DUNBAR, Wis. - Northland International University women's volleyball team ventured out last week for its last road trip for the regular season.
This time the Lady Pioneers would cross down into Illinois, over to Indiana, up to Michigan and then back into Wisconsin.
The first stop was Grand Rapids, Mich., and a tri-match with host Grace Bible College and Dayspring College. The Pioneers swept both teams 3-0 including Dayspring for the third time this season (25-19, 25-21, 25-11).
Day two had the weary Pioneers travel crosstown to Kuyper College. NIU rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 2-2 deadlock but lost the fifth set 15-11.
"Extremely frustrating to see players that just the set before make some great plays all of a sudden play with their hands around their throat," said NIU Coach Dave Herron. "We can't do this and expect to do well in our regional tourney."
In a fourth match this season against Dayspring, the Pioneers prevailed 3-2.
NIU (14-7 record) should be in line for the third seed in the Midwest Regional tournament.
NIU now plays three weeks of home matches beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday against UW-Marinette at 7 p.m..
"Coach Herron has commented that 'hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard' and we have to work hard every time," said Liz Humberg, instrumental in the win over Grace. "When we don't our talent isn't good enough to dominate other teams. We are thankful God has allowed us success but we need to keep focus."