Eastern Michigan def. Buffalo, 3-1
Miami def. Ball State, 3-2
Bowling Green def. Toledo, 3-1
Akron def. Central Michigan, 3-1
Ohio def. Western Michigan, 3-0
Kent State def. Northern Illinois, 3-1
Eastern Michigan def. Buffalo, 3-1
BUFFALO, N.Y. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball squad snapped their three-match skid Saturday with a trip to Buffalo for a Mid-American Conference cross-divisional tilt. The Eagles took the match in four sets (25-15, 25-22, 24-26, 25-23).
With the win, Eastern improves to 14-12 on the season and 4-6 in conference play, while the Bulls fall to 8-14 and 2-8 in the MAC.
The Eagles took the Bulls by the horns in the first two sets as the Eagles made quick work of Buffalo to take a 2-0 lead.
Following a short delay by an inadvertent fire alarm, the Eagles battled back-and-forth in the third set. With the Eagles looking at match point, the Bulls rallied off three straight to take the third set 26-24.
In the fourth set, the Eagles held off a fierce come-from-behind effort from the Bulls, who went on 7-0 run, to draw the set even at 20. However the Eagles regained their composure that they had established early in the match as Kristen Baker (Mentor, Ohio-Mentor) put the Bulls away to take the fourth set 25-23.
Rachel Iaquaniello (Plymouth, Mich.-Dearborn Divine Child) and Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) both supplied double-digits in the kills column with 26 and 10 respectively. Freshman Alyssa Davis (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Plainwell) paced the way for the EMU attackers with 45 assists, while Iaquaniello was joined by Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) and Sierra Reed (Parker City, Ind.-Wapahani) with double-digit digs for the Eagles.
The Eagles close-out their road matches next weekend with trips to Northern Illinois on Oct. 26, and Western Michigan on Oct. 27, before four straight home matches to close out the regular season. First serve at Northern Illinois is slated for 7 PM (CST).
Miami def. Ball State, 3-2
OXFORD, Ohio – The battle went back-and-forth, but the Miami University volleyball team came away with a thrilling, 3-2 (25-23, 24-26, 18-25, 27-25, 15-11) victory over Ball State on Saturday. It was the third straight win for the RedHawks, who improve to 8-15 overall and 3-7 in the Mid-American Conference. The Cardinals fall to 11-12 overall and 4-6 in the MAC.
Three players powered the Miami offensive attack with double-digit kills. Meg Riley led the way with 20, while redshirt freshmen Sarah Chaney and Jenny Ingle contributed 14 and 11 respectively.
Kills from Christina Menche and Chaney, along with a service ace from Lisa Treadway helped lead the ‘Hawks to a 6-3 advantage to begin set one. Two kills from Ingle along with one from Riley would help them eventually push it to six at 16-10. Ball State responded with an 8-1 run that would put it in front, 18-17. Trailing 19-21, a kill from Madison Hardy, a service ace by Madison Dodd and a kill from Treadway off of Amy Kendall’s assist would put the RedHawks back in front, 22-21, and force a Cardinal timeout. Leading 23-22, Ingle gave Miami set point when she tooled the Ball State blocker for a kill. The Cardinals scored the next point, but Riley responded with a strong kill to give the Red and White a 25-23 win.
Tied at seven in set two, a service ace from Dodd would spark an 11-6 run that put Miami up, 18-13. Despite two more kills from Riley, Ball State would answer with an 8-2 run that put it in front, 21-20. After trading service errors, Chaney would put down a kill off of Riley’s assist, the Cardinals would make an attack error and Menche would record a solo block to give the RedHawks set point at 24-22. The win was not to be for Miami, as Ball State would respond with four straight points to steal a 26-24 victory and even the match at one set apiece.
Tied at nine in set three, Ball State would go on a 9-3 run that gave it control at 18-12. A kill from Riley and a block by Annie Reiswig and Menche would cut the deficit to four, but the Cardinals answered with a 5-1 run that made the score 23-15. Menche and Chaney would record kills, while Ingle would get a solo block, but the RedHawks were unable to complete a comeback as they fell, 18-25.
Ingle had two kills to help Miami take a 7-5 lead early in set four. Ball State would eventually tie the score at 10 before another Ingle kill put the Red and White back in front. The Cardinals responded with a 9-5 run that put them up 19-16 as they seemed poised to put the match away. However Miami did not give up as a kill from Dodd, a block by Ingle and Dodd and a service ace from Kendall would tie the score at 19 and force Ball State to take timeout. The break did not seem to help as Riley followed with two straight kills to make it 21-19 in favor of the RedHawks. The Cardinals scored the next three to retake the advantage. The teams traded sideouts until it was tied at 23. Riley would put down a kill to give Miami set point, but Ball State fought it off. The Cardinals would then record a kill to create match point, but another kill from Riley would tie the score at 25. Riley followed with a service ace, and Ball State would make an attack error to give Miami a well-earned, 27-25, win.
Kills from Riley and Treadway, followed by a block from Riley and Ingle would put the RedHawks up, 3-0, in the fifth and deciding set. Ball State would quickly tie the score at three before a kill from Riley and a block by Treadway and Menche made it 5-3, Miami. A 5-1 run by the Cardinals put them up, 8-6. A kill from Chaney would get the Red and White’s offense moving again as they took the next six points in a row to take a 12-8 lead and control of the set. After trading sideouts it was 13-10, Miami. Chaney would put down a kill off of Riley’s assist to create match point. Ball State would fight it off once, but Riley would respond with her 20th kill of the match to give the ‘Hawks a 15-11 victory and a five-set win.
In addition to her 20 kills, Riley had 21 assists for a double-double. Kendall also had a double-double with a team leading 32 assists and 17 digs. Hardy also had 17 digs to tie for the team lead. Miami recorded 13 blocks for the match with Menche having a hand in eight of them (one solo and seven assisted).
Miami looks to keep the momentum going as it hits the road for a pair of matches next week. On Friday, the RedHawks travel to Ohio to take on the Bobcats at 7 p.m. They will then head to Kent State next Saturday for a 7 p.m. contest.
Bowling Green def. Toledo, 3-1
Bowling Green, Ohio – The Bowling Green volleyball team bounced back from its first conference loss of the season to defeat Toledo in front of 908 fans Saturday night 26-24, 20-25, 25-20, 25-10. After having their nine-match winning streak snapped Friday night, the Falcons remained in first place in the MAC with the victory.
Paige Penrod had 17 kills and Bowling Green hit at least .257 in each of the three sets it won. After having more attack errors than kills in the second set, the Falcons dominated over the final two frames and posted a .433 attack percentage in the final stanza. Danielle Tonyan and Lindsey Butterfield added 11 kills each in supporting roles. Leah Shaw finished with nine kills and just 16 swings, attacking at a .562 clip.
The Falcons edged out a victory in the first set as Toledo hung close and eventually struck with a 3-0 run to tie the score at 23-23 late. A Laura Avila kill was followed by a kill from Toledo’s Jordan Kielty to tie the score, but Penrod had her fifth kill of the opening set to put Bowling Green up 25-24. Penrod and Kaitlyn Skinner then combined on a block to give the Falcons the first-set win.
Bowling Green his -.034 in the second set and had attack errors on the final four points of the frame as Toledo evened up the match, but the Falcons followed with a renewed effort.
In the third, Penrod had four early kills as BGSU jumped out to a 10-5 lead. Toledo did get back within two points at 18-16 but the Falcons scored seven of the final 11 points and closed out the set on a Shaw kill.
After the fourth set was tied 3-3, Bowling Green used runs of nine and six consecutive points to bury the Rockets for the 25-10 win.
Cassie Berning had three aces to lead a rejuvenated service game for the Falcons. The team had five aces for the first time in four matches and held Toledo to only three aces. Ashley Dunn had a match-high 19 digs as BGSU led 52-45 in that category. Bowling Green also had 11.0 blocks, six from Leah Shaw, compared to only 7.0 for Toledo.
With the loss, Toledo falls to 8-15 overall and 2-8 in MAC play. Bowling Green improves to 14-8 overall and 9-1 in conference, remaining tied with Ohio at the top of the league standings. The Falcons will hit the road this weekend for matches that could determine the MAC regular season title. BGSU will play at Kent State Friday night at 7 p.m. and will play Ohio Saturday at 7 p.m.
kron def. Central Michigan, 3-1A
AKRON, Ohio – For the second straight night, the Akron volleyball team protected its home floor in dominating fashion, putting together a gutsy four set victory over defending conference tournament champion Central Michigan, 25-19, 12-25, 25-20, 26-24.
The match marked the first career win over CMU for head coach Ron Arenz, and was also the Zips' first victory over the Chippewas since the 2005 season.
Senior Morgan Kuhn was the spark the Zips needed to set the tone this time around, as she was virtually untouchable on both sides of the ball. The setter dumped five kills over without an error in 11 attempts for a .455 attack percentage, in addition to picking up 38 assists and 15 digs for her second double-double of the weekend. Kuhn also added a pair of service aces, a solo block and a block-assist to keep Akron's momentum at an all-time high.
UA was forced to adjust to Central's tight blocking game, and the result was a relatively balanced offensive performance. Although as a team the Zips were out-hit, Alex Cocklin had another field day from the outside, leading both teams with 16 kills – 11 of which came in the final two sets. Chelsea Harvey added eight and Alex Wiederholt stepped up with six kills of her own to diversify the Akron attack.
The first set has grown to become a crucial turning point for Akron this season. When the Zips hold on to win the opening stanza, they are 10-1 on the year, and after UA sprinted out of the gate with a 5-0 lead against the Chippewas it was almost foreshadowing good things to come. Akron's lead would grow by as many as 10 in that first set thanks to the team hitting percentage of .265.
The Zips' only lapse of the evening came in the second set when they struggled to find a way around CMU's block. Central posted eight block-assists and two solos to knock Akron's swinging tally into the negatives.
Akron came out of the break prepared to deliver payback and that is exactly what happened. Down 15-13, the Zips tacked on eight unanswered points to regain the advantage at 21-15. An ace from Jill Paluch and a kill from Harvey would bring Akron to set point. Central Michigan countered on the next play, but Cocklin was able to come through with the final score.
The fourth set was the most hotly contested period of the night with neither team holding a lead greater than four. Behind the power of Kuhn's serve, the Zips unleashed another 8-0 run midway through the set to go ahead17-15.
CMU fought back and UA's small lead dwindled away as the score tied at 20, 21 and 22. Akron had its look at two match points before the score tied again at 24, but after calling a timeout the Zips forced back-to-back CMU errors to seal the win.
Akron played like a team on a mission, and now with an even 5-5 record in the Mid-American Conference, that mission is to advance to the MAC Tournament at the end of the regular season.
Prior to Saturday's match against Central Michigan, Akron was No. 7 overall in the conference and would have qualified for the league tournament if it started tomorrow. The top eight teams in the conference overall advance to the tournament, which is scheduled for Nov. 16-18 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Next up on Akron's schedule is its last split weekend of the year. The Zips will take on travel partner Buffalo on the road Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. before coming back home to host their final West Division opponent Toledo on Saturday, Oct. 27 at 5 p.m.
Ohio def. Western Michigan, 3-0
ATHENS, Ohio - In a battle of division leaders, Ohio swept Western Michigan on Saturday night in three sets, 25-19, 25-18, 25-23. The Bobcats stayed atop the MAC standings, improving to 14-8 overall, 9-1 in the league.
"We had to earn every point against team this evening, they were not going to give us any," Head Coach Ryan Theis said. "We executed pretty well and when we do that, our offense is tough to beat."
Chelsea Bilger was strong for the 'Cats with 16 kills, hitting .577 in the process. Kelly Lamberti tacked on another double-double with 14 points, hitting .343, and accumulating 16 digs. Serena Warner and Faith Robins finished with eight kills apiece and both hit over .400 for the match.
Abby Gilleland's 42 assists paced the Ohio attack and Meredith Ashy joined Lamberti in double figures with 12 digs. Warner led the Green and White once more with four blocks. As a team, Ohio hit .359 and notched 5.0 team blocks.
"After our win last night, we wanted to come out and stay aggressive," Bilger added. "We came into the game feeling pretty good about the way we've been playing. I think that carried over to the court. Since we felt good, we played good. Simple as that."
Four-straight kills in the first set gave Ohio a 7-4 lead, one that it would not relinquish. WMU pulled even at 14-14 but the ‘Cats scored three in a row to retake the lead behind Robins, Lexie Hartnett and Mollie Geske. Ohio increased the lead to 19-15 before WMU burned a timeout.
Bilger, Robins and Lamberti linked together successive kills to close the set in favor of the Ohio, 25-19. Lamberti had an astounding eight kills on 11 attacks as the Bobcats tallied 22 kills and hit .500 as a team during the frame.
The Green and White scored seven of the first 10 points in the second set and controlled the tempo from that point forward. The closest the Broncos would get was three points at 15-12, but Ohio slowly pulled away and won the set, 25-18.
Once again, the Bobcats’ offensive attack was too strong for the visitors. Ohio hit .366 as the sophomore duo of Lamberti and Bilger picked up 11 kills on 21 attacks en route to a 2-0 lead in the set.
Ohio jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the third set and forced WMU to use a quick timeout. Despite that fact, the Broncos scored nine of 12 and eventually took a lead, 13-12. The Bobcats would remain in striking distance, trailing by only two in the late stage of the set, 21-19.
Kills by Bilger and Lamberti tied the score 21-21 as the Broncos took their second timeout. Trailing 23-22, Warner and Robins blocked an attack attempt to tie the score. Consecutive attack errors by the Broncos ended the match in favor of Ohio, 25-23. Warner, Robins and Bilger combined for 12 of the team’s 13 kills in the final game.
Ohio concludes its MAC home schedule next weekend with Dig Pink Night against Miami on Friday and Senior Night against Bowling Green on Saturday evening.
Kent State def. Northern Illinois, 3-1
KENT, Ohio — The Kent State volleyball put together one of its best efforts of the season in a 3-1 Homecoming victory over Northern Illinois (27-25, 23-25, 25-19, 25-17), Saturday (Oct. 20) night at the M.A.C. Center.
The Golden Flashes (6-16, 3-7) will look to build off the victory as they head down the final stretch of the season battling for a bid to the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
"We came out strong tonight and were able to maintain it for the four sets," stated first-year head coach Don Gromala. "We played every point with the same level of intensity from 0-0 until we finished off game four."
While Kent State had a solid night on offense, it was the defense that led the way to victory. The Flashes posted a season-high 16 blocks as five players recorded multiple blocks on the night. Freshman middle blocker Haley Schneider (Farmington Hills, Mich.) led the way with seven kills while senior middle blocker Kathy Krupa (Burbank, Ill.) and sophomore middle blocker Liz Reikow (Holland, Mich.) added six and five blocks, respectively.
"The offensive system that they run kinds of gives us the opportunity to get our hands on shots, said Gromala. "We started off and didn't have too many blocks early. Because they run a faster offense, we needed to be faster on our blocks. I think we made that adjustment towards the end of getting our blocks set faster and getting across the net quicker, which gave us those blocks that we weren't getting earlier in the match."
The Flashes recorded more digs than their opponent (62-58) for just the second time in MAC play. Junior defensive specialist/libero Hannah Herc (Eden, N.Y.) tallied a team-high 18 digs while junior setter Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) had 10 digs. Freshman defensive specialist Sarah Mills (Dover, Ohio) and had a career-high eight digs off the bench.
For the second night in a row, sophomore outside hitter Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola (Ellicott City, Md.) and freshman Morgan Semmelhack (Elmhurst, Ill.) led the attack for the Flashes. Aderemi-Ibitola had a team-high 14 kills and Semmelhack had 12 kills. Sophomore Jenny Buczek (Orland Park, Ill.) recorded a team-high 22 assists while Nowak had 20 assists.
Kent State got off to a slow start, falling behind 8-2 in the first set before scoring three straight points to get within three. The Huskies were able to keep their distance, however, and the Flashes had their backs against the wall facing a 23-19 deficit. Five straight points, capped by an ace from Krupa had the Flashes serving for the set. The Huskies got a kill to even the score, but a bad set on the ensuing point had the Flashes serving for set point again. The Huskies evened the score at 25-25 on another kill, but Aderemi-Ibitola put the Flashes back ahead with a kill of her own. Serving for set point for a third time, Nowak took advantage of the Huskies defense with a quick kill off a dig by Herc to take the set.
The Flashes hit a match-low .135 in the second set and came up just short in a 25-23 loss. After leading most of the set, the Huskies took their first lead at 16-15 and would not trail the rest of the way. Facing a 24-21 deficit, the Flashes staved off set point twice before the Huskies got a kill to even the match heading into the 10-minute intermission.
A quick start to the third set allowed Kent State to play with a comfortable lead the rest of the way. The Flashes recorded three blocks and received three aces from Mills to take a 9-1 lead, forcing the Huskies to use a pair of timeouts in the process. Each time the Huskies attempted a comeback, the Flashes responded with a big play. The lead was trimmed to two at 19-17, but Kent State got four straight points to go up 23-17. A kill by Aderemi-Ibitola finally ended the set at 25-19.
Another strong start gave the Flashes a 7-2 lead to open the fourth set. They would not allow any runs by Northern Illinois this time as the lead would grow to as much as 11 points at 22-11. A 4-0 spurt by the Huskies was ended by a Buczek kill, and an ace by Nowak on the next point brought Kent State within a point of victory. Krupa would deliver the final blow three plays later with a kill off a set from Nowak.
Northern Illinois entered the weekend tied for the lead in the MAC West, but dropped both of its matches as they lost to Ohio by the same 3-1 score Friday night. MacKenzie Roddy and Meghan Romo paced the Huskies with 14 kills each. Alexis Gonzales recorded a match-high 46 assists and Amber Walker posted 22 digs.
Kent State continues it five-match homestand when it hosts Bowling Green next Friday (Oct. 26) at 7 p.m.