wildcats knocked off the #1 team in the country tonight in front of an electric Vandament Arena! You can catch them in action again tomorrow 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.#NMUwildcats #ShareNMU pic.twitter.com/EI4kFC6aPo
Minnesota Duluth drops to 4-2 and takes on Lake Superior State and Northwood on Saturday looking to get back in the win column. Both Northern Michigan and Michigan Tech are in action as well looking to continue both of their hot starts to 2018 and crack the next top 25.