It was a balanced offensive attack for the RedHawks that saw four different players finish with double-digit kills. Jenny Ingle led the way with 11 kills, while Meg Riley, Chelsea Visk and, in her final match, senior Lisa Treadway each contributed 10.
Each senior had a strong performance to conclude their RedHawk career. Treadway had only one attack error on 18 attempts to finish with a hitting percentage of .500. She just missed a double-double with nine digs. Amy Kendall recorded 22 assists and six digs, while Christina Menche had seven kills and four blocks.
Tied at seven in set one, a 5-1 run by Cincinnati put it in front, 12-8. The Bearcats maintained that advantage throughout the middle of the set and found themselves up 21-18 before Miami began to make its run. A UC attack error followed by a block from Ingle and Menche cut the deficit to one at 20-21. After the Bearcats put down a kill, a kill from Ingle, a UC attack error and a solo block by Sarah Chaney put the RedHawks in front, 23-22. Cincinnati would score the next two to create set point, but a service error would tie the score at 24. The Bearcats would then record back-to-back kills to earn a 26-24 win.
Three kills from Ingle helped lead Miami to a 6-3 advantage to begin set two. Cincinnati would eventually tie the score at eight before the ‘Hawks went on a dominating 14-4 run to take control of the set at 22-12. During the run Visk recorded three straight service aces, while Ingle had two kills and two blocks. The Bearcats would close to within six at 18-24 on a 6-2 run of their own, but Treadway would give Miami a 25-18 win on a kill off of Kendall’s assist.
Neither team could establish a lead of more than two points for the first 33 points of set three. Ingle and Visk each had a pair of kills during that period, but Miami could not pull away. In front 17-16, a kill from Treadway and a Cincinnati attack error would give the RedHawks their first three-point lead at 19-16. UC would answer with a 5-3 run to cut the deficit down to one at 21-22 and force a Miami timeout. Out of the break Visk put down a kill and Kendall had a service ace to create set point. Cincinnati fought it off once, but Visk responded with another kill off of Kendall’s assist to allow the ‘Hawks to win, 25-22.
Tied at four in set four, a block by Ingle and Menche sparked a 4-0 run that gave Miami an 8-4 advantage. The Bearcats responded with a 7-2 run of their own to take an 11-10 lead. The advantage went back-and-forth a couple of times until it was tied at 15. From there three kills by Chaney and one from Menche would make it 19-15 in favor of the Red and White. Cincinnati had one last run in it as it was able to close to within one at 20-21. Back-to-back kills from Visk and Treadway made it 23-20. The Bearcats answered with a kill, but Riley finished off the 25-21 win with a kill and a service ace.
As a team, the RedHawks hit .338 for the match, while holding UC to a .226 hitting percentage. Riley had a double-double, adding 27 assists to her 10 kills. She just missed a triple-double, finishing with eight digs. She hit .455 for the match. Ingle finished with a .435 hitting percentage and five blocks. Miami outblocked the Bearcats, 9-3, for the match. Madison Hardy led the ‘Hawks with 11 digs.
Central Michigan 3, USF 0
TAMPA, Fla. - Playing in the final game of their Central Michigan careers, seniors Lindsey Dulude, Val DeWeerd and Jocelyn VerVelde powered the Chippewas past South Florida in straight sets, 25-23, 25-16, 25-20.
The Chippewas (16-14) accomplished a feat that most teams in the country do not have the opportunity to do by winning their final match of the season. Dulude, DeWeerd and VerVelde each finished the night with 12, 11 and 10 kills to pace the Maroon and Gold.
With the victory, the Chippewas finished the season above .500 for the sixth time in nine seasons under head coach Erik Olson.
The senior trio of attackers combined for 14 kills in the first set and was aided by an additional four from sophomore Kaitlyn McIntyre as the Chippewas claimed set one, 25-23. After falling behind by as much as three midway through the set, 14-11, CMU went on a went on an 8-3 run capped on a kill by Dulude to claim a 19-17 advantage and force a timeout by the Bulls (17-15). After back-to-back points by USF tied things back up, DeWeerd put away a kill to give the Chippewas the lead back, 20-19, and VerVelde recorded a pair of kills down the stretch to secure the set.
Set two was all CMU as the Chippewas turned a 7-7 tie into a 17-9 advantage with a 10-2 run midway through. Junior Jenna Coates served six-straight points, with a pair of aces, for the Chippewas and junior Kelly Maxwell recorded CMU's third ace of the run, forcing USF to burn both of its timeouts. The Bulls were unable to get closer than within seven the rest of the set and sophomore Hallie Enderle secured the 25-16 victory with a kill, sending CMU to the break with a 2-0 lead.
Five players each recorded three kills apiece in the final set as the senior class passed the torch in a sense to Enderle and McIntyre. A pair of runs loomed key for the Chippewas to capture the sweep as they outscored the Bulls 5-2 midway through to grab a 20-17 lead. After USF pulled within one, 21-20, the Chippewas scored the final four point, including a pair of kills by DeWeerd and an ace from McIntyre.
The Chippewas finished the night with a .361 hitting percentage, recording 47 kills on 97 attacks with just 12 errors. Maxwell guided the offense with 37 assists, while a balanced defense effort saw four players record at least seven digs.
Marquette 3, Northern Illinois 1
MILWAUKEE - The Northern Illinois volleyball team closed its 2012 season with a 3-1 loss at Marquette on Saturday evening at the Al McGuire Center as the Golden Eagles (27-6) possessed 52-46 kills, .305-.176 hitting, 70-60 digs and 10-4 blocks advantages over the Huskies (21-15) for a 28-26, 25-15, 15-25, 25-12 win.
"Tonight was a match of runs," said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. "They had some positive runs in the beginning of every set but the third. We came up a little short in the first set - had two chances to end it. The third set was good - we made a couple of changes and served really well. They started off well against us in the fourth and we started slow and couldn't' get ourselves back in it."
After trailing 9-2 in the first set, the Huskies outscored Marquette 20-14 to pull within a point, 23-22, after an MU serve error. NIU followed with kills from Emily Paschke (Winfield, Ill./West Chicago Community) and Mary Kurisch (La Crosse, Wis./West Salem) to set up a chance at set point. But after the teams exchanged kills, a Huskie blocking error and attack error flipped the table. Following an MU service error, the Golden Eagles closed out the set with two straight kills.
The Huskies fell behind early again in the second set, but didn't recover like they did in the opening frame. The Golden Eagles jumped out to a 10-3 lead. A few moments later, back-to-back kills by Meghan Romo (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso) brought NIU within four points, 14-10. However, NIU did not get any close as MU ended the set with an 11-5 run.
With their backs against the wall on the road, the Huskies responded well out of the locker room with a 10-1 spurt to start the third set. The run was fueled by solid serving from Kayla Zeno (Lake Elmo, Minn/Stillwater Area), who served eight times and racked up three aces. Marquette never recovered in the set as NIU hit .379 and held MU to .033.
Unfortunately, NIU's momentum did not carry over into the fourth as Marquette once again cruised out to an early 10-4 lead. The Huskies struggled to fight back as the Golden Eagles outhit NIU .345 to -.081 and held a 5-0 blocking edge in the set.
Romo led all attackers in the match with 17 kills and hit a solid .316. MacKenzie Roddy (San Bernardino, Calif./Cajon) also reached double digits with 11 kills and added 11 digs. Amber Walker (Juneau, Alaska/Juneau Douglas/Western Oregon) led the back row with 18 digs.
The match for NIU puts an end to a stellar season. Despite massive losses - two All-Americans and a three-time All-MAC selection - heading into the 2012 campaign and being picked by the Mid-American Conference coaches to finish fourth in the West Division, the Huskies rallied together all year and defied the odds and Gooden was chosen as MAC Coach of the Year for the second straight seaason. Not only did they finish second in the West in the regular season, they also reached their third straight MAC Tournament championship match. Along the way, Gooden picked up his 200th career win and guided NIU to its third straight season with 20 or more wins and fifth overall. He also had his fourth season with 10 or more MAC wins and third straight. Additionally, the Huskies had their fifth consecutive year with multiple All-MAC selections.
"Towards the end of the season, our team really understood that they could play with some of the better teams in the country," Gooden said. "We've done some really good things. Now, we need to understand that we are capable of playing at that level and do that with this next group next year.
"I definitely want to thank the seniors - Meghan Romo, Amber Walker, Mary Kurisch, Sue Hayes and Sam Grams -- for a great year of teamwork and selflessness. It was a fun run."
NIU returns eight players for the 2013 season that accounted for over 48 percent of this season's digs 59 percent of the aces, 54 percent of the kills, 52 percent of the blocks and 93 percent of the assists.
Xavier 3, Ball State 2
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State (14-17) women's volleyball team ended the 2012 season with a 3-2 (23-25, 27-29, 25-23, 25-22, 15-10) loss to Xavier (21-11) Saturday night in non-conference action at Worthen Arena.
"Xavier played some great defense when the match was on the line," said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. "We had them down late in set three, and they just toughened up like great teams do. It would have been great to go out with a win tonight against a quality opponent, unfortunately we just fell a little short. Both teams played hard, Xavier's defense just turned out to be a little better than ours in the end."
In the last match of her collegiate career, senior middle hitter Lisa Scott (McLean, Va./Langley/Maryland) led the Ball State attack with 14 kills and a .429 (14-2-28) hitting mark. She also racked up a match-best six total blocks.
Senior outside hitter Kara Bates (Bradley, Ill./Bradley Bourbonnais Community/Maryland) added 12 kills in her final collegiate match, along with five digs.
Also closing out their Ball State careers were seniors Lauren Schlaker (Oswego, Ill. /Oswego East) and Claire Farkas (Granger, Ind./Marian). Schlaker tied a season-high with seven digs, while Farkas tallied one.
In addition to the double-digit kill totals from Scott and Bates, freshman outside hitter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) finished the match with 13 kills, while junior opposite attacker Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) added 10. Spadafora also earned 13 digs to post her fourth double-double of the season as an emergency outside hitter due to BSU's injury depleted front line.
Junior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) finished the match with her 16th double-double of the season, handing out 55 assists and scooping up 14 digs, while also scoring five total blocks and three kills.
Junior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) led the Cardinals with 26 digs, while adding a career-best four service aces. With her 26 digs, she upped her career total to 1,386 leaving her 194 digs shy of the fourth slot in program history.
Freshman defensive specialist Kati Vasalakis (Yorktown, Ind./Yorktown) tied her career-high with 12 digs, while redshirt freshman middle hitter Kelly Hopkins (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) matched her career-best with seven kills.
Kelsey Dunaway paced a balanced Xavier attack with 16 kills, while Stephanie Vorherr earned a match-best 33 digs.
As a team, the Cardinals finished the night with a .153 (60-31-189) hitting mark, compared to a .217 (70-27-198) rate of success for the Musketeers. BSU held a 91-84 edge in team digs, while Xavier logged a 13.0-12.0 advantage in total blocks.
Trailing 20-14 in the opening set, the Cardinals were able to capitalize on kills from Scott and Hopkins, as well as three Xavier hitting errors and a block to pull within one at 21-20. A solo block from Hopkins would then even the score at 21, while two more kills from the redshirt freshman helped BSU reach set-point at 24-23. Spadafora followed with a solo stuff of her own to give BSU the 25-23 opening frame win.
Ball State found itself down 18-15 in the second set, only to battle back and take a 19-18 lead on four straight kills. Two more Xavier miscues helped BSU pull ahead 23-21, only to see the guests rally back and reach set point at 24-23. A kill from Marx knotted up the score at 24, and the teams battled to a 27-27 stalemate with Xavier having three more attempts to win the set.
However, a pivotal attacking error by Xavier moved the score to 28-27 in favor of the home squad, while a block from Seidel and Scott gave BSU a 29-27 win and a 2-0 lead heading into the 10-minute intermission.
Ball State looked poised to end the match in three, holding a 21-18 lead in the third frame, but Xavier answered with a five-kill run pulling ahead 23-21. The Musketeers would reach set point at 24-22, before the teams traded service errors to end the set at 25-23.
Xavier charged out to a 20-15 advantage in the fourth frame, only to have Scott post two kills and a pair of block assists to help rally BSU within one at 21-20. Unfortunately, BSU could not get over the hump as a pair of kills from Dunaway helped end the frame at 25-22 in favor of the guests.
The Cardinals had the early momentum in the fifth set, as a XU service error and kills from Spadafora and Scott gave BSU a 3-1 edge. The lead was short-lived however, a Xavier answered with a 9-4 run to pull ahead 10-7. Ball State used a kill from Spadafora and back-to-back service aces from Fredrich to tie the score at 10, but Xavier rattled off the final five points to win the set 15-10 and the match 3-2.