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    NSU Volleyball: Wolves Travel to Maverick Invitational

    Northern State volleyball travels to familiar territory this weekend as the Wolves will head to Mankato, Minn., to play a trio of matches in the Minnesota State Maverick Invitational. 

    NSU opens the tournament against Black Hills State at 9 a.m. Friday. The Yellow Jackets come into the weekend with a 2-2 record having picked up wins over South Dakota Mines (3-0) and Newman (Kan.) (3-2) at last weekend’s Nebraska Kearney Tournament. BHSU is led by senior outside hitter Amy O’Neill who compiled 74 total kills last weekend, including 22 in two separate matches. 

    Illinois Springfield will round-out the action on Friday as the Wolves will face the Prairie Stars at 5 in the afternoon. UIS went 2-2 last weekend at their own invite. UIS defeated Robert Morris-Springfield and Alderson-Broaddus at the invite. The Prairie Stars have a balanced attack and are led by outside hitters Sara Baker and Ashley Beaton. 

    NSU’s lone match on Saturday will come at 1 p.m. against Minnesota State. The Mavs are coming off a 3-1 weekend at the Western Oregon Invitational. MSU picked up sweeps against Cal State East Bay and Holy Names. The Mavericks also beat Western Oregon 3-2. Minnesota State was picked to finish in a tie for sixth this season in the NSIC preseason coaches’ poll, just ahead of Northern. 

    The Mavericks are led by Jenna McNallan with 35 kills on the year, but McNallan is one of 10 Mavs that have recorded 10 or more kills this season. Northern Head Coach Brent Aldridge has a 1-2 record against MSU in his two seasons with the Wolves. 

    Northern State is coming off an impressive 4-0 weekend at the LaQuinta/Drury Kickoff Classic in Springfield, Mo. The Wolves recorded three sweeps at the tournament and lost just one set all weekend. Kelsey Chambers led the Wolves’ attack with 58 kills in the four matches. Cari McGarvie added 40 kills, including career-highs in kills (17), attack percentage (.483), aces (3) and blocks (6) in the win over Arkansas Tech. 

    Drew Smith led NSU with 149 assists at Drury while freshman Tori Biach led the squad with 13 total blocks.

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