Final Night of the Regular Volleyball Season Results

Updated 11/10/2012


Saturday's Volleyball Results
Northern Illinois 3, Bowling Green 1
Ohio 3, Akron 1
Western Michigan 3, Miami 0
Central Michigan 3, Ball State 2
Eastern Michigan 3, Toledo 2
Buffalo 3, Kent State 1
Recaps courtesy of home MAC Sports Information Departments
Northern Illinois 3, Bowling Green 1
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois volleyball team ended the Mid-American Conference regular season on a high note by taking down Bowling Green, the team in the MAC with the second most league wins, in four sets on Senior Night at Victor E. Court Saturday night. The Huskies (19-13, 10-6 MAC) used strong serving - 9-3 aces edge - to beat the Falcons (18-10, 13-3 MAC) 25-23, 18-25, 25-19, 25-18 for the fourth straight time and give NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden his fourth season with 10 or more MAC wins.
"Tonight's a regular season celebration, first and foremost, for the seniors," said Gooden. "They've gone through four years of all different things - lows and highs. They did a good job of coming together tonight. Our non-seniors played really hard for the seniors, which shows how much respect they have for the seniors."
The Huskies used a 6-2 run in the first set to break a 13-13 tie to take control. Senior Mary Kurisch (La Crosse, Wis./West Salem) started it with a kill and then fellow senior Meghan Romo (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) had two straight stuff blocks. Later in the set, BG made it tight with back-to-back kills from Lindsey Butterfield, making it a 24-23 NIU lead. But Kurisch answered emphatically on a quick to end the set.
Tied again at 13 in the second set, it was Bowling Green that made a push with a 12-5 run to knot the match at the break.
In the important swing set, NIU came out blazing as senior Amber Walker (Juneau, Alaska/Juneau Douglas/Western Oregon) fired two aces with a Kurisch kill sandwiched in between. The Huskies opened the set with a 10-5 run. NIU kept scoring at will to regain the match lead as BG never recovered in the frame and only got as close as two points away from NIU the rest of the way.
In the final set, NIU again opened an early lead by going up 12-8 after an ace by freshman Alexis Gonzalez (Fresno, Calif./Bullard) and another stuff block by Romo. The Falcons fought back to tie it at 13, but the Huskies responded with a 12-5 spurt to end the match. Roddy began it with a kill, then two BG attack errors and a Kurisch ace got the Huskies rolling and they never looked back.
Kurisch led NIU with 15 kills and hit a solid .387. Roddy and Sarah Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) netted 12 kills each. Romo was the fourth in double figure kills with 11, and added a career-high-tying five blocks. Gonzalez dished out 48 assists and had two aces.
In the back row, Walker totaled a match-high 18 digs and racked up a career best five aces.
"It was good for us to defend our home against one of the best teams in our conference," Gooden said. "Bowling Green is a great team. They are physical, they are confident and play really well and are really well-coached. It was great for us to get a signature win at home to get ready for the MAC Tournament."
Next up for NIU is the MAC Tournament in Geneva, Ohio at SPIRE Institute as the No. 4-seeded Huskies take on No. 5 seed Akron in the first round at 10 AM CT on Friday, Nov. 16.
Ohio 3, Akron 1
AKRON, Ohio – Akron battled the top team in the Mid-American Conference for three and a half sets but the Zips' train would run out steam in a 3-1 loss to league-leading Ohio at Rhodes Arena Saturday evening. 
Despite the outcome of the match, UA (16-12, 9-7 MAC) ended the regular season on a high note, compiling the best conference and overall record Akron volleyball has seen in nine years and advancing to the MAC Tournament.
The match was also the last home contest for Akron's five seniors: Tina Dimitrijevs, Chelsea Harvey, Janine Lawler, Paiton Twitty and Morgan Kuhn.
Akron had no issues stepping up to the challenge of hosting an Ohio team that has been red-hot in the MAC this season as the Zips came out swinging right away.
Dimitrijevs supplied a team-high 17 kills with only a single error in 28 attempts to lead both teams with a .571 attack percentage. Kuhn flirted with a triple-double and came as close as a setter can get, finding the floor with a career-high eight kills and adding nine digs and 38 assists for Akron. 
Alex Cocklin, Alex Wiederholt and Harvey all had productive nights on the offensive end as well, posting seven kills apiece. 
Defensively, Jill Paluch tallied 13 digs and Harvey picked up 12.
UA had some difficulty finding an answer for powerhouse Kelly Lamberti on the outside, who led the Bobcats with 21 kills. 
Ohio jumped out to an early lead to open the match, and maintained a three to four point cushion for most of the ride in the first set. The Bobcats were the first to hit 20 points at the 20-13 mark, but the Zips were quick to answer the call. 
Forcing Ohio to commit several errors, Akron scored four in a row and seven of the next 10 points to cut the difference to two at 23-21. OU scored on the next play to bring it to set point but Akron deferred with a kill from Harvey. Lamberti rebounded for the Bobcats on the second try to sneak away with a first set win
Akron came back in the second set with a vengeance, using six unanswered points to take a 6-3 lead and threaten Ohio out of the gate. The Bobcats retaliated with a 6-0 run of their own to go ahead 10-7 and force Akron to counter, which it did. 
The Zips weathered the storm and eventually tied the game at 16-all on a timely kill from Kuhn. The score would tie again at 17, 18 and 19 before Akron could pull away, doing so on a kill from Dimitrijevs and three more Ohio errors. UA would need two tries at set point as well but Dimitrijevs made sure to end it there, throwing down a kill to even the match at 1-1. 
UA stayed in hot pursuit of Ohio in the third set but could not quite catch up. Down four at 24-20, Wiederholt came through with a kill to rattle OU enough to call a timeout. It was not enough to ice the Bobcats though, as they came back and scored on the next play to pick up set three. 
Back and forth play opened the fourth set until six straight points from Ohio midway through the period put the Zips at a distance that could not be erased. Unforced errors on Akron's side of the net did not allow a fifth set and helped the Bobcats take the match. 
By splitting their last two matches on the schedule, the Zips have unofficially locked up the fifth seed in the MAC Tournament, pending the final results from around the league on Saturday. Should the fifth seed belong to Akron, it would face off against the No. 4 seed in the opening match of the tournament at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 16 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva. 
Western Michigan 3, Miami 0
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan volleyball team clinched its program-record eighth consecutive 20-win season, and the Broncos defeated the Miami RedHawks 3-0 (25-12, 25-18, 25-21) in their Mid-American Conference finale at University Arena. With the win, the Broncos improve to 20-9 on the season, and finish their MAC schedule with a 13-3 record.
The win represented the sixth in a row and the 20th of the season for the Broncos, extending their program record of consecutive seasons with 20 or more victories. The Broncos have never won fewer than 20 matches in a season under head coach Colleen Munson.
Jessica Brown paced the Broncos offensively with 12 kills on 22 swings, recording just three errors for a .409 hitting percentage. Lena Oliver led the back row defense for the Broncos, recording a match-high 19 digs and helping the Broncos to a 49-33 advantage in digs in the match. The Broncos held the RedHawks to just a .067 hitting percentage.
The Broncos used a dominant first game to set the tone for the rest of the match, making a big run midway through to put the RedHawks on their heels. With the set tied at 10-10, Amy Kendall's service error gave the Broncos the opening they needed; Carlee Berland recorded a kill on the next point, and by the time Brown notched her third kill of the set on the ensuing point, the damage had been done. WMU closed the set on a 15-2 run, building up to a double-digit lead when Berland and Richelle Ranney combined for a block to make it 21-11, and Brown helped the Broncos double-up Miami's score with a kill to make it 24-12. Ranney provided the icing on the cake with a kill to take the set 25-12.
Miami held an 8-6 lead early in the second set, but the Broncos quickly quelled any momentum the RedHawks had in getting back on top. Norris tied the score at 8-8 with a tip kill, and went on to record an ace two points later to give the Broncos an 11-8 advantage. Stephenee Yancy gave the Broncos a five-point advantage with a kill, making it 15-10 and forcing the RedHawks into a timeout, and Brown later gave the Broncos a six-point advantage with a kill to make it 21-15. Ranney and Ali Gossen combined for a block on the next point, and the Broncos ultimately took the set 25-18 when Madison Dodd recorded an attack error.
The third set was the closest of the evening, but WMU was able to pull it out with a late surge. The teams traded points well into the third game, with the score tied at 20-20 after Terin Norris recorded a setting error. Miami's Sarah Chaney recorded attack errors on consecutive points to give the Broncos a 22-20 lead, and Brown eventually finished things off with a kill to make it 25-21.
Central Michigan 3, Ball State 2
MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan volleyball team secured the No. 6 seed in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament, winning a back-and-forth five-set match over Ball State Saturday night inside McGuirk Arena.
The seniors proved to be the heroes in their final home game of their careers as Lindsey Dulude finished the night with a season-high 20 kills and 20 digs, Val DeWeerd set a new career high with 17 kills and Jocelyn VerVelde came off the bench to slam home 11 kills over the final three sets for a new season high.
In addition to the tremendous play of the seniors, junior Kelly Maxwell nearly tied the CMU record for assists in a five-match set, coming up just one short as she dished out a career-high 79 helpers. Sophomore Kaitlyn McIntyre also continued her stellar play, putting home a match-best 26 kills, an ace and two blocks for 28.5 points on the night.
The Chippewas (15-12, 9-7 MAC) took sets two, 25-23, three, 29-27, and five, 17-15 to win the match, while the Cardinals (14-15, 7-9 MAC) claimed sets one, 31-29, and three, 29-27, as four of the five sets took extra points to win.
The Maroon and Gold fell behind in the decisive fifth set, 10-7, but used kills from VerVelde and Dulude and a pair of errors on the Cardinals to go on a 4-0 run and take the lead, 11-10. After a Ball State timeout, VerVelde recorded her 10th kill of the night to make it a 5-0 run and extend the lead to 12-10. Another VerVelde kill gave the Chippewas set point, 14-12, but the Cardinals batted back to tie the set and after fending off yet another match point by the Chippewas, DeWeerd and Dulude put away back-to-back kills to seal the victory.
After dropping set one, 31-29, the Chippewas bounced back with the only regulation win of the evening in set two, 25-23. CMU again found itself down early as Ball State built a six-point lead, 10-4, that was capped on a kill from Lisa Scott. After junior Danielle Gotham gave the Chippewas their first lead of the set, 15-14, the two teams battled back and forth as neither was able to build more than a one-point lead the rest of the way until CMU took advantage of an attacking error on Kelly Hopkins and followed it with a kill from Dulude to claim the lead, 24-22.
Ball State called a timeout and a McIntyre serve went long pulling the Cardinals within one, 24-23, but DeWeerd once again came up in the clutch, putting away a kill from Maxwell to send the teams into the locker room tied at a set apiece.
The Chippewas took a 2-1 match lead with a 29-27 victory in set three behind a combined 14 kills from its seniors Dulude, DeWeerd and VerVelde. Trailing by just one, 17-16, VerVelde came up with a kill to tie the match and again tied the match at 19 before a error on the Cardinals and an ace from Dulude gave CMU a lead, 21-19, and forced Ball State into a timeout.
Again neither team was able to claim more than a one-point advantage down the stretch and Ball State held the lead as late as 26-25 on a kill from Mindy Marx, but Dulude scored three of the Chippewas' final four points for the set win.
Four players finished with double-digit dig efforts on the night as junior Jenna Coates tied Dulude with 20 for a team-high. Maxwell pitched in with 12 digs and true freshman Kristen Reenders came up with a career-high 10 digs in the winning effort.
Senior Samantha Brawley was also key in the victory, finishing the night with six digs and a perfect serve-receive percentage in the backcourt.
With the victory the Chippewas secured the No. 6 seed in next week's MAC Tournament, the same seed they won the 2011 MAC Tournament with a year ago. The Chippewas will face off versus No. 3 seed and MAC West champion rival Western Michigan in the first round. The two teams split their two meetings this season with each team winning the home match.
A full release on the 2012 MAC Tournament at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio will be available on Sunday afternoon. 
Eastern Michigan 3, Toledo 2
YPSILANTI, Mich. ( – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team won its final match of the 2012 regular season on Senior Night in the Convocation Center Saturday, Nov. 10. The Eagles needed five sets to defeat the University of Toledo (29-27, 23-25, 17-25, 25-21, 15-11).
The Green and White advanced to 18-14 on the season and 8-8 in Mid-American Conference play, while Toledo fell to 8-21 and 2-14 in conference play.
Senior outside hitter, Rachel Iaquaniello (Plymouth, Mich.-Dearborn Divine Child) tied a career-high 33 kills, and also tied the best kill mark in Convocation Center history. Kristen Baker (Mentor, Ohio-Mentor) notched 11 kills, while Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) posted 15 of her own. Alyssa Davis (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Plainwell) picked up 58 assists and Sierra Reed (Parker City, Ind.-Wapahani) led the Eagles with 24 digs.
Eastern won the opening frame, 29-27, despite Toledo being able to hit .262 (19-8-42) in the set. As a team, the Eagles hit .324 (16-4-37) and Iaquaniello led with eight kills in the frame. Davis picked up 12 assists in the opening frame.
Toledo came back to win the second frame, 23-25. The Rockets notched a .280 attack percentage (16-2-50) in the set and EMU hit just. 237 (20-6-59). Iaquaniello added eight more kills to her total, while Crawshaw and Roback each added four in the frame. Davis was able to notch 16 assists, while Reed picked up eight digs.
The Rockets took a 2-1 lead on EMU when they took the third frame, 25-17. UT hit .351 (18-5-37) in the frame, while Eastern managed just a .139 attack percentage (8-3-36).
Eastern evened up the score at two sets apiece in the fourth, 25-21. The Eagles held Toledo to just a .091 attack percentage (11-7-44), while posting a .205 hitting percentage (16-7-44) in the set. Iaquaniello posted nine kills in the frame, while Roback added four, going 4-for-5 in attacks. Reed picked up nine more digs, while Davis added 12 assists to her total.
The Eagles cruised to a fifth set victory, 15-11. Iaquaniello picked up her final five kills of the night, while the Green and White hit .647 (12-1-17) overall.
After concluding their 2012 regular season campaign, the Eagles move on to the 2012 Mid-American Conference Volleyball Tournament at the SPIRE Institute, Nov. 16-18, in Geneva, Ohio. The Green and White will wait to see whom it faces following the outcome of the remaining conference matches this weekend. 
Buffalo 3, Kent State 1
BUFFALO, NY - It was a bittersweet victory for the University at Buffalo volleyball team tonight as they defeated the visiting Kent State Golden Flashes, 3-1, to end the season.  Tonight's match was the final match for UB's two assistant coaches Jenni Horvath and Andreza Santos.
The Bulls took the contest, 25-17, 24-26, 25-22, 25-18 as they outhit Kent State, .235 to .165.  The Bulls hit better than .300 in two of the four sets. UB got out to a 21-13 lead in the opening set, using a 12-4 run midway through the set.  The Bulls went on to win the set 25-17.
The Bulls were unable to hold a late lead in the second set as they had set point at 24-23, however, the Golden Flashes scored three straight points to take the set.  In the third set, UB was able to hold on to a late lead as they got out to an 18-13 advantage.  Kent State came back to tie the set up 22-22, but UB scored the final three points of the set, capped off on a kill from junior setter Dani Reinert.
In the fourth set, the Bulls stormed out to a 7-2 lead and never looked back, taking a six-point lead at 20-14, following a block from Akeila Lain and Dani Reinert.  The Bulls would go on to lead by as many as seven, their margin of victory in the fourth set.  Like so many other points in the contest, the final point was on a block from freshman Tahleia Bishop and junior Carissa McKenna.
"I am so proud of the way this team fought back tonight after a disappointing loss last night," said head coach Todd Kress.  "Once we knew we were not going to make the playoffs, we made it a mission to start making ourselves better for 2013 and I hope we can grow from tonight's victory and bring it into the offseason with us."
Junior Dana Musil led the way with 13 kills, while Liz Scott finished with 11 kills.  McKenna and freshman Megan Lipski each finished with seven kills.  Reinert had another big night offensively as she recorded 48 assists in the win, as well as three kills.
Defensively, junior Kelly Svoboda had 22 digs, her sixth 20-dig performance in the last seven matches.  Svoboda also had three of UB's 11 service aces on the night.  Musil, who finished with 13 digs, also had three.
As a team, UB finished with 11.0 total blocks, led by seven from Mckenna.  Lain, who led the team in blocking all season, finished with five and Reinert, Bishop and Musil each had two.
The Bulls finished the 2012 campaign with a 10-18 record and a 4-12 mark in conference play.  It was the fourth straight year that Buffalo has reached double figures in wins, a feat that had not been accomplished since 1996-99.