DUNBAR, Wis. - Northland International University men's volleyball team took on a couple of opponents in exhibition matches.
On Friday, the Pioneers headed to Appleton and the Wisconsin Volleyball Academy to take on the national champion age 18 and under "Nightmares." NIU fell 3-0 (25-20, 25-18, 25-19).
NIU returned to campus for a Saturday afternoon match against the Northstars Volleyball Club and prevailed 3-2. Both of these teams are coached and captained by people that Coach Dave Herron has had the privilege of crossing paths with over the past 15 years of coaching volleyball at NIU.
Burt Angeli/The Daily News Photo’
Northland International’s Jared Kimbrough (8) and Dan Herman (5) put up a double block in a men’s volleyball exhibition match Saturday with the Northstars Volleyball Club at Dunbar, Wis. NIU’s Aaron DeButiaco(9) and Jay Hale (4) prepare for a rebound. The Pioneers, who prevailed 3-2 in the exhibition, host league-leading Wisconsin-Oshkosh at 7:30 p.m. Thursday.
"The volleyball community is a big world but at the same time a very small neighborhood when talking regionally," Herron said. "It has been a very good experience to get to know some of these people. I wanted to present my players with the opportunity to reach out to others. The results of the match would not affect our conference standings but how we play would help us in conference."
NIU, with exactly two weeks left to the season, hosts conference leader UW-Oshkosh on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
A week of spring break will be had before the team returns for a Tuesday, March 26, rematch with Michigan Tech. The team then goes to the Wisconsin Volleyball Conference State Tournament hosted at UW-Oshkosh March 29-30th.
"We always get focused for the WVC tourney," said captain Aaron Debutiaco. "We know that there is usually no national tournament opportunity for us. We try to peak for this and have done well in the past finishing higher than our seed."