Cleveland State def. Eastern Michigan, 3-2
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team dropped its home opener against the Cleveland State University Vikings Tuesday, Aug. 28. The Eagles fell in five sets after dropping the opening two frames, 22-25 and 20-25. The Green and White fought back to tie the match with 25-19 and 26-24 set victories. The Vikings however took the final set 15-11 giving Eastern its first loss of the season.
The Eagles fall to 4-1 after the loss, while Cleveland State improved its record to an unblemished 4-0 with its victory.
Rachel Iaquaniello (Plymouth, Mich.-Dearborn Divine Child) paced EMU with a double-double notching 24 kills and 10 digs. Kristen Baker (Mentor, Ohio-Mentor) netted 13 kills, and Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) contributed nine. Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio) and Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) each posted seven kills for the Eagles. Alyssa Davis (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Plainwell) setup the EMU offense with 28 assists over the final three sets, while Kim Hildreth (Novi, Mich.-Novi) had 19 in the first two.
Defensively, Sierra Reed (Parker City, Ind.-Wapahani) and Roback picked up 28 and 21 digs, respectively. Hildreth added 13 digs and the Eagles had six total team blocks, including four block assists from Short and Crawshaw.
Kara Koch was the offensive catalyst in the match for the Vikings, notching 31 kills. The 31 kills are the second most all-time in Convocation Center history, only behind Iaquaniello's 33 that came back in 2010 against the Western Michigan Broncos, Oct. 8.
The Eagles trailed early and fought to comeback in the opening frame but fell short 25-22. Eastern hit just .115 in the first set with Iaquaniello leading the offensive attack, notching seven kills with a .375 attack percentage (7-1-16). Short, Hildreth and Baker each contributed a pair of kills, while Hildreth also added 11 digs.
Despite taking an early lead, EMU fell behind 2-0 after dropping the second set 25-20. Cleveland State came out swinging, posting a .359 attack percentage (18-4-39), while EMU hit just .132 (12-7-3). Iaquaniello continued to add to attack total with six more kills and Baker notched three in the second frame.
Eastern was able to bounce back in the third set and took the frame 25-19. The Eagles held CSU to a .043 hitting percentage (12-10-47), while hitting .205 (12-4-39). Iaquaniello paced the offense yet again with a .400 attack percentage (4-0-10), while Baker and Crawshaw each added a trio of kills.
Tension mounted late in the fourth set as the Eagles faced game point, but return fired with three-straight points to take the frame 26-24. Despite a .320 attack percentage (20-4-50) for the Vikings, EMU hit .333 (17-3-42) to take the set. Baker added four kills to her total, while Roback and Iaquaniello each contributed four in the set. Davis setup the Eagles nicely in the frame while notching 13 assists. Kara Koch poured in 12 kills for CSU in the set, but it was Eastern's two total team blocks that offset Koch's offensive performance.
Eastern had trouble getting the offense going in the final frame as it fell 15-11. The Eagles hit just .100 (9-6-30), while the Vikings mounted an offensive assault with a .381 attack percentage (8-0-21) in the final set.
The Eagles will be on the road for almost a month until they welcome the Western Michigan University Broncos, Friday, Sept. 21. Eastern's next match will take place Friday, Aug. 31, when it travels to Chicago, Ill. to take part in the University of Illinois-Chicago Invitational. The Green and White start the tournament with the IPFW Mastadons at 5 p.m. (CST) Friday evening.
IPFW def. Ball State, 3-1
FORT WAYNE, Ind. - - Despite three players with double-digit kills, the Ball State women's volleyball team fell to 2-2 on the year with a 3-1 (25-15, 29-27, 18-25, 25-21) setback to IPFW (3-1) Tuesday evening at the Gates Sports Center.
"It was a great atmosphere for our team to compete in tonight," said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. "You have to give IPFW a lot of credit for the way they played. They are a very experienced ball club and played at a phenomenally high level. Our team hung in there and played tough, and I am really proud of the way we battled in the final three sets. I thought we grew a lot as a team tonight and we just have to keep getting better as the season moves along."
In the loss, senior Kara Bates (Bradley, Ill./Bradley Bourbonnais Community/Maryland) led the Ball State offense with 19 kills, one shy of her career-high of 20. Bates also collected seven kills and a block assists in the contest, while hitting .265 (19-6-49).
Also collecting double-digit kills for the Cardinals were junior opposite Lauren Grant (Eagan, Minn./Eastview/Cincinnati) and junior outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) with 11 and 10, respectively.
In the backcourt, junior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) led Ball State with 16 digs, while freshman defensive specialist Taylor Richardson (Selma, Ind./Wapahani) added 12 over the final two sets, including eight in the fourth frame.
Junior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) guided the Ball State offense to a .234 (58-22-154) hitting mark over the course of the match, while earning her fourth consecutive assist/dig double-double with 48 assists and 14 digs. She also logged three kills and a block assist.
IPFW's Emily Spencer led all players with 21 kills, while three other Mastodons also finished the night in double figures. Muncie Central product Tessa McGill led all players with 24 digs.
As a team, IPFW connected for a .304 (63-15-158) rate of success for the match, including a .517 (17-2-29) effort in the opening frame. The Mastodons also held a 10.5-4 advantage in team blocks, while BSU held the edge in digs at 69-63.
The teams played to a 5-5 stalemate in the opening set before a three-point run gave IPFW the momentum and an 8-5 edge. The Mastodons would control play from there, eventually winning the set 25-15 on a Spencer ace.
IPFW continued to control play early in the second frame, with the hosts scoring four of the first five points. With BSU trailing 12-8, two Mastodon errors and kills from redshirt freshman frontcourt specialist Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) and junior middle hitter Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) evened the score at 12.
From there, the teams battled to a 23-23 stalemate, before another IPFW attack error gave BSU its first set point of the night. Unfortunately, a Jessie Manwearing kill kept the Mastodons alive. Ball State would have two more serves to win the set, thanks to kills from Bates, but the hosts answered both times before scoring four of the final five points to win the set 29-27 on a BSU attack error.
With Ball State leading 9-7 in the third set, three straight kills from Bates gave the Cardinals a five-point lead. The Mastodons were able to draw within one point, at 14-13, but three consecutive IPFW miscues pushed the BSU advantage back to four at 17-13.
The hosts followed with a second surge, pulling within one point again at 17-16, only to have three more errors and kills from Bates and Marx put the set out of reach at 22-16. Two more Bates kills gave Ball State set-point at 24-18, while an IPFW attack error helped the Cardinals secure the set 25-18.
Both teams came out strong in the fourth, as they played to an 8-8 deadlock. Unfortunately, four consecutive Cardinals' errors and a IPFW block gave the hosts team a 13-8 edge. Ball State would draw within two points on three occasions, including the 21-19 mark, only to have the Mastodons go on to win the set 25-21 and the match 3-1.
The Ball State women's volleyball team now heads the opposite direction on I-69 this weekend, when it travels south to IUPUI for the two-day IUPUI Jaguars Hampton Inn Invitational. BSU opens the tournament Friday versus Georgia State (4:30 p.m.) and will battle North Texas (10 a.m.) and IUPUI (7 p.m.) Saturday.