Saturday's MAC Volleyball Results

Updated 9/7/2013


Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Eastern Michigan 3, Army 1
Western Michigan 3, McNeese St. 0
Central Michigan 3, Robert Morris 2
Toledo 3, Youngstown St. 2
Buffalo 3, Cornell 0
Ohio 3, Dayton 0
Miami 3, Northern Kentucky 2
Northern Illinois 3, Belmont 1
Ball State 3, WIU 0
Duke 3, Ball State 0
Milwaukee 3, Akron 1
USC 3, Northern Illinois 1
Iowa 3, Eastern Michigan 1
Xavier 3, Central Michigan 0
William & Mary 3, Kent State 2
Dabrowa (Poland) 3, Bowling Geeen 0
Gardner-Webb 3, Kent State 1
William & Mary 3, Kent State 2
VALPARAISO, Ind. ( – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team returned to its winning ways Saturday, Sept. 7, when it topped the United States Military Academy (Army) in four sets at the 2013 Valpo Popcorn Classic. The Eagles (3-3) dropped the first set to Army (1-5), but took the final three sets, 25-19, 25-20 and 25-21.
Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) led the offensive attack for EMU with 11 kills while posting a .407 (11-0-27) attack percentage. The junior did not make one attack error, while she also had one solo block and six block assists in the match. Stacey Perinar (Channahon, Ill.-Minooka Community) totaled 16 kills in the match. Jill Briner (Oak Park, Ill.-Oak Park and Forest River (Northeastern)) and Alyssa Davis (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Plainwell) split the setting duties with Briner posting 21 assists and Davis notching 19. Defensively, the Green and White had four student-athletes with double-digit digs. Corynne Smith (Norwalk, Ohio-St. Paul) posted 26, Briner had 17, Perinar had 16 and Sierra Reed (Muncie, Ind.-Wapahani) notched 10 digs. Devon Murray (Shelby, Ohio-Shelby) had the best performance of her freshman campaign with five kills in seven attempts, good for a .407 attack percentage. Dori Harrison (Euclid, Ohio-Beaumont School (South Florida)) had her most impressive showing since donning the Green and White after accumulating a .429 attack percentage, going 6-of-14 in her attack attempts.
EMU dropped the opening set, 24-26, after hitting .123 (12-5-57). Crawshaw, Perinar and Kelsey Jones (Reed City, Mich.-Reed City) each contributed three kills in the set, while Perinar notched nine digs. Army posted a .175 (16-6-57) hitting percentage. Margaux Jarka posted eight kills for the Black Knights to lead them to a set victory.
Eastern came back in the second set to hit .200 (10-3-35) and take the frame, 25-19. Despite totaling just 10 kills, the Eagles handled Army defensively with four team blocks, including four block assists from Crawshaw alone. Perinar added three kills to her total in the set.
Set three was an impressive one for EMU, as they banged home 20 kills in just 49 attempts en route to a 25-20 set victory. EMU had just three attack errors, while posting a .347 hitting percentage. Perinar and Crawshaw each contributed five kills, while Murray came on strong with four and Harrison added three of her own. Briner posted seven of her digs in the match in the third frame.
The Eagles completed the match with a 25-21 fourth set win. Despite hitting just .195 (14-6-41) EMU's defense was stellar by totaling five blocks in the frame to hold the Black Knights to a .116 (13-8-43) hitting percentage. Crawshaw had a solo block and one block assist, while Jones added three block assists and Perinar posted two of her own.
Eastern completes the 2013 Valpo Popcorn Classic this afternoon when they take on Big Ten foe, the University of Iowa. The match is scheduled to start a 2 p.m. (CST) at the Athletics-Recreation Center.
RUSTON, La. – The Western Michigan volleyball team authored one more dominant performance at the Louisiana Tech Invitational, taking a 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-23) victory over the McNeese State Cowgirls at the Thomas Assembly Center on Saturday morning. With the win, the Broncos take the tournament championship at the event and improve to 5-1 on the season.
Stephenee Yancy was named the Tournament's Most Valuable Player, the first time in her career she has taken home a tournament MVP honor.  Lexie Pawlik and Alysia Baznik were also named to the All-Tournament team.
Alysia Baznik recorded her second double-double of the season with a 10-kill, 11-dig performance, while also recording a match-high four blocks. Teammate Stephenee Yancy notched 15 kills and two blocks, while Lena Oliver tied Baznik for the match-high with 11 digs. Lexie Pawlik recorded 39 assists and set the Broncos to a .314 team hitting percentage, including two sets over .400. Rachel Sheffer had nine kills.
The Broncos opened the first set on a 7-3 heater, capping the run with a kill from Sheffer down the left sideline. McNeese State countered with a 6-1 run of their own, though, and took the lead at 9-8 thanks to a Bronco attack error. The advantage would not last long, however, as Yancy tied the set at 10-10 with a kill and a Cowgirl attack error on the next point gave the Broncos the edge. Yancy would break the tie for the final time in the set with a kill to make it 12-11, and this time Baznik followed up with a kill of her own to extend the lead. Sheffer forced the Cowgirls into their first timeout with a kill to make it 15-12, and Baznik’s back-to-back kills made it 20-15 and put the Broncos In the driver’s seat. The Cowgirls pulled to within four points at 22-18, but Yancy scored kills on two of the last three points and assisted in a block on the other to seal the 25-18 win.
The second set played out similarly at first, but the Broncos pulled away much sooner en route to a 25-16 win. A McNeese State block error broke a 9-9 tie early in the set, and Yancy pounded back-to-back kills to give the Broncos a three-point lead. The lead reached six points when Baznik and Ave Stout combined for a block to make it 18-12, and Caroline Rose’s back row attack made it a seven-point edge at 21-14. McNeese State committed errors on each of the final two points to give the Broncos set win.
The Cowgirls’ best chance to take a set came in the third set, as they recovered from a large deficit to pull nearly even at the end of the set. The Broncos led 10-5 early in the set before McNeese snapped out of a funk, but three straight points for the Broncos – including kills from Yancy and Gillian Asque – gave WMU a 16-9 advantage. Pawlik tacked on a kill of her own to make it an eight-point edge, but McNeese State battled back and pulled to within 18-16. Pawlik stopped the bleeding with a solo block to make it 19-16, but the set proceeded to tighten. A service ace by the Cowgirls’ Kelly Graham cut the Broncos’ lead to 24-23, but Asque finished off McNeese State with a kill.
Moon Township, Pa. - The Central Michigan volleyball team split its two contests at the Duquense/Robert Morris Tournament Saturday, defeating Robert Morris in five sets before falling to Xavier in straight sets.
The Chippewas (2-4) started the day with a five-set victory over the host Colonials (0-5) - 25-20, 23-25, 23-25, 25-16, 15-9.
Sophomore Angelique White and junior Kaitlyn McIntyre led four players in double digit kills with 16 apiece, while senior Danielle Gotham had 15 and freshman Melissa Fuchs slammed home 10.
CMU came out firing and finished with a hitting percentage of .400 in the first set. A kill by Gotham pushed the lead to as much as seven, 16-9, and after the Colonials pulled within three, 23-20, White gave the Chippewas match point and an error on the Colonials gave CMU the win.
Despite dropping the next two sets, 25-23, the Chippewas were able to bounce back with a big 25-16 victory in set three by hitting .370 as a team. CMU led by as much as eight twice in the set, 19-11 and 22-14, before ultimately grabbing the nine-point set victory.
The momentum carried into the fifth and decisive set as White and McIntyre each put away four kills to lead the Chippewas to a 15-9 win.
McIntyre was named to the All-Tournament team for her efforts, finishing the weekend with 50 kills.
Xavier defeated CMU in straight sets - 25-18, 25-18, 25-14.
McIntyre led the way with nine kills, while senior Kely Maxwell had 26 assists and senior Jenna Coates 20 digs.
CMU is back in action next weekend at the Hofstra Tournament versus South Carolina Upstate, Princeton and Hofstra.
YOUNGSTOWN, OH – A balanced effort both offensively and defensively propelled Toledo (4-3) to a 3-2 (25-22, 17-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-6) triumph over Youngstown State (3-3) on Saturday. The contest was the UT’s final match at this weekend’s YSU Invitational and gave the Midnight Blue and Gold a 3-0 mark in five-set matches this season.
Senior OH Jordan Kielty led four Rockets in double figures with 13 terminations. She was joined by senior RSH Becca Reidy (12 kills), senior OH Lauren Rafdal (11 kills) and senior MB Dakota Harkins (10 kills). Toledo utilized a 6-2 offense for a second-straight outing with senior Adria Pryor collecting 28 assists and sophomore Alex Hines adding 18 helpers.
UT also distributed its digs fairly evenly with five Rockets reaching double digits. Rafdal and freshman libero Ellen Hays tied for the team lead with 15 and were followed by Hines (13), Pryor (12) and Kielty (10).
Pryor and Rafdal were honored for their play this weekend with spots on the all-tournament team.
Harkins also made her presence felt at the net defensively with a team-high eight blocks. Junior MB Brooke Frazer and freshman RSH Mary O’Connor also were key contributors with five rejections each.
“It was a good win for us on the road against a tough, hard-nosed opponent,” Head Coach Greg Smith said. “We’re definitely making progress, and every match has been a learning experience for us.”
Toledo gained control of the match-deciding fifth set early by scoring five straight points to take an 8-3 advantage. The closest the Penguins could come the rest of the way was four points.
UT returns to action next weekend with a trip to the West Coast for the Portland/Oregon State Challenge. The Rockets will face the Pilots at 2:00 p.m. and Beavers at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 13 followed by a 7:00 p.m. matchup vs. UC-Davis on Saturday, Sept. 14.
ITHACA, NY – The University at Buffalo volleyball team concluded its second straight perfect weekend, winning the Cornell Invitational after they crushed Bucknell, 3-0.  The Bulls have now won 18 of 19 possible sets to begin the year.
The Bulls took the match, 25-14, 25-10, 25-15 and it wouldn't have even been that close if not for 12 Buffalo service errors.  The Bulls hit a season-high .389 on the afternoon as they were strong defensively with Bucknell hitting -.099.
Buffalo opened the first set on a 10-2 run as they routed the Bison from the start. A kill from sophomore Tahleia Bishop helped extend the UB lead to 18-7 and the Bulls led by as many as 13 at 24-11 before another kill from Bishop gave UB the set.
UB opened set number two on another huge run as it scored 14 of the first 16 points to go up 14-2 after a double block from Amber Hatchett and Akeila Lain.  Another double block from senior Carissa McKenna and junior Liz Scott moved the lead to 22-6.  The Bulls ended up winning the set 25-10.
With UB comfortably ahead moving to the third set, it opened the set on a 9-3 run.  The Bulls were up just 12-10, when they went on a 9-1 run, after a Bucknell attack error.  UB went back up by nine at 24-15 and won by that mark, 25-16.
"I was very pleased with our performance today and it is great to be able to win three straight on the road," said head coach Todd Kress.  "We were aggressive in our serves and for the most part it paid off.  This weekend was a big step in the right direction and I am excited to get back in the gym this week and keep working."
Scott was named the tournament's most valuable player as she had six kills and just one error, despite only needing to play in two sets today.  Bishop had a team-high nine kills, while McKenna also added six kills.  Hatchett and senior Christine Fritsche each added five kills.  Bishop was also named to the all-tournament team.
UB had nine service aces, including three from junior setter Taylor Pritchett, who also finished with 13 assists.  Senior Dani Reinert led the way with 16 assists and added a pair of aces.
UB's final all-tournament selection went to senior Kelly Svoboda, who was a unanimous decision as the tournament's top libero.  She had seven digs on the afternoon, but did not have many opportunities due to the offensive errors of Bucknell.
The Bulls now head down south, as they will play in the Georgia State tournament next week.  The Bulls open with Davidson on Friday at 5:00 pm.
ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University volleyball team (5-1) knocked off the University of Dayton (3-3) in straight sets (25-22, 25-19, 25-16) Saturday afternoon to secure a second-place finish in the Baymont Inn Invitational.
Ohio was stellar from the service line with a season-best nine aces and held a +5 edge in digs (57-52). The `Cats notched 42 kills to Dayton's 34 and hit progressively better throughout the match, with set percentages of .135, .312 and .355.
Junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) led Ohio with 15 kills and added 11 digs to post her second-straight double-double, while redshirt junior Liis Kullerkann (Keila, Estonia) tallied a career-best nine kills and added three total blocks.
Baymont Inn Invitational All-Tournament Team selection Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) led Ohio with four total blocks (including one solo) and notched four kills. She notched an impressive 19 total blocks, six service aces and 2.3 kills/set while hitting at a .348 clip.
Sophomore setter Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) had another strong match for Ohio with a match-high 37 assists to go along with a career-best five service aces and eight digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) added a match-best 22 digs, while All-Tournament selection Karin Bull (Bloomington, Minn.) posted three total blocks to go along with five kills for the `Cats.
Ohio trailed for much of the first set and were down as many as six (16-10) midway through the frame. From there, the Green & White went on a 4-1 run to cut the Flyers' edge to three (17-14) and moved within one (19-18) after a Dayton attack error. An ace from Pinson knotted the match at 20 and completed a 10-4 surge for the `Cats. Ohio took the lead at 22-21 on a kill from Kullerkann and notched the final two points of the set to take it, 25-22, in comeback fashion.
Set two was a different story, as Ohio raced out to an 8-5 lead and moved in front by four (15-11) on a kill from Lamberti. After Dayton cut the lead to three (19-16), Ohio rallied back with two-straight to build a five-point cushion (21-16) and the Flyers could not get closer than four for the remainder of the set. Ohio won the frame, 25-19.
In the third and final set, the `Cats posted nine of the first 11 points and held a six-point edge (14-8) after a kill from Bull. Ohio went up by eight (19-11) after a kill from Lamberti and Dayton could not move closer than seven for the remainder of the frame. Ohio won the third frame, 25-16.
Ohio is now 18-2 in its 20 sets played this season.
The Bobcats return to action Sept. 13-14 with three matches in the WKU Invitational. The Bobcats square off with UNLV Friday at 5:30 p.m., then play No. 16 Western Kentucky (noon) and Virginia (6 p.m.) on Saturday.
OXFORD, Ohio – In a dramatic, back-and-forth match that saw Northern Kentucky win the first two sets, the Miami University volleyball earned a come from behind, 3-2 (24-26, 26-28, 25-22, 25-21, 15-13) victory to win its third straight Miami Invitational crown. The RedHawks improve to 5-0 on the season, while the Norse fall to 2-4.
Sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle was named the Tournament MVP after recording a double-double with a career-high 21 kills and 10 blocks (two solo and eight assisted). For the tournament, she averaged 4.50 kills per set and had a hitting percentage of .508.
Joining Ingle on the All-Tournament Team were junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley and junior libero Tori Clifford. Riley had her first triple-double of the season and ninth of her career on Saturday, finishing with 15 kills, 32 assists and 12 digs. She only made one attack error on 32 attempts for a hitting percentage of .438. Clifford continued to impress in the libero shirt, finishing with 22 digs against NKU. For the weekend she averaged an incredible 5.75 digs per set.
Set one featured 16 ties and four lead changes. Northern Kentucky led early on, but each time Miami would fight back to tie the score up. Finally, after a kill by Riley off of freshman setter Krista Brakauskas’ assist tied the score at 13, a kill from sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig put Miami in front, 14-13. The RedHawks eventually pushed the advantage to three, but a 6-2 run by the Norse gave them a 20-19 lead. NKU got it to set point at 24-22, but Miami fought it off with a kill from Reiswig and a service ace by senior libero Madison Hardy. After NKU called timeout, it scored the next two points to take a 26-24 win.
Set two was even more dramatic, as it featured 16 ties and seven lead changes, all late in the set. Northern Kentucky took an early 11-6 lead to force a RedHawk timeout. Out of the break, Ingle recorded two kills, while Brakauskas had back-to-back service aces as part of an 8-3 run that tied the score at 14. After the Norse scored the next point, a kill and service ace by Riley gave Miami its first lead in the set since it was 1-0.
NKU was able to establish a two-point lead at 19-17, but a block by Ingle and sophomore outside hitter Sarah Chaney, followed by a service ace from junior middle hitter Chelsea Visk tied the score at 19. The teams traded side outs over the next eight points until the Norse had set point at 24-23. Miami fought it off with a kill by Riley and then got a set point of its own when senior outside hitter Madison Dodd recorded a kill off of Riley’s assist. NKU was able to prevent the RedHawk win when it scored on the next point. After trading two more points, the Norse scored two straight to take a 28-26 victory and a 2-0 lead in the match.
Miami built an early 8-4 lead in set three with the help of three kills from freshman outside hitter Maris Below. Ingle continued her strong blocking when she teamed up with Reiswig for a stuff, but NKU responded with a 9-5 run to tie the score at 13. Tied at 17, a kill by Riley and a solo block from Ingle put the Red and White up by two and forced a Norse timeout. NKU came out the break with two straight points to tie the score once again. Tied at 20, a kill from Ingle, a block by Ingle and Below and a Northern Kentucky attack error gave Miami control at 23-20. The RedHawks finished off the 25-22 victory with a kill by Below.
Miami took a 5-1 lead in set four thanks to kills by Ingle and Reiswig, and a block by Ingle and Below. Below had three more kills and a block as the ‘Hawks eventually pushed the lead to 17-10. The seven-point advantage was the largest either team had in any set during the entire match. NKU answered with a 7-2 run that cut its deficit to two at 17-19. Reiswig stopped the run with another kill off of Brakauskas’ assist. In front 22-20, Ingle and Below had back-to-back kills to create set point. The Norse fought it off once, but another kill from Below finished off a 25-21 win and sent the match to a decisive fifth set.
Kills from Reiswig and Ingle and a Northern Kentucky attack error gave Miami a 3-0 advantage to begin set five. NKU followed with four straight points of its own to take the lead back. After back-to-back kills from Reiswig made it 5-4 in favor of the ‘Hawks, the Norse scored three straight to take a 7-5 advantage and force a Miami timeout. Trailing 6-8, a kill by Ingle and a service ace from Clifford tied the score. Tied at nine, a NKU attack error gave the lead back to Miami at 10-9. The teams would trade side outs over the next seven points until it was tied at 13. With the Norse serving, Miami got the eighth straight side out as Ingle put down a kill. The RedHawks then served for the match. After trading a pair of attacks, NKU hit the ball into the net to give Miami the point and the dramatic, 15-13, win.
Reiswig had a career-high 12 kills, while Below had her first career double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs. Brakauskas tied Riley for the team lead with 32 assists, while Hardy finished with 15 digs. Fittingly for how close of a match this was, the teams both finished with a hitting percentage of .243. Miami totaled 13 blocks for the match.
The RedHawks return to action on Tuesday when they travel to Xavier for a non-conference match that begins at 7 p.m.
DeKALB, Ill. - The Northern Illinois volleyball team closed out their season-opening homestand the right way Saturday night at Victor E. Court with a convincing 3-1 win over Belmont.
The win boosts NIU's record to 4-3 on the year, while the Bruins fell to 2-6. Statistically, the Huskies held a .298-.185 attack percentage advantage over the Bruins, in addition to recording a season-high nine service aces. Northern's nine aces were the most in a four-set match since Aug. 28, 2012, when the Huskies recorded nine against Green Bay.
"We knew that they were going to come in real hungry and give us a real challenging match," said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. "Belmont's a really strong team. It was great for us to have a really good start against those guys. We played really well."
The Huskies came out firing in the first set and built an early 11-4 lead on the Bruins. Belmont, though responded with a 7-3 run of their own to get within 14-11. That's all the closer the visitors would get, as NIU took advantage of a pair of BU errors and kills from Mackenzie Roddy and Mary Grace Kelly to extend the margin to 18-12. That outburst proved to be all the Huskies needed, as they coasted to an easy 25-17 set one win.
Things were looking like they would go the same way in the second set when NIU raced out to a 12-5 lead on the Bruins. The Huskies got a big boost during the run from three service aces, first from Sarah Angelos and two consecutive ones from Roddy. Despite holding a seven-point lead, NIU still had to fight off a scrappy Belmont team, as the Bruins got back to within 17-14 of the Huskies to force an NIU timeout. Though BU got to within 22-20, the Huskie defense halted the rally by forcing a Bruin error. Yet, Belmont kept fighting and got to within 24-23 and held serve. However, NIU clinched with a Roddy kill for a 25-23 set two win and a 2-0 halftime advantage.
Desperate to stay in the match, Belmont used a 3-0 run early in the third set to claim a 7-4 lead. The Huskies responded with a 5-0 run of their own behind kills from Lauren Zielinski, Kelly and Angelos, along with a solo stuff by Kelly, to take a 9-7 edge. That slim margin did not last long, though, as Belmont tied the match at 10-10. What ensued was an exchange of points by both teams until Belmont bucked the trend with another 3-0 run to make the score 21-18 in favor of the Bruins. The Huskies clawed back to within 21-20, but the second Belmont run was too much to overcome as the Bruins took a 25-22 set three victory.
While Belmont seemed primed to make a second half comeback, the Huskies weren't having any of it and responded with a 5-2 run to open the fourth courtesy of two Kelly kills and a Roddy block. The lead would grow to 9-4, as Jenna Radtke zoned in on a BU overpass and slammed it home for the emphatic point. Radtke continued to dampen the hopes of a Bruin comeback when her service ace made the score 14-7 and forced Belmont to burn a timeout. Kills from Angelos, Roddy and Kelly boosted the lead to 18-9, allowing the Huskies to coast to a 25-13 set four win and a 3-1 match triumph. In addition to winning by a comfortable 12-point margin, the Huskies went error-free in the fourth set.
Roddy clinched her fifth double-double in seven matches with 14 digs and 10 kills. Kelly paced the Huskie offense with 13 kills, while Justine Schepler also netted 14 digs on the defensive side.
The Huskies return to action next weekend when they travel to Las Cruces, N.M., for the NM State Tournament, where they will play UALR, Southern Utah and tournament host New Mexico State.
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - - The Ball State women’s volleyball team concluded play in the Diet Coke Classic with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-16, 25-18) sweep of Western Illinois Saturday evening at No.4 Minnesota’s Sports Pavilion.
The Cardinals, who suffered a 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-22) setback to Duke earlier in the day, finish the event with a 4-3 overall record. The Leathernecks fall to 2-5 with the loss.
After struggling offensively in its first two matches at the Diet Coke Classic, the Cardinals found their grove against Western Illinois by connecting for a .344 (41-8-96) rate of success as a team.
In Saturday’s night cap, senior middle Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Alex Fuelling (Decatur, Ind./Bellmont/Morehead State) tied for team-high honors with 10 kills apiece.
Marx led all players with a .643 (10-1-14) hitting mark, while Fuelling connected at a .333 (10-2-24) clip. Fuelling also tallied 10 digs for her fourth kill/dig double-double of the season.
Redshirt transfer freshman outside attacker Mackenzie Kitchel (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove/Cincinnati) also turned in the best performance to date in her young career, racking up career-bests of seven kills and a .375 (7-1-16) attack percentage.
Sophomore setter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) guided the Ball State offense in the win, dishing out 31 assists while also collecting three kills and six digs.
In the backcourt, senior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) posted double-digit digs for the seventh time this season, tying for team-high honors with 10.
WIU’s Ann Miller led all players with 11 kills, while Bailey Kaloupek collected a match-best 15 digs. Overall, the Ball State defense limited the Leathernecks’ to a .099 (35-24-111) attack percentage for the match.
In the opening set, the Cardinals scored four of the first five points starting with a service ace from Spadafora. A Fuelling kill would give the Cardinals a 10-point advantage, at 19-9, while a WIU attack error ultimately ended the set at 25-17.
Ball State jumped out to a 5-1 edge in the second set, only to see the Leathernecks battle back within one at 7-6. A kill from Fuelling would give BSU the momentum back, however, as the Cardinals scored 10 of the next 13 points to take control of the stanza. Ball State went on to win the frame 25-16 on a kill from redshirt sophomore opposite Kelly Hopkins (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo).
Western Illinois scored the first two points of the third set to take its first lead of the night. However, a service error and a kill from Hopkins helped the Cardinals tie the score on their way to a 5-2 edge. Ball State took a five-point lead at the 10-5 mark, only to see the Leathernecks battle back within one point at 12-11.
WIU remained within two points, at the 15-13 mark, only to see the Cardinals post an 8-2 run to pull ahead 23-15. A Marx kill would give BSU match-point, at 24-16, and after two Western Illinois points, Marx would smash the match-winner at 25-18.
Ball State and Western Illinois will meet again next Friday in the Cardinals’ opening match of the Hawkeye Challenge hosted by Iowa. Match time is set for 2 p.m. (CT).
The Cardinals opened the second day of the Diet Coke Classic with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-17, 25-22) setback to Duke.
Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Alex Fuelling (Decatur, Ind./Bellmont/Morehead State) led the Ball State offense with 11 kills, while adding eight digs and a .292 (11-4-24) attack percentage.
Defensively, senior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) paced the BSU backcourt with 12 digs.
Emily Sklar led the Blue Devils attack with a match-best 13 kills, while the team as a whole held a .176 (45-24-119) to .067 (28-21-104) attacking advantage. Ali McCrudy paced the Duke defense with 15 digs.
The teams battled to a 20-20 stalemate in the opening set, before a kill from redshirt sophomore middle Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) and a Duke attack error gave the Cardinals a 22-20 edge. Unfortunately, Duke would come out of a timeout on fire, scoring the next four points and eventually winning the frame 25-23 on a block from Sklar and Jordan Tucker.
Ball State held an 8-5 lead early in the second set, only to see Duke rally back to take a 10-9 lead. With the score tied at 14-14, the Blue Devils would put together a 9-2 run to take control of the game. Duke went on to win the set 25-17 on a BSU attack error.
Duke scored the first five points of the third set and would never trail. Ball State battled back within one point, at 14-13, only to see the Blue Devils respond with three straight points.
Trailing 21-15, the Cardinals once again battled back, this time tying the score at 22 in a run which saw Fuelling blast three kills. Unfortunately, Duke retaliated with the next three points to win the set 25-22.
AKRON, Ohio – Alex Cocklin and Jill Paluch tied career highs with 19 kills and 23 digs, but it was not enough to overcome Akron's offensive miscues in a 3-1 loss to Milwaukee Saturday afternoon at James A. Rhodes Arena.
The Zips snuck one by UWM (3-3) in the second set but struggled to find their footing the rest of the way, falling 25-17, 24-26, 25-21, 25-15. The loss gave UA second place overall in its Akron Invitational and dropped the Zips to 4-1 on the season.
Cocklin and Paluch were named to the All-Tournament team for their efforts. Ashley Holder had a career night as well, delivering 31 assists, and was one dig short of a double-double with nine.
Akron's uncharacteristic 40 attack errors proved to be the difference of the day, as the Zips were unable to find many ways around Milwaukee's strong play at the net and the Panthers' 11 total blocks.
Trailing after the first set, UA put together a thrilling second stanza, evening the score in classic come-from-behind fashion. After a UWM kill put the Panthers in set-point position at 24-21, the Zips forced an error to bring it within two and regain service. Brenna Mack served a string of four straight points that featured three Akron kills to give the Zips new life heading into the break.
The third set would also go down to the wire, but the Zips ran out of steam and could not make the most of a 20-all tie, coming up just short. Milwaukee ran away with the fourth set and never trailed after a 1-1 tie to win the tournament title.
Akron returns to the court for a single weeknight match at Robert Morris on Tuesday, Sept. 10 at 7:00 p.m. in Moon Township, Pa. Next weekend the Zips head west to Montana State for the MSU Tournament Sept. 13-14, where they will face South Dakota, Montana State and Gonzaga.
DeKALB, Ill. - Feeding off the energy of a raucous Victor E. Court crowd, the Northern Illinois volleyball team gave #3 USC all it could handle Saturday afternoon, but the Huskies fell, 3-1.
The loss drops the Huskies to 3-3 on the year, while the Trojans move to 6-0. Despite being even in many statistical categories, USC managed to get points when they needed them late in the match to evade the NIU upset bid.
"I thought we battled pretty hard today," said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. "USC is a great team and a great program. We had a great atmosphere today at Victor E. Court, great energy. We fell short the first two sets and had chances to be successful. We learned from it in the third set and came out strong, but learned in the fourth set that, in order to play with the best, we have to play at that level for a long period of time."
From the start, the Huskies showed USC that they would not be an easy win by getting out to a 3-1 lead. After Mackenzie Roddy started the match with a kill, Roddy teamed up with Jenna Radtke for a block of defending Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Ebony Nwanebu. Lauren Zielinski followed that up with a kill of her own to energize the NIU faithful. The Trojans, though, got back into the match and made it a nip-and-tuck affair, as neither team got a lead of more than two points until NIU lead 16-15. That's when USC went on a 4-0 run behind kills from Samantha Bricio and Emily Young, along with a pair of Huskie errors. Following a timeout, NIU battled back and tied the set a 20-all. Yet, the Huskies could not use the momentum to their advantage, as USC clinched the set one with a 5-2 run.
The tight-knit battle continued in the second set, as NIU held close to USC throughout the early goings. With the Trojans leading 14-13, though, USC went on a 5-0 run to break open the match. The Huskies would slowly battle back to a 22-22 tie, forcing the visitors to call a timeout. Out of the break, USC broke the deadlock with two kills, and then ended NIU's hopes of a halftime tie with a block from Hannah Schraer.
Trailing two sets to none, NIU fought on against their nationally-ranked foes in the third set with an emphatic win. Trailing 3-2 early, the Huskies rattled off a 9-2 run to hold a comfortable 11-5 lead. The run started when Tori Halbur scored a kill to knot the set, then NIU took advantage of some Trojan errors, along with scoring points of their own from a Sarah Angelos kill and a Radtke-Halbur combo block to hold a six-point edge. The NIU lead grew to 15-7 after two more USC errors, but the Trojans battled back to get within two at 19-17. Mary Grace Kelly would close the door on that rally, as the Huskies cruised to a 25-19 set win, becoming the first team to hold the Trojans to under 20 points in a set in the process.
The Huskies looked poised to take USC to a fifth set by getting out to a 7-5 lead early in the fourth. However, the Trojans exploded for a 10-3 run to take a 15-10 lead on the Huskies. After watching the deficit grow to seven, the Huskies fought valiantly to get back within four. However, the Trojans ended the set with another long run - this one to the tune of six of seven points - to close the set and escape DeKalb with a 3-1 win.
Angelos and Roddy led the NIU offense with 13 and 12 kills on the night, while Roddy also added two service aces to the cause. Defensively, the Huskies got at least one dig from nine different individuals, including a team-high 13 from Justine Schepler. Alexis Gonzalez tallied 34 assists in the match.
NIU returns to Victor E. Court tonight at 7 p.m. when they face defending Ohio Valley Conference champion Belmont.
VALPARAISO, Ind. ( – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team dropped its final match of the 2013 Valpo Popcorn Classic Saturday afternoon, Sept. 7, in four sets to the University of Iowa. The Eagles (3-4) dropped a pair of sets to the Hawkeyes (5-0), 24-26 and 20-25, before taking set three, 25-19, and fell in the final set, 17-25.
Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) led the offense with a .350 (12-5-20) attack percentage, while Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) totaled 10 kills. Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) added seven kills and Kelsey Jones (Reed City, Mich.-Reed City) contributed six kills. As a team, the Eagles had eight team blocks, including Devon Murray (Shelby, Ohio-Shelby) and Jones adding five block assists.
Eastern took its Big Ten foe to extra points in the opening set as it fell, 24-26. EMU hit .190 (14-6-42) in the first set of the match, while the Hawkeyes managed a .297 (15-4-37) attack percentage in the frame. Roback contributed four kills in the frame, but Erin Radke and Alessandra Dietz offset Roback's kills by adding four kills each.
The Hawkeyes were not as impressive offensively in the second set, however EMU struggled to get into a rhythm during frame number two. The Eagles hit .000 (7-7-27) in the set and fell, 20-25. Crawshaw had three kills, while Short added two, but the Eagles were unable to get the entire offense going to top Iowa.
After winning the first six points of set three, the Eagles cruised to a 25-19 set victory in the third set. Crawshaw had the majority of the offense going six-for-six in attack attempts. As a team, EMU hit .222 (11-1-45) while holding Iowa to a .095 (14-10-42) attack percentage.
Eastern was unable to get the offense rolling in the final set of the match as it hit .026 (9-8-39) and fell, 17-25. The Hawkeyes posted a .225 (15-6-40) attack percentage in the set. Roback was able to hand the Eagles four kills, but that was 44.4 percent of the EMU offense in the frame.
The Eagles continue the 2013 season Tuesday, Sept. 10, when they host Oakland University at the Convocation Center. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday night.
Dabrowa (Poland) 3, Bowling Geeen 0
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Facing a tough task in the Golden Dome Invitational on Saturday, the Bowling Green State University volleyball team was defeated in three sets by Dabrowa, a Polish professional team. The match, which was an official exhibition, was part of the Golden Dome Invitational hosted by the University of Notre Dame.
The Falcons hung tough in the first set, as they trailed just 11-10 at one point. Dabrowa would get in a rhythm from there, closing out the first set on a dominating 14-3 run. Dabrowa would score the final eight points of the set after the Falcons had closed to within 17-13.
In the second set, the Falcons fell behind early, as Dabrowa began the set by scoring nine of the first 11 points. The Orange and Brown would score three straight points to close within four, at 10-6, in the second set, before Dabrowa regained a seven point advantage with three straight. BGSU closed to with five points after a 5-3 run by the Orange and Brown. The Falcons trailed just 20-16 late in the second set following a Laura Avila service ace, but Dabrowa would score the final five points of the set for a 25-16 win.
The third set would be tight throughout, as the Falcons started the set with a 4-1 lead. Neither team would separate themselves during the set, but the Falcons found themselves down 23-22 late in the potential final set. Dabrowa would commit an error, and Jelena Sunjic would record a kill, and the Falcons found themselves ahead 24-23 late in the third set. The Falcons would not help themselves the rest of the way, as three straight errors by the Falcons would give Dabrowa the set and the match.
Dabrowa's heighth neutralized the Falcons attack for much of the afternoon, as the Orange and Brown hit just .147 for the match. Kaitlyn Skinner had a season-high nine kills in the match. The Falcons will close the Golden Dome Invitational with a match against 22nd-ranked Purdue at 11:30 a.m.
William & Mary 3, Kent State 2
FULLERTON, Calif. –The Kent State volleyball team was on the verge of leaving California with smiles on their faces but instead ended the second weekend of the 2013 campaign with a pair of defeats on Saturday. The Golden Flashes fell to Gardner-Webb, 3-1 (16-25, 14-25, 25-13, 20-25), and dropped a heartbreaker to William & Mary, 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 25-19, 22-25, 12-15) at Fullerton Classic.
"We need to find a way to get off to stronger starts," said head coach Don Gromala. "As a whole, I thought we got better throughout the weekend. But we need to start better. We improved from match-to-match a week ago, but started from square one again this week. "
After relying on its defense in the few matches of the season, Kent State could not slow the Gardner-Webb attack in the first two sets of Saturday's first match. The Runnin' Bulldogs hit .478 on its way to a 2-0 lead, using 7-0 runs to key victories in both sets.
That changed in the third set, as it was Kent State's attack that heated up. The Flashes limited Gardner-Webb to just .042 hitting in the set, totaling 16 kills and hitting .519 in the process. Freshman outside hitter Bianca Cifaldi posted five of her match-high 15 kills in the set, and junior outside hitter/opposite Lauren Engleman added four kills as the Flashes extended the match to a fourth set.
Kent State's attack continued its strong play in the next set, matching Gardner-Webb's 14 kills while hitting .379. The Flashes, however, struggled with its serve receive, which proved to be the difference. Gardner-Webb had six aces in the set, including five in a pivotal stretch that saw the Runnin' Bulldogs turn a 12-9 lead into a 20-10 advantage.
Sophomore middle blocker Bridget Wilhelm continued her strong play at the net with a team-best five total blocks. Senior setter Aleksandra Nowak added four blocks to go with 34 assists. Senior defensive specialist/libero Hannah Herc tallied a season-high 18 digs.
After dropping the opening set in the nightcap, Kent State appeared to be on its way to victory after taking the next two sets and holding a 20-17 lead in the fourth. Following a timeout, William & Mary rallied to take a 22-21 lead. The Flashes tied the scored on a kill by Nowak, but the Tribe took the next three points to force a decisive fifth set.
Kent State was unable to regain the momentum and never led in the final set. The Flashes fell behind 8-5 as the teams switched sides, but rallied to even the score with three consecutive points. They were unable to get over the hump, however, dropping four of the next five points as William & Mary pulled away for the 15-12 victory.
The Golden Flashes had a balanced attack in the loss, as four players totaled double-digit kills. Sophomore opposite Kelly Hutchison led the way with 15 kills and added a career-high 27 digs for the team's first double-double of the season. Cifaldi added 13 kills and Wilhelm and Engleman had 10 to match their career marks. Nowak had a season-high 44 assists.
Defensively, Kent State limited the Tribe to a .159 hitting percentage and recorded 104 digs.
"One of our goals as a program is to out-dig our opponent, so I was happy with that."
Junior Kaylee Koller and sophomore Sarah Mills joined Hutchison with career performances from the back row. Koller, who made her season debut at libero, totaled 24 digs, nearly tripling her previous career mark. Mills had 14 digs and added two aces. Herc and Nowak were also in double-digits with 14 and 11, respectively.
Following Saturday's final match, Cifaldi was named to the all-tournament team. She had 35 kills, 15 digs, and three blocks for the weekend.
Kent State will travel to Huntington, W. Va. next weekend for three matches at the Thunder Invitational.