Nov. 21, 2003
NKU SHOCKS NORTHERN MICHIGAN, 3-1
Norse topple Wildcats from unbeaten ranks in four games
MARQUETTE, Mich. - Nicole Salisbury finished with 17 kills, 10 digs and a .316 hitting percentage Friday night as the Northern Kentucky University volleyball team upset previously unbeaten Northern Michigan, 30-27, 29-31, 30-22, 30-28, in the semifinals of the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region Tournament at Vandament Arena.
Kristin Koralewski added 14 kills as fifth-seeded NKU (26-11) handed top-seeded Northern Michigan (26-1) its first loss of the season. NKU will meet third-seeded Grand Valley State University at 7:30 p.m. Saturday for the NCAA Division II Great Lakes Region title and a trip to the Elite Eight.
We came here and we knew we had to play together to win the match, Salisbury said. We really got motivated last week when we lost in the (Great Lakes Valley Conference) tournament.
NKU won the first game by a 30-27 score as Salisbury collected six kills. The Norse had a 25-20 lead in the second game, but Northern Michigan responded with an 11-4 run to take a 31-29 win.
The Norse, however, controlled the third game and posted a 30-22 win. NKU built a 24-17 lead in the fourth game, but Northern Michigan rallied and cut the deficit to 27-26.
The Norse increased the lead to 28-26 on a kill by Sara Taylor. Northern Michigan closed to within one point twice, but kills by Maggie Pugh and Koralewski ended the match and gave NKU the upset victory.
They put pressure on us from the beginning, said Northern Michigan coach Jim Moore. NKU is a very well-coached team. They deserve the credit and they flat-out beat us.
Cammi Welter had 11 kills and 11 digs for NKU, while Taylor finished with 46 assists and eight digs. Jennie Little led Northern Michigan with 14 kills.
NKU will be seeking its third trip to the Elite Eight in the past six years. The Norse also advanced to the Elite Eight in both 1998 and 1999.
NKU and Grand Valley State played earlier this season, and the Norse pulled out a five-game victory in Regents Hall. The Lakers advanced to the championship match with a five-game win over Wheeling Jesuit University on Friday.
Grand Valley State eliminated NKU from the NCAA Tournament in both 2000 and 2001.
NCAA Division II Great Lakes Regional
(at Marquette, Mich.)
Thurs., Nov. 20
#3 Grand Valley State def. #6 Indianapolis, 3-2
#5 Northern Kentucky def. #4 Findlay, 3-1
Fri., Nov. 21
Grand Valley State def. Wheeling Jesuit, 3-2
Northern Kentucky def. Northern Michigan, 3-1
Sat., Nov. 22
Northern Kentucky (26-11) vs. Grand Valley State (28-7) , 7:30 p.m.