Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Ball State 3, IPFW 2
Northern Illinois 3, W. Illinois 2
Oregon St. 3, Eastern Michigan 2
MUNCIE, Ind. - After dominating the opening set, the Ball State women’s volleyball team rallied from down 2-1 for a thrilling 3-2 (25-7, 25-27, 26-28, 25-20, 15-9) victory over in-state rival IPFW Wednesday evening at Worthen Arena.
“It was a great win because it looked like it wasn’t going to happen,” said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. “The first game came so easy and often times in volleyball when you win the first game, you start feeling really good. We gave IPFW a real wake-up call and they came to play the rest of the match.”
Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Alex Fuelling (Decatur, Ill./Bellmont/Morehead State) led all players with a career-high 24 kills and added 15 digs for her third double-double of the season. She also tallied a .333 (24-7-51) hitting mark and added an ace and a block assist.
In an opening set, which saw the Cardinals post a 25-7 victory, senior middle Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) turned in a dominating performance by racking up seven kills and hitting for a .750 (7-1-8) rate of success. Marx would go on to finish the match with a career-high 15 kills and a match-high tying six total blocks.
Redshirt sophomore opposite Kelly Hopkins (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) also turned in one of the best performances of her career, blasting a personal-best 11 kills to go along with three block assists.
In the backcourt, senior outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) would lead all players with 18 digs, while senior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) chipped in 13. Baker also tagged eight kills and added an ace in the win.
Senior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and sophomore setter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) combined to set the Ball State offense to a .254 (75-31-173) hitting mark with 30 and 31 assists, respectively. Each would also collect a pair of blocks, while Seidel added five kills and Spadafora posted three.
Overall, the Ball State defense limited the IPFW attack to just 44 kills in the match, including a -.080 (2-4-25) hitting mark in the opening frame. Emily Spencer paced the Mastodons with 14 kills, while Hailie Ripley scored 12.
Ball State scored the first six points of the opening set, and never looked back the rest of the frame on their way to a 25-7 victory. With a 16-7 lead following a Fuelling kill, Seidel would go back and serve the final nine points of the set.
Unfortunately, the Mastodons rallied from there to win the next two frames in what turned out to be an epic battle of in-state rivals in front of 881 fans at Worthen Arena.
“IPFW put some pressure on us and we started making too many unforced errors again in games two and three,” Shondell said. “In the last couple of games, we started to get into a better flow and loosen up. I was really pleased with the way we played at the end of the night.”
The Ball State women’s volleyball team returns to action Friday, when it travels to Minneapolis, Minn., for the Diet Coke Classic. First up for the Cardinals in the two-day event will be tournament host and fourth-ranked Minnesota at 7 p.m. (CT).
DeKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois volleyball team went the distance for the third time in five matches Wednesday night at Victor E. Court, but emerged victorious by defeating Western Illinois, 3-2.
The win pushes NIU’s record to 3-2 on the season, while WIU drops to 2-2. The Huskie defense was the story of the game with 77 digs and 13 blocks, while forcing the Leathernecks into 37 attack errors and a .108 hitting percentage.
“Tonight was a battle and we expected it (to be),” said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. “We’ve seen Western Illinois on occasion and those guys battle us tough. Credit to their coaching staff and players for playing really hard. We knew what we were up against and we knew it was going to be a dog fight the entire time.”
“We’re continuing to learn. We’re continuing to build, but it’s nice for us to get a win at home.”
Things did not start out so smoothly for the Huskies, as WIU snagged a tight 26-24 first set win. The Leathernecks jumped out to a 7-3 lead. NIU returned the favor to tie the set up at 10-10 following three kills and a service ace from freshman Mary Grace Kelly. As the two sides battled back-and-forth and continued to exchange points entering the late stages of the opening stanza, Jenna Radtke converted on an attack and give NIU set point at 24-23. The Leathernecks, though, had alternate plans and scored three consecutive points to clinch the set.
Things continued to go south for the Huskies in the second set when Western Illinois turned a 7-6 NIU lead into a 10-6 edge with a four-point run behind two kills from Samantha Fournier and two Northern errors. After WIU scored two more points to make it a 6-0 run and a 12-7 lead, the Huskies stormed back with seven of the next nine scores to knot the match up at 14 apiece. The Leathernecks moved back ahead 17-14 and held that edge until late in the set. With the scoreboard reading 23-20 and WIU primed to take a 2-0 lead into the break, the Huskie offense woke up with a 4-0 run – capped by a Kayla Zeno ace – to move ahead, 24-23. The two sides then battled back-and-forth with three set points going unanswered until a Tori Halbur kill and a WIU attack error gave NIU a 28-26 set victory.
The momentum from the second set win propelled the Huskies to claim a 7-2 early in the third, as Sarah Angelos, Mackenzie Roddy, Radtke and Alexis Gonzalez combined for three blocks in the run. That did not stop the Leathernecks from coming back, though, as they countered NIU’s run with a 9-2 run to move out in front 11-9. The Huskies would respond with a 5-0 run to go back into the lead, 14-11. Though WIU got back to a 14-14 tie, Halbur stuffed the rally with a strong kill to put the Huskies up for good. The Leathernecks were within one point on three occasions, but NIU denied each attempt to tie and broke open the set with a 3-1 run highlighted by kills from Halbur and Emily Paschke before taking the third, 25-20. In addition to the three early set blocks, the Huskies limited the Leathernecks to a -.044 hitting percentage in the set.
NIU’s momentum ended quickly though in the fourth set. After both sides battled to a 16-16 deadlock midway through, WIU got hot and ran off a 9-1 run, including seven straight to force the fifth set. The Leathernecks scored on three kills, two blocks and an ace in the run, along with forcing three other Huskie errors.
The Huskies put things to rest in the fifth set to put away the pesky Leathernecks. With WIU clinging to a 3-2 lead, NIU went off on an 8-0 run. A big part of the run was Angelos, who scored on three kills and a block assist, while Gonzalez’s block solo punctuated the run. Though the Leathernecks tried to muster one last comeback, NIU was not having any of it. Roddy got NIU to match point with a block assist and two kills before Radtke threw the dagger with a final kill and a 15-9 fifth set win.
Angelos and Roddy led the Huskie offense with 13 and 12 kills, respectively, while Gonzalez added 44 assists. However, the story of the night was on defense. Four Huskies netted double-digit digs on the night with Justine Schepler (19), Roddy (16), Paige Dacanay (15) and Gonzalez (10) all leading the effort. Additionally, Roddy set a career high with six blocks on the night.
NIU closes out their seven-match homestand Saturday with a day-night doubleheader. At 1 p.m., the Huskies take on the third-ranked USC Trojans, followed by a 7 p.m. nightcap against the Belmont Bruins.
YPSILANTI, Mich. (EMUEagles.com) -- The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team dropped a hard-fought battle against the Pacific-12 Conference member Oregon State University, Wednesday, Sept. 4. The Eagles dropped the match in five sets at the Convocation Center, 29-27, 25-21, 25-17, 26-24, 15-10.
The first set was a tightly contested matchup between the Eagles and the Beavers. After being down 4-1, a kill by senior Erin Short (Orville, Ohio – Orrville) started the eagles off on a six-point run, with EMU scoring four of the six points. The Eagles were unable to keep scoring consistently; a series of points from the Beavers coupled with three unforced errors by the Eagles soon knotted the score at 11-11. Eastern was soon able to regain the lead 17-13 by moving the offense from pin-to-pin and collecting winners from the sophomore trio of Kelsey Jones (Reed City, Mich. – Reed City), Katherine Krasowski (Oak Lawn, Ill. – Marist), and Stacey Perinar (Channahon, Ill. – Minooka Community).
Oregon State quickly took the lead, with Lila Toner contributing three of her six kills in the set to bring the Beavers up 20-18 over the Eagles. Senior outside hitter Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio – Notre Dame Academy) was able to find the deep corner on two kills, but a series of errors by both squads would send the set into a back-and-forth battle for the win.
After a block combination by Krasowski and Jones followed up by a Jones kill pounded inside the 10-foot line, it seemed that the 24-23 lead put the Eagles into prime position to take the set, but OSU's Laura Schaudt was able to extend the play by finding her way through the block. The Eagles used all the tricks in their arsenal, from hard driven balls to off speed shots, and at 27-27 Roback was able to place a shot in the deep corner to give the Eagles set-point. The corner would prove to be a useful location for EMU once more, as junior middle blocker Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich. – Mattawan) was able to find the pocket in the defense to close out the set for the Eagles as they took the frame 29-27.
Building momentum from the previous set, the Green and White came out strong in the second set. After an extensive rally for the first point, Perinar and Jones were able to close out the beginning of the set with a block. After Short was able to paint the line to give the Eagles a 4-2 advantage, OSU's Schaudt used her 6'5 frame to her advantage to find the seam in the block and hammer one home for the Beavers. Short added two more kills in the 14-12 run that would land the Eagles up 18-12 over their PAC-12 contender. The Beavers were unwilling to back down, as a series of consecutive points from OSU, including back-to-back-to-back blocks, would turn over the lead to the opposition, 20-18.
Eastern was unable to recover from their scoring slump, and after a handful of kills from Amanda Brown and Toner, the Eagles found themselves on the less desirable side of the scoreboard, dropping the frame, 25-21.
Not willing to go out in front of the home crowd at the Convocation Center, the Eagles came out ready to battle in the third set and were able to hold off the power of Oregon State's offense until a resounding kill by Brown brought the score up to 6-6, paving the way for an dominating 8-2 run for the Beavers. Despite an effort by Perinar and Crawshaw to even the score back out, the Beavers soon went on another run that would bring their lead up to 23-16.
Stellar defense by OSU's setter, Tayla Woods, kept the rally for the following point going on long enough to force an error from the Eagles. The Beavers closed out the set, 25-17, with a kill by Arcia Nassar.
A series of unforced errors thanks to Oregon State helped give EMU an early lead in the fourth set before a kill by Nassar and a stuff block by Nassar and Woods tied up the score 7-7. Despite OSU's Toner ripping two consecutive kills for the Beavers, the Green and White were able to build off of two aces by sophomore libero Corynne Smith (Norwalk, Ohio – St. Paul) and a pair of kills from Roback and Crawshaw to compile a 15-9 lead. The offense for both teams kicked into gear with a combined 11 kills being posted between the two squads battled to bring the score to 23-19 in favor of the Eagles.
A kill by Schaudt off the top of Jones knotted the score up at 24-24, but a kill by Short and a superb stuff block by Roback and Jones ended the frame with the Eagles claiming the advantage, 26-24.
After starting off the deciding set with unforced errors from both sides, Crawshaw was able to react quickly to a dig dished out by Smith's pristine handles and put the Eagles in the lead, 2-1. The Beavers answered back with two kills from Schaudt and a hammer from Zimmerman. Down 6-3, EMU's Roback was able to drive a shot through the seam, followed by a great swing by Jones. With the help of Roback and Perinar blasting away on the left pin, the Eagles were able to tie it up 8-8.
A trio of Toner attacks were able to find the hardwood, bringing the Beaver lead up to 13-10. Oregon State was able to capitalize on their progress with an ace from Woods and a final kill by Schaudt to end the match, 15-10.
The Eagles were led by Perinar, who posted 16 kills with a .256 attack percentage and added eight digs. Roback came away with a double-double, tallying 12 kills and a season-high 19 digs, and Short contributed a double-digit effort with 10 kills. On the defensive front, Smith totaled 21 digs, and sophomore defensive specialist Sierra Reed (Muncie, Ind. – Wapahani) added nine. Sophomore setter Alyssa Davis (Kalamazoo, Mich. – Plainwell) led the team in assists with 28. The team hit .145 for 56 kills and had 82 digs, nine aces, and 11 blocks.
For Oregon State, Brown hit a scorching .469 to go with her 18 kills. Three other Beavers boasted double-digit numbers: Toner, Schaudt, and Zimmerman posted 17, 16, and 12 kills, respectively, with Toner accruing 20 kills to give her a double-double for the evening's matchup. Woods led the team with 57 assists, and Becky Defoe led all players with 27 digs. As a team, the Beavers put away 73 attacks for a .255 clip and added 107 digs and seven blocks to the effort.
The Eagles hit the road for their second tournament this weekend, where they will square off against host Valparaiso Friday, Sept. 6 at 7 p.m.