Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Saturday's Scoreboard 9/14
Ball State 3, Drake 0
Eastern Michigan 3, Holy Cross 0
Western Michigan 2, Georgetown 3
Kent State 3, S. Illinois 0
Buffalo 3, UCF 0
Central Michigan 3, Princeton 0
Miami (Ohio) 3, Bradley 2
Akron 0, Montana St. 3
Ohio 3, WKU 0
Bowling Green 2, Kansas 3
Ball State 3, Illinois-Chicago 0
Northern Illinois 1, New Mexico State 3
Miami (Ohio) 3, Youngstown St. 1
Ohio 3, Virginia 2
Akron 0, Gonzaga 3
Bowling Green 0, Wisconsin 3
Eastern Michigan 3, Brown 0
Toledo 0, UC Davis 3
Buffalo 3, Georgia State 0
Central Michigan 1, Hofstra 3
Kent State 2, Marshall 3
Western Michigan , Florida St.
Ball State 3, Drake 0
IOWA CITY, Iowa - - The Ball State women’s volleyball team remained perfect on the weekend with a dominating 3-0 (25-15, 25-15, 25-19) victory over Drake in its first of two matches on the final day of the Hawkeye Challenge hosted by Iowa.
The Cardinals, who moved to 7-3 overall and to 3-0 in the Hawkeye Challenge, are one victory away from claiming the tournament title, as they will battle UIC later this afternoon in a 2 p.m. (CT) first serve at Carver-Hawkeye Arena.
Redshirt freshman transfer Mackenzie Kitchel (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove/Cincinnati) led all attackers with 12 kills, marking the second time this weekend she had blasted double-digit kills. She also hit .357 (12-2-28) in the match, while capping the first set with a solo block.
Redshirt sophomore opposite Kelly Hopkins (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) was second among all attackers with eight kills. Overall, 14 different Cardinals saw action in the victory with eight players recording at least one kill.
Defensively, senior outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) led all players with a season-high tying 18 digs, while senior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) added 14.
Ball State also turned in a strong performance at the net, racking up eight total blocks, with seven of them being solo stuffs. Redshirt sophomore middle Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) led the way with four total blocks, including three solos.
On offense, the Cardinals connected for a .265 (43-16-102) attack percentage, while limiting Drake (1-9) to a .061 (23-17-98) rate of success.
Amanda Platte led the Bulldogs with seven kills, while Sarah Madden posted a team-best 16 digs.
Thanks in part to a strong block and a pair of aces from Tegan LaBerge, the Bulldogs pulled out to a quick 7-3 advantage in the opening set. The Drake lead was short-lived, however, as a kill from Hopkins sparked a BSU rally which tied the score at 7-7.
Moments later, the Cardinals would pull ahead 9-8 on a kill from sophomore setter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) and ace from redshirt sophomore transfer outside hitter Alex Fuelling (Decatur, Ind./Bellmont/Morehead State). With Ball State leading by one, at 13-12, Fuelling and Hopkins would each blast back-to-back kills while an ace from Fredrich led to a Drake timeout at 18-12.
The Cardinals cruised from there, winning the opening set 25-15 on a solo block from Kitchel.
With the score tied at 6-6 early in the second set, Drake called an early timeout to setup a quick play. The plan backfired, however, as senior middle Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) came up with a solo block out of the break to spark an 8-1 Ball State run making the score 14-7.
Another solo block, this time from Benson, helped BSU score three more points following the Bulldogs second timeout to move the score to 17-7. Ball State would go on to win the set 25-15 on junior transfer middle Amanda Raker’s (Indianapolis, Ind./Perry Meridian/Butler) first collegiate volleyball kill.
Trailing 5-3 in the third set, the Cardinals responded with a 4-0 run to take their first lead at 7-5 following a Spadafora kill. With BSU maintaining a 9-8 edge, the Cardinals posted eight straight points, including four kills from Kitchel, to take control of the frame. Ball State went on to win the set 25-19 on a kill from Marx.
Eastern Michigan 3, Holy Cross 0
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team used its most outstanding offensive output of the season to put away Holy Cross University in straight sets Saturday, Sept. 14. It was the third-straight three set victory for EMU (6-4), as they moved to 2-0 at the 2013 Brown Invitational. The Eagles knocked off the Crusaders (3-5), 25-16, 25-13 and 25-21.
Eastern posted the best team attack percentage, .320 (40-11-90), of the season in its win over Holy Cross. Individually, Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) posted a season-high .545 (8-2-11) attack percentage when she banged home eight kills, with just two attack errors in 11 attempts. Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) notched a .400 (8-0-20) hitting percentage and did not make an attack error in 20 tries. Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) led the Eagles in kills with nine, while Jill Briner (Oak Park, Ill.-Oak Park and River Forest (Northeastern)) went a perfect 4-for-4 in attacks. Briner also setup the EMU offense throughout the match, leading in assists with 18. Corynne Smith (Norwalk, Ohio-St. Paul) set a career-high in assists with seven of her own.
Defensively, the Eagles rejected attack attempts nine times. Kelsey Jones (Reed City, Mich.-Reed City) led the Green and White with one solo block and five block assists, while Short added five block assists of her own. Smith set the pace for the match on the defensive side with 12 digs, while Roback added 10. EMU held the Crusaders to a .031 (25-22-97) attack percentage for the match, which is the lowest of any opponent this season.
Crawshaw was an offensive force in the opening set, posting most of her offense in the set. The junior accumulated five of her eight kills in that set going 5-for-6 in attack attempts, good for an .833 percentage. Briner was solid setting up the offense as she earned eight assists in the frame. The Eagles spread the offense across the team as six members of the sqaud had at least two kills in the set. Overall, the offense posted a .424 (16-2-33) hitting percentage in the 25-16 set victory, while holding the Crusaders to a .172 (9-4-29) attack percentage, their best of any set in the match.
Eastern's defense proved to be the catalyst in set two as they totaled four blocks. Jones had one solo and three assists in that frame alone, while Short had three of her five block assists in the set. Offensively, seven Eagles had a kill in the frame. The Green and White notched a .280 (13-6-25) attack percentage in 25-13 set win, while the Crusaders posted a -.138 (4-8-29) with just four kills and a total of eight attack errors in 29 attempts.
EMU closed the door in set three, 25-21. Roback did the majority of her offensive work in the final set, marking six kills in 10 attempts, hitting .600. Despite it being the worst attack percentage of the match, hitting .250 (11-3-32), the Eagles held Holy Cross to a .051 (12-10-39) percentage. Eastern posted four more blocks in that set, including three block assists from Katie Krasowski (Oak Lawn, Ill.-Marist).
Eastern completes their portion of the Brown Invitational Saturday night, Sept. 14, when they take on the host Bears of Brown University. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Pizzitola Sports Center.
Western Michigan 2, Georgetown 3
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Western Michigan volleyball team built a two-set lead but were unable to fend off Georgetown as the Hoyas defeated the Broncos 3-2 (25-16, 25-19, 25-27, 20-25, 10-25) at the Active Ankle Challenge hosted by Florida. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 6-3 on the season; they will face the hosting Gators in the nightcap at 7 p.m.
WMU hit .455 and .382 in the first two sets, respectively, and had a strong offensive day overall; four Broncos reached double-digits in kills, with two setting career-highs in the category. Rachel Sheffer had a team-high 17 kills and hit .286, and freshman Alysia Baznik had her third double-double of the season with 14 kills and a career-high 14 digs. Stephenee Yancy finished with 16 kills and five blocks, and Claire Gerwig added 12 kills, three digs, and two blocks. The Broncos out-blocked the Hoyas 11.0 - 6.0 and recorded 70 digs as a team; Lena Oliver had a match-high 23 digs, and three other Broncos - Rose (15), Baznik (14), and Kaycee Acree (10) - reached double figures.
WMU got hot in the first set against the Hoyas, breaking out of an early doldrum and cruising for a win in the opening stanza. The Hoyas' Dani White pulled the score to within 9-8, but Yancy notched a kill to open the lead back to two points. Gerwig and Yancy combined for a block on the next point, Pawlik and Yancy recorded a block one point after, and Yancy downed a kill on the last point of the stretch to give the Broncos a 13-8 lead in the set and force a Georgetown timeout. Gerwig mad the Broncos the first to 15 with a kill to make it 15-9, and she combined with Ave Stout to block White and give the Broncos a 19-14 lead. With the Broncos leading 20-16, the Broncos notched kills on five straight points, with Yancy scoring two straight to close the set for the 25-16 win.
It took a little longer for the Broncos to get themselves up to speed in the second set, but the Broncos took hold late and never looked back. THe teams traded points early on, but Yancy broke a 10-10 tie to give WMU the lead for good. The closest the Hoyas would get the rest of the set was one point, when Annalee Abell notched a kill to make it 16-15, but Baznik notched a kill to extend the lead to two points, and Gerwig made it a 19-15 lead with a kill. WMU scored three straight points at the end of the set to seal the win, with Sheffer bookending a kill from Stout to make it 25-19.
The Hoyas began to catch fire hitting in the third set, hitting .305 over the final three sets, and held the Broncos to just a .139 hitting percentage in that span. The Hoyas held the lead nearly throughout the entire third set and held off a late Bronco rally to win 27-25, and held off a similar rally late in the fourth set to win 25-20. Now with the momentum, the Hoyas opened the fifth set on a 7-3 run, coasting to a 15-10 set win.
Buffalo 3, UCF 0 ; Buffalo 3, Georgia State 0
BOX SCORE BOX SCORE
ATLANTA, GA – The University at Buffalo volleyball team continued its unbeaten streak with a pair of 3-0 sweeps on Saturday, clinching a victory at the Georgia State Invite. The Bulls defeated UCF earlier this afternoon and then beat the host Panthers on Saturday evening. Sophomore Tahleia Bishop was named the tournament's most valuable player, while Dana Musil and Christine Fritsche were both named to the all-tournament team. UB is now 9-0 on the year.
The Bulls opened the day with a 3-0 sweep of Central Florida, beating UCF, 25-20, 25-21, 27-25. Like they have done in every match to date this season, UB outhit its opponent, .273 to .149. Buffalo got out to an early 8-3 lead on a kill from Bishop and with the set tied 13-13, UB went on an 8-2 run to take a 21-15 lead in the opening set.
UB got out to the same 8-3 lead in the second set and led by as much as 17-9 before UCF came back and tied it up at 21-21. The Bulls went on to score the final four points, including back-to-back kills from Bishop and a Musil ace ended the set.
It was Central Florida who took the lead in the third as it led UB, 15-9 in the set. UCF continued to lead in the set at 20-16 when UB went on a 5-1 run to tie it up at 21-21. The Bulls fought off a set point and ended the match on a 4-1 run with the final point coming on a block from Carissa McKenna and Kaja Schirmer.
"We moved Tahleia over to Liz's spot with her out and she played great," said head coach Todd Kress. "Dana came in a played well and overall it was just a huge team win."
Bishop had a match-high 18 kills, while Musil had 10 and Fritsche added nine. McKenna finished with seven kills and no errors on nine swings. Senior Dani Reinert finished with 26 assists.
Senior Kelly Svoboda finished with a match-high 25 digs, while Musil added nine. McKenna added seven total blocks and Bishop finished with five.
Against the host Panthers, UB took the match 25-22, 25-23, 26-24 as it held Georgia State to just a .076 hitting percentage.
The Bulls fell behind in the opening set 14-13, but they went on a 6-2 run to take a 19-16 lead in the set. UB opened its lead to 23-17 and it held on for the 25-22 victory. Georgia State also took the lead in the second set as the Panthers led 13-10 early in the set and continued to lead 20-17. From there, UB scored six straight points, capped off on a kill from sophomore Amber Hatchett and a Georgia State error, giving UB the 23-20 lead. Georgia State pulled within 24-23, but an attack error gave UB the set and the 2-0 lead.
Georgia State led the third set 20-16 as it looked to extend the match and it increased its lead to 23-18, but the Bulls refused to quit. Three straight UB blocks pulled the Bulls within 23-21 and a Georgia State error and Musil ace tied the set up at 23-23. With the match tied 24-24, back-to-back kills from Hatchett and Bishop clinched the set and the match.
"It was a gritty win for us against a very good and athletic Georgia State team," said Kress. "Our team showed a lot of fight and resiliency coming back from a couple of deficits tonight. This weekend was a total team effort out on the court."
The Bulls had a balanced offense in the win as Musil, Fritsche and Bishop all finished with eight kills. Hatchett added seven and McKenna finished with six. Reinert and junior Taylor Pritchett each finished with 18 assists. Pritchett and Musil each led the way with two aces.
Svoboda had a match-high 22 digs, while Fritsche finished with 11. As a team, UB finished with 13.0 total blocks, led by seven from Hatchett, including a solo. Sophomore Akeila Lain and McKenna each added five blocks.
The Bulls will wrap up their seven-match road trip this Tuesday evening as they head to Canisius. The match is set to begin at 6:00 pm.
Central Michigan 3, Princeton 0 ; Central Michigan 1, Hofstra 3
Hempstead, N.Y. - The Central Michigan volleyball team finished runner-up at the Hofstra Tournament Saturday after splitting its final two matches versus Princeton and Hofstra.
The Chippewas (4-5) earned their second-straight sweep to open the day, taking down the Tigers - 25-23, 25-23, 25-18.
Junior outside hitter Kaitlyn McIntyre continued her stellar play with a team-high 14 kills on 25 attempts, while senior setter Kelly Maxwell dished out 37 assists.
McIntyre was named to the All-Tournament team for the second-straight week, finishing the tournament with 45 kills (4.5/set) and 21 digs.
The Maroon and Gold trailed in the first set versus the Tigers, 23-19, but were able to use a 6-0 run to come from behind and take the early one-set lead.
The Chippewas continued the momentum into the second set to grab an 11-7 lead on a kill by senior Katie Schuette. The Tigers were able to pull back within a point, 18-17, but another kill by Schuette put CMU back in front 21-17 and McIntyre closed the set with a kill for a 25-21 win.
Following the intermission, the Chippewas broke a tight set open midway through to earn the sweep. CMU led by just one, 13-12, after an ace by the Tigers, but went on to score 12 of the next 18 points to claim a 25-18 win. McIntyre had three kills during the run, while Maxwell and sophomore Kristen Reenders each had an ace to help secure the sweep.
The Chippewas and host Pride met in the final match of the tournament as both teams entered having won each of their first two games. After splitting the first two sets, the Pride were able to squeak out a close two-point victory in set three and eventually win the match with a 25-21 victory in set four.
CMU led by two late late in the third set following a kill by McIntyre, 22-20, but an attacking error and service ace even the set at 22 apiece. A kill by sophomore Kalle Mulford put the Chippewas back in front, but the Pride once again evened the match, forcing a CMU timeout. Another kill by Mulford fought off set point after Hofstra had taken a 24-23 lead, but a kill by Nuria Lopes da Silva and an attacking error on the Chippewas gave the Pride a 26-24 win.
The Pride grabbed an early 11-4 lead in the fourth set and the Chippewas were never able to recover, falling 25-21.
Miami (Ohio) 3, Bradley 2
ST. LOUIS – The Miami University volleyball team took the first two sets, and then had to withstand a comeback by Bradley Saturday morning at the Billiken Challenge. The RedHawks were up to the task as the won the fifth set to earn a 3-2 (26-24, 25-13, 26-28, 22-25, 15-10) win. Miami improves to 7-1 on the season, while the Braves fall to 6-2.
It was a career performance for sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig. She finished with a career-high 15 kills. She made only four errors in 33 attempts for a hitting percentage of .333. Junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley had her sixth double-double in eight matches in 2013, finishing with 13 kills and 20 assists. As a team, the RedHawks hit .276 for the match, while holding the Braves to a .186 hitting percentage.
With Bradley in front, 10-9, in set one, a kill by sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle was part of a 5-1 run that put Miami ahead, 14-11. A kill by Riley helped maintain the advantage at three (18-15), but the Braves scored three straight points to tie the score up and force a RedHawk timeout. Out of the break, kills from Ingle and junior middle hitter Chelsea Visk, along with a service ace by freshman setter Krista Brakauskas were part of a 6-2 run that gave Miami set point at 24-20. Bradley fought it off by scoring four consecutive points, but back-to-back kills from Chaney and Riley gave the ‘Hawks a 26-24 win.
Tied at six in set two, two straight blocks from Visk and senior outside hitter Madison Dodd sparked a 7-1 run that put Miami in control at 14-7. After the Braves scored a point, back-to-back kills from sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig and Riley off senior libero Madison Hardy’s assists helped put the RedHawks up by 12 at 21-9. That proved to be more than enough as Riley and Chaney put down kills to help Miami finish off a 25-13 victory.
Set three proved to be tight throughout as only once was a team able to manage a lead of three points. With Bradley up 17-14, a block by Dodd and Visk followed by two straight kills from Reiswig tied the score at 17. Miami built the lead to 23-21, but the Braves fought back with three straight points to earn set point. A kill by Riley and a block from Riley and Ingle gave Miami match point, but this time Bradley fought it off. With the score tied at 26, BU scored two straight to earn a 28-26 win.
Bradley built an early 8-5 lead in set four. Kills by Dodd and Visk, along with a service ace by Visk and a block by Dodd and Ingle put the RedHawks up, 10-9. The lead changed three more times until a run by the Braves put them in front, 19-16. A block by Visk and freshman outside hitter Maris Below was part of a 4-1 run that tied the score at 20. However, Bradley answered back with a 5-2 run of its own to take a 25-22 victory and force the match to a decisive fifth set.
It looked bleak early for Miami in set five as the Braves scored the first three points. The team fought back as a service ace by Brakauskas and a kill and a block from Riley was part of five straight points for the Red and White to put them in front. Several Brave attack errors allowed Miami to expand the advantage to five at 11-6. With the score 13-9, the Visk and Dodd teamed up for a block to give the RedHawks set point. After a service error, a Bradley setting error gave Miami a 15-10 win and the match, 3-2.
Ingle finished with nine kills, while Chaney had eight and Visk contributed seven. Brakauskas led the ‘Hawks with a career-high 33 assists, while Hardy had 20 digs. As a team, Miami recorded 13 blocks, led by eight block assists from Visk.
The RedHawks will look to earn their third straight tournament championship when they complete play at the Billiken Challenge against Youngstown State later Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (EDT).
Akron 0, Montana St. 3 ; Akron 0, Gonzaga 3
BOX SCORE BOX SCORE
BOZEMAN, Mont. – The University of Akron volleyball team held its own but struggled to find its rhythm down the stretch on the final day of the Bobcat Classic, falling to Montana State and Gonzaga in straight sets on Saturday.
All-Tournament Team selection Kelsey Wilson averaged 3.00 kills per set on the day for the Zips (5-4) while Jill Paluch posted 4.50 digs per set over the course of the two matches.
"We played some very good teams down to the wire this weekend and learned what we need to do prepare for conference play," said head coach Ron Arenz. "These matches were a necessary step for us as a program if we are to put ourselves in a position to contend for a Mid-American Conference title."
Montana State 3, Akron 0
Alex Cockln and Wilson knocked down seven kills apiece, but Akron's unforced errors proved to be the difference in the match as Montana State (2-8) came out on top 25-14, 25-20, 25-18.
Despite Paluch's match-high 15 digs, MSU found a way to pepper in 10 service aces to fuel its offense.
Akron was unable to recover after falling behind early in the first set, but had its best shot to even the score in the second. The Zips fought through 10 tie scores until Montana State broke a 16-all tie with three straight points to force an Akron timeout.
The Zips stayed within striking distance, scoring out of the huddle on a Bobcat error to trim the deficit to 23-20, but MSU's Kennadie Clute nailed down two final kills to close Akron's window of opportunity.
UA saw an early third set lead dwindle away to a 7-all tie that was broken up by a 7-0 run from Montana State. Trailing by as many as nine, the Zips recovered for four consecutive scores late in the game to make it 22-18 but would not get closer than that.
Gonzaga 3, Akron 0
In what proved to be a fairly evenly-matched statistical contest, Akron came up on the short side against Gonzaga (4-5), falling 25-20, 25-23, 25-23.
Cocklin recorded her first double-double of the season with 10 kills and 12 digs and Wilson hit .500 with 11 kills to pace UA's offense. Amanda Bedell added seven kills with just one error in 14 attempts hitting .429, while Julie Shallman swung for seven kills as well and had a hand in four block-assists.
Karley Kusan dished out 35 assists and Paluch contributed 12 digs as well to help the Zips out-dig Gonzaga 41-32.
UA out-hit the Bulldogs .286 to .211 in the third set, scoring three straight points late in the period to lock the score at 21. An Akron error and a GU block put Gonzaga at match point for the first time before a hitting error squandered its first shot. The Zips were unable to turn the tables however and Gonzaga took the match on the ensuing kill.
Akron will round out its non-conference schedule next weekend with a doubleheader at St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Zips will take on SFU at 11:00 a.m. ET and Youngstown State at 1:30 p.m. in Loretto, Pa.
Ohio 3, WKU 0
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. - Behind a double-double from senior Kelly Lamberti and superior setting from sophomore Abby Gilleland, the Ohio University volleyball team (7-1) moved to 2-1 against ranked teams this season with a 3-0 win (25-21, 25-23, 25-23) over No. 21 Western Kentucky (6-4) Saturday afternoon at E.A. Diddle Arena.
Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) led the `Cats with 13 kills and 10 digs, while Gilleland notched 38 assists (12.7/set) to go along with seven kills as the `Cats played one of their best offensive matches of the season against the host Hilltoppers.
"Other than the beginning of the first and third sets, I thought this was the best we've played as a group," head coach Ryan Theis said. "We had to earn the win. We scored about 21 or 22 points a game because Western Kentucky wasn't giving us much. The ability to earn the win over a very good team and a very good program is an excellent stride for our team."
The `Cats shined at the net, knocking down 52 kills to WKU's 44 while holding a commanding 9-2 edge in total blocks. The Green & White hit a solid .317 for the match and never dipped below the .300 mark in any of its three sets.
Freshman outside hitter Katie Horton (Westland, Mich.) posted her second-straight double-digit kill outing (10) while redshirt junior Liis Kullerkann (Keila, Estonia) played one of the best matches of her career with nine kills and four blocks while hitting at a commanding .500 clip.
"It was great to see Liis that offensive," Theis said. "I thought Abby did a great job of distributing the ball and getting her into good situations."
Graduate middle blocker Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) entered Friday's match ranked No. 14 in the nation in blocks/set and added to her total against the Hilltoppers, recording a match-high seven total blocks to go along with five kills and a .364 hitting percentage.
Sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) anchored the Ohio back line with a team-high 16 digs, marking the seventh-straight match in which she's recorded at least 10 digs. Freshman libero/outside hitter Mallory Salis (Oak Lawn, Ill.) made it two-straight double-digit dig outings with 10 and added three kills at the net for Ohio.
The Hilltoppers posted four of the first five points of the match, before two-straight kills from Gilleland moved the `Cats back within one (4-3). WKU extended its lead back to three at 11-8, before Ohio stormed back with three-straight - including kills from Gilleland and Bull - to knot the score at 11.
Two-straight blocks from the `Cats gave Ohio its first lead (17-15) and the visitors stayed in front by one (19-18) on a kill from Katie Horton. Consecutive kills from Kullerkann and Pinson gave Ohio a two-point lead (23-21). The `Cats won the final two points of the set, completing a 6-1 run to take the frame, 25-21.
Bolstered by an early 5-0 run, Ohio jumped out to a 9-6 lead in set two and moved in front by five (15-10) on a kill from Horton. Two straight block assists from Pinson helped Ohio move in front by six (19-13), but three-straight points from the Hilltoppers cut the Bobcat lead to three (20-17).
The Green & White took a four-point lead on a kill from Lamberti (23-19), but WKU raced back with three straight to cut the edge to one (23-22). Ohio responded with a kill by Bull to set up set point (24-22) and the `Cats split the final two points of the frame to take it, 25-23.
WKU built an early 7-3 lead in set three, but the `Cats responded with five of the next seven points to cut the deficit to one (9-8). The Hilltoppers responded with three straight to claim a four-point lead (12-8) and stayed in front by that mark at 17-13. At that point, Ohio raced back with three-straight to cut the lead to one (17-16), and the `Cats tied it up at 18 on a kill from Lamberti.
The Hilltoppers moved in front by one at 20-19, but Ohio raced back with two more to build a one point Bobcat lead (21-20) after an ace from Lamberti. Ohio earned match point at 24-22, then sealed the victory on a kill from Horton.
With the win, the 'Cats moved to 2-0 in road matches this season and are now an impressive 23-3 in total sets on the year.
Ohio now aims to claim the WKU Invitational title tonight at 6 p.m. versus the University of Virginia.
Bowling Green 2, Kansas 3 ; Bowling Green 0, Wisconsin 3
BOX SCORE BOX SCORE
MADISON, Wis.—The Bowling Green State University volleyball team lost two tough matches on Saturday to close out the InnTowner Invitational, as they were defeated by tournament champion Kansas and No. 25 Wisconsin. With the two losses, the Falcons fall to 1-7 on the season. The Orange and Brown will finally return home for a matchup with Youngstown State on Tuesday night. That match, which is set to begin at 7:00 p.m., will be aired by BCSN inside the Stroh Center.
In the first match of the day for the Falcons, they would push tournament champion Kansas to five sets, before eventually falling in the decisive set. Two Falcons posted over 20 kills in the match, as seniors Lindsey Butterfield and Paige Penrod had 22 and 20 kills respectively. The Falcons were hurt by their offensive struggles as a team, as they hit just .158 for the match.
The first set would begin with the two teams trading blows until it was tied at six, but from there Kansas would score six straight points to take a 12-6 lead. The Falcons and Jayhawks would alternate the next two points, but KU would eventually push their first-set lead to 19-11. Coach Danijela Tomic would let her veteran-laden team play through the adversity though, and the Falcons would respond, closing the deficit to 22-19 late in the first set. But, the early deficit would be too much to overcome, as Kansas would close out the first set with a 25-22 win.
The Falcons would win the second set by an identical 25-22 score, as they would overcome multiple early deficits to win. The Falcons never trailed by more than two points, which they did eight different times in the set. The last two-point deficit would come at 19-17. The Orange and Brown would close out the second set strong, scoring eight of the final 11 points for the win.
Bowling Green would come out strong in the third set, jumping ahead by scores of 5-1 and 11-6 in the early going. KU would battle back to tie the set score at 13, eventually taking their first lead at 14-13 following an attack error by the Falcons. Kansas would not trail the rest of the set, as they would score 14 of the final 19 points in the set after the Falcons led 13-11.
The fourth set would belong to the Falcons, as they would overcome an early 3-0 deficit to eventually claim a 25-23 win. With the set tied at 23 all, the Falcons would regroup with a timeout. Out of the timeout, the Falcons would take the lead with a huge kill by Butterfield. That kill would be followed up by a Jayhawk attacking error, giving the Falcons a 25-23 lead and forcing the match into the fifth set.
Coming into Saturday, the Falcons had gone 10-1 in five set matches since the beginning of 2012, including 10 consecutive wins in matches that lasted five sets. However, the Jayhawks had other plans, as they hit .375 en route to the 15-8 win in the fifth set.
In the nightcap, Wisconsin would stymie the Falcons' attack, as the Orange and Brown was held to a hitting percentage of just .064 against the 25th-ranked Badgers. Playing in front of 2,552 fans, the Falcons would drop sets by scores of 25-20, 25-15, and 25-20 in the three-set setback to Wisconsin.
Butterfield once again had a strong match on Saturday night, as she posted 11 kills while hitting .231. Junior Erica Fullenkamp added 23 assists for the Falcons. The Falcons held leads in every set against the Badgers on Saturday night, but they would be unable to capitalize on the early momentum during each set.
Butterfield, a senior from Springfield, Ohio, was named to the All-Tournament Team at the InnTowner Invitational. During the tournament, Butterfield posted 47 kills (4.27 k/s) while hitting .250.
The Falcons will return to action on Tuesday night at home, when they host Youngstown State inside the Stroh Center. All season ticket holders will receive a signed poster by the team at that game.
Ball State 3, Illinois-Chicago 0
IOWA CITY, Iowa - - The Ball State women’s volleyball team continued its dominant play Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-14) sweep of UIC to claim the 2013 Hawkeye Challenge title.
Ball State finished the two day event with a 4-0 record, while improving to 8-3 overall this season.
“This tournament went exactly the way we needed it to, and the way I hoped it would go,” said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. “I was hoping this would be a breakthrough weekend for us and it was. I thought we were as mentally tough as we have been all season. I felt like we found ourselves this weekend and learned what it takes to be a champion. This weekend could not have gone any better, we just have to build on it and get ready for Tuesday.”
Redshirt sophomore transfer Alex Fuelling (Decatur, Ind./Bellmont/Morehead State) led all players in the title match with 10 kills and 15 digs for her second double-double of the weekend. Fuelling also connected at a .429 (10-1-21) clip, while adding an ace.
Redshirt freshman transfer Mackenzie Kitchel (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove/Cincinnati) added nine kills in the contest, while senior middle Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) posted seven.
Led by senior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East), the Ball State offense finished the match with a .376 (43-8-93) attack percentage.
The Cardinals defense also had a strong showing, limiting the Flames to a .063 (25-19-95) attacking mark. Ball State also held an 8-3 advantage in team blocks.
Sara Sternard led the UIC (4-6) attack with seven kills, while Justine Garcia collected a team-high eight digs.
A kill from Kitchel got the match started on the right note, as the Cardinals pulled out to a 5-1 lead in the first set. The BSU advantage remained four, at the 9-5 mark, before an 8-0 run gave Ball State a 17-5 edge and complete control of the set.
A kill from Marx would give the Cardinals set-point, at 24-13, while Fuelling ended the set, at 25-14, with a kill of her own.
Ball State carried over the momentum in the second set, as three early kills from senior outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) and an ace from Seidel put the Cardinals ahead 5-0.
The Cardinals took a 10-point lead at the 18-8 mark on an ace from sophomore setter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll), before winning the frame 25-11 on a UIC attack error.
The Flames took their first lead of the match at the 2-1 mark of the third set, only to see the Cardinals answer with the next two points. With UIC leading 8-7, Kitchel used a kill and solo block to help BSU reclaim the lead at 9-8.
Ball State continued to hold a one-point edge at the 13-12 mark, before posting five-straight points, including a solo block and kill from Marx, to pull ahead 18-12. The Cardinals would go on to close out the set at 25-14 thanks to a kill off the arm of Kitchel.
The Ball State women’s volleyball team returns to action Tuesday, when it hosts IUPUI for a 7 p.m. first serve at Worthen Arena. Ball State Sports Link will televise the match live state-wide on Comcast Indiana 81, while BallStateSports.com will stream the match live and FREE of charge.
Northern Illinois 1, New Mexico State 3
LAS CRUCES, N.M – The Northern Illinois volleyball team closed out the NM State Tournament Saturday afternoon at the Pan American Center with a 3-1 loss to the host New Mexico State Aggies.
The loss sends the Huskies to 5-5, while the Aggies moved to 3-6. Despite hitting .325 in the first set, NIU could not keep the momentum going in the following sets, as the NMSU defense held the Huskies to a .027 the next three sets.
“Our two teams are very similar to where we got some youth and we got some kids that are pretty physical,” said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. “Credit those guys to where we had a good start in the first set and they made a couple adjustments and continued to play. Our group is continuing to learn. We’ve got flashes of solid play, but when you play teams of this level – teams that are winning championships in their conference on a regular basis – we’ve got to learn to play a little more consistently.”
NIU got off to a good start with Lauren Zielinski and Mackenzie Roddy kills highlighting a set-opening 5-2 run. The Aggies worked their way back into the match with a 4-0 run to move ahead 10-9 until a Sarah Angelos kill and a Tori Halbur ace put the Huskies back up, 11-10. Both sides continued to trade blows until NIU turned a 15-14 deficit into a 20-17 lead with a 6-2 run highlighted by three Mary Grace Kelly kills and another Halbur ace. NMSU, though, came right back with back-to-back kills to inch within one. The Huskies denied the rally and closed out the set with a 5-2 run to claim the opening set, 25-21.
NIU fell into an early 6-3 hole to start the second set with NMSU scoring on three kills, two Huskie errors and a block. Northern closed that early gap quickly with a 3-1 run to tie the set at 7-7. Yet, that deadlock was short-lived as the Aggies used another 3-0 run to claim a 10-7 advantage. NMSU’s lead would lengthen to nine late in the set to send the Huskies to a 25-14 second set loss.
The Huskies regained their form out of the half, using a 4-0 run – with points coming from Roddy, Zielinski, Kelly and Jenna Radtke – to stake a quick 6-3 lead. NIU pushed the lead to 9-5 and kept the Aggies at bay. That’s until NMSU used a 5-2 run to bring the set to a 13-13 stalemate. From there, the Aggies broke open the set with a 7-3 run to take control and coast to a 25-20 victory.
The fourth set was a back-and-forth affair with each side exchanging runs. After both sides battled to a 7-7 tie early, NMSU used two Bradley Nash kills and an NIU error to claim a 10-7 lead. The Huskies responded with a 5-2 run to tie things again, this time at 12, behind a Roddy kill and two Aggie errors. An ace and two NIU errors put NMSU back up 15-12, only to have the Huskies tie the match again at 15-15. Unfortunately for NIU, the Aggies used a 5-0 run to move ahead 20-15. Though the Huskies battled back to 20-18, NMSU closed the set with five straight points to win the set, 25-18, and the match.
Mackenzie Roddy led the Huskies with 12 kills and three service aces on the day, while Kelly and Angelos each added nine scores in the loss. On defense, Justine Schepler and Tori Halbur collected 21 and 11 digs, respectively.
The Huskies return home Tuesday to face the Northern Iowa Panthers. The match begins at 7 p.m. inside Victor E. Court.
Miami (Ohio) 3, Youngstown St. 1
ST. LOUIS – For the third straight match it took five sets, but the Miami University volleyball team won the Billiken Challenge with a 3-2 (25-16, 27-25, 19-25, 16-25, 15-9) victory over Youngstown State Saturday evening. It is the third straight tournament the RedHawks have won to begin the 2013 season. Miami improves to 8-1 on the year, while the Penguins fall to 4-6.
Playing in front of her hometown for the first time in college, junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley was named the Tournament MVP. Against YSU, she had another double-double, finishing with 12 kills and 22 assists. She just missed a triple-double, finishing with eight digs. Riley had a double-double in all three matches.
Joining Riley on the All-Tournament Team were sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig and freshman setter Krista Brakauskas. Reiswig finished with 13 kills against the Penguins and had 34 kills for the tournament. Brakauskas set a new career-high with 34 assists Saturday evening and finished with 94 assists over the weekend, an average of 6.27 assists per set.
Youngstown State scored the first four points of the match to open set one. Miami responded by scoring six straight points of its own to take the lead. Sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle contributed three straight blocks (one solo, two assisted) on the final three points of the run. With the Penguins in front 10-9, a kill and another block from Ingle, along with a service ace by junior middle hitter Chelsea Visk were part of a 7-1 run that put Miami in control at 16-11. With the score 19-14, Miami closed with a 6-2 run to finish off a 25-16 win, getting the final point on a service ace from freshman outside hitter Maris Below.
Kills by Visk and Ingle, followed by a block from Ingle put the RedHawks up 3-0 to begin set two. Brakauskas and Riley each recorded kills as Miami took the advantage to 6-3. YSU responded with a 7-3 run to go in front, 10-9. The lead was traded back-and-forth five times until a 4-0 run from the Penguins put them up, 21-18. The ‘Hawks did not give up as kills from senior outside hitter Madison Dodd, Riley and Ingle were part of a 5-1 answer that put Miami back ahead, 23-22. With the score tied at 25, back-to-back kills from Below and Dodd gave the Red and White a 27-25 victory.
Tied at four in set three, kills from Ingle, Riley and Visk were part of a 4-2 run that put Miami in front, 8-6. Youngstown State responded with a 9-4 run that put it in front, 15-12. While Ingle, Dodd and Riley each had kills, the RedHawks could never get the score any closer than two points as the Penguins eventually pulled away for a 25-19 win.
Youngstown State jumped to a 12-3 lead to begin set four. A pair of kills from Ingle and one from Reiswig helped pull the RedHawks to within seven at 9-16, but the Penguins responded with a 6-2 run to make it an 11-point score at 22-11. Below recorded two more kills, but the advantage was too great as the Penguins earned a 25-16 victory and sent the match to a decisive fifth set.
The teams traded side outs for the first 11 points as Youngstown State took a 6-5 lead. A block by the Penguins gave them a two-point advantage, but kills from Dodd and Ingle tied up the score.
Youngstown State took an 8-7 advantage, but kills from Dodd and Ingle off of Riley assists gave the RedHawks their first lead of the set. Miami kept on the pressure, scoring the next three points to push the advantage to 11-8. The Penguins scored to pull within two, but followed with an attack error. A service ace by senior libero Madison Hardy, followed by a solo block and kill from Below finished off the 15-9 win and gave Miami another tournament championship.
Ingle led the RedHawks with 16 kills, while Below had 10. Hardy had a season-high 29 digs. Miami hit .228 for the match, while holding Youngstown State to a .215 hitting percentage.
The RedHawks finish non-conference tournament play with the Wildcat Classic next weekend. Miami opens against IUPUI on Friday at 11 a.m. (EDT), and take on the host Northwestern at 8 p.m. (EDT), later that night. On Saturday, the ‘Hawks finish play against USF at 9 p.m. (EDT).
Ohio 3, Virginia 2
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – After being faced with a two-set deficit, the Ohio University volleyball team (8-1) showed its tenacity by rallying to win the final three sets and defeat the University of Virginia, 3-2, on Saturday evening at E.A. Diddle Arena.
After dropping the first two sets, 13-25 and 22-25, the ‘Cats raced back with set victories of 25-21 and 25-14 to force a fifth and final set. The Green & White won the deciding frame, 15-11.
“I’m really happy that our team was able to show resilience tonight," head coach Ryan Theis said. "In the first eight matched we played, the only sets we lost, we lost in a row and couldn’t bounce back. We did that today. Down 0-2, I’m very proud of our resilient bunch.”
The victory clinched the WKU Invitational tournament title for Ohio and moved the ‘Cats to 8-1 on the season for the first time since 2005.
After hitting .224 as a team through the first two sets, Ohio surged forward to hit .341 over the final three frames while limiting Virginia (4-5, 0-0 ACC) to a .147 clip over that span. The ‘Cats earned the win on the defensive side of the rally, as Ohio held a +14 edge in digs (71-57) and compiled 11 total blocks to the Cavaliers’ eight.
Freshman Katie Horton was named the WKU Invitational MVP after hitting a red-hot .382 and averaging 2.82 kills/set over the tournament's three matches. The Westland, Mich., native posted double-digit kills in all three matches, including 10 against UVa to go along with five digs and a .410 hitting percentage.
Junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) notched her fourth double-double of the season, notching a team-high 16 kills to go along with 14 digs. Also playing well on the front line, redshirt junior Liis Kullerkann (Keila, Estonia) earned all-tournament honors after posting a personal-best 14 kills while hitting .379 for the match. Kullerkann averaged 2.79 kills/set during the tournament while posting a strong .356 hitting percentage over the three sets.
“I thought Liis emerged as a good point scorer this weekend," Theis said. "Katie was tournament MVP – that makes six different players that have made all-tournament team in our first three weekends. So I think the biggest thing we’re doing is scoring points from a bunch of different positions and I’m very happy with that.”
Sophomore setter Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) notched a team-high 46 assists to go along with five kills and five digs, while sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) notched her eighth-straight double-digit dig effort with a season-best 23. Freshman outsider hitter Mallory Salis (Oak Lawn, Ill.) led Ohio with a team-high three service aces while adding nine digs and five kills.
The Cavaliers jumped out to a 5-2 lead in set one and held a 9-4 lead early in the frame. A kill from Horton cut the UVa edge to four (9-5), but the Wahoos kept the pedal to the medal and held a 14-6 advantage after a kill from Haley Kole. The Bobcats moved within six on a kill from Kullerkann (15-9), but Virginia rattled off four straight points to build a 10-point lead (19-9). The Cavaliers won the first set, 25-13.
Virginia grabbed another 5-2 lead in set two before the ‘Cats tied it up at six. The Wahoos moved ahead by two (9-7) before Ohio re-took the lead by one (12-11) on a kill from Bull. Virginia stormed back to take a 16-13 lead, but the ‘Cats answered with a 4-1 run to knot the set at 17. The Cavs once again took a two point lead (20-18) in an increasingly back and forth affair and forced match point at 24-22. Virginia cashed in and took the second set, 25-22.
For the third set in a row, Virginia jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but Ohio used a 6-2 run to build a 9-7 advantage. The ‘Cats moved ahead by four (16-12) on a solo block from Katie Horton and took a five-point lead on a kill by graduate middle blocker Alexis Pinson (18-13). The sequence capped a 7-2 run by Ohio. Virginia raced back tie the score at 20, but at that point, Ohio posted three-straight points – including kills from Kullerkann and Lamberti – to take a 23-20 lead. The Bobcats held on for the 25-21 set victory to force a fourth frame.
In set four, it was the ‘Cats that rolled out to a 5-2 lead and Ohio held a 10-5 advantage after a Virginia attack error. Ohio remained in front by five (15-10) after a block from Pinson and Gilleland and extended the edge to seven (21-14) after an ace from freshman defensive specialist (Milwaukee, Wis.). A block from Bull and Kullerkann made it 23-14 and Ohio went on to take set four, 25-14. The ‘Cats closed the stanza on an 8-0 run.
The two teams went back in forth in the fifth set, playing to a 6-6 tie. From there, the ‘Cats began a critical 4-0 run that gave the Ohio a 10-6 lead and ultimately clinched the tournament title for the Green & White. The Bobcats went on to win the fifth set, 15-11.
Ohio is now 4-0 on neutral courts this season and 1-1 in five set matches. The ‘Cats have posted an unblemished 7-0 mark in three-set affairs.
The Bobcats return to action next weekend in the Michigan Invitational. Ohio opens with Maryland (1 p.m.) and Marshall (5:30 p.m.) before taking on No. 7 Michigan Saturday at 7 p.m.
Eastern Michigan 3, Brown 0
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team continued its dominance this week as it won its fourth-straight match in three sets. The Eagles (7-4) topped the host institution, Brown University, in its final match of the 2013 Brown Invitational. EMU knocked off the Bears (2-5), 25-16, 25-20 and 25-14. It was the first time since the 2011 season that Eastern had won four consecutive matches in three sets. The last time that feat occurred; the Eagles topped Miami (OH), Bowling Green, Buffalo and Akron from Oct. 14-Oct. 22.
Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) was named the Most Valuable Player of the Brown Invitational after averaging 2.67 kills per set and hitting .393 over the course of three matches. The Orrville, Ohio native notched 1.11 blocks per set and averaged 3.33 points per game in her run to MVP. Kelsey Jones (Reed City, Mich.-Reed City) averaged 1.62 blocks per set throughout the Brown Invitational and hit .346 with 1.25 kills per game to earn All-Tournament Team honors.
The Eagles spread out the offense in the victory over Brown, as it did most of the weekend. EMU had nine student-athletes with a kill and Short led the way with nine in 21 attempts, posting a .333 (9-2-21) attack percentage. Stacey Perinar (Channahon, Ill.-Minooka Community) accumulated eight kills, while Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) added five of her own. Jill Briner (Oak Park, Ill.-Oak Park and River Forest (Northeastern)) had a balanced attack offensively. The junior totaled a match-high 18 assists, while also picking up three kills and a service ace. Natalie Folk (Saline, Mich.-Saline) had five of Eastern's eight aces in the match. As a team, Eastern hit .267 (36-8-105) in the match with just eight attack errors throughout the match.
Defensively, the Eagles posted nine blocks, with Short leading that category as well. The senior had a solo block to go along with three block assists. Jones had four block assists, while Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) and Devon Murray (Shelby, Ohio-Shelby) each added three of their own. Corynne Smith (Norwalk, Ohio-St. Paul) led the match in digs with 17.
Eastern started out the match hot defensively, as it posted four of its nine blocks in the opening frame, while also allowing just one reception error in the set. The Bears were held to a .044 (12-10-45) attack percentage after being forced into 10 errors. On the other side of the net, EMU made just three attack errors and held a .244 (13-3-41) hitting percentage, including a 4-of-6 performance from Perinar to lead the Eagles to a 25-16 opening set win.
After jumping out to the quick 1-0 lead, EMU did not slow down and took a two-set lead. Short and Roback helped with three kills each as the team hit .250 (11-3-32) in the set. Five of the six Eagle starters posted kills in the frame, while holding Brown to a .150 (13-7-40) attack percentage. The Green and White came up with three blocks in the set including two block assists from Crawshaw to seal a 25-20 set win.
Eastern closed the door in dominating fashion during the third set. The Eagles took the frame, 25-14, while holding the Bears to a .150 (13-7-40) attack percentage. Short and Roback each added three more kills, while Eastern Michigan had just three attack errors and hit .250 (11-3-32) to sweep the Brown Invitational in just nine sets.
The Eagles take two days off before they host IPFW Tuesday, Sept. 17, for a midweek tilt at the Convocation Center. First serve is slated for 7 p.m. in Ypsilanti.
Toledo 0, UC Davis 3
PORTLAND, OR – Toledo (5-5) concluded its weekend on the West Coast on Saturday with a 3-0 (25-15, 25-17, 25-21) setback to UC-Davis (6-6) at Portland’s North Harbour Marriott Challenge.
Senior outside hitters Jordan Kielty and Lauren Rafdal paced the Rockets with eight kills apiece, while senior MB Dakota Harkins tallied seven terminations and a team-high .389 attack percentage.
Harkins also topped UT defensive at the net with four blocks and was rewarded for her play with a berth on the all-tournament team. Freshman libero Ellen Hays paced the Rockets’ back-row efforts with a match-best 17 digs.
Freshman OH Kaylin Squyres and junior MB Victoria Lee tied for team kill honors for the Aggies with 11 kills apiece with Lee tallying an impressive .579 hitting mark.
The Rockets were tied at 11-11 in Set 1 until the Aggies scored six straight points to take command. UC-Davis produced a similar spurt in Set 2 with a 9-1 run to take a 17-9 advantage. UT held a 20-19 lead in the final set, but the Aggies scored six of the next seven points to close out the match.
Toledo is back in action next weekend when it travels to Indianapolis, IN for the Butler Invitational on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 20-21.
Kent State 3, S. Illinois 0 ; Kent State 2, Marshall 3
BOX SCORE BOX SCORE
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. – The Kent State volleyball team secured it first winning weekend of the 2013 campaign with an impressive 3-0 victory over Southern Illinois (25-22, 25-20, 25-23) early Saturday morning. The Golden Flashes came up just short of a weekend sweep at the Thunder Invitational, falling in a five-setter to host Marshall (20-25, 25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 7-15) in the finale.
"This weekend was the most consistent and complete performance that our team has had this season," said head coach Don Gromala. "We need to continue to build on this performance next weekend at our home tournament. The MAC is a tough conference and playing well for one weekend isn't going to make our season."
Senior libero Hannah Herc and sophomore opposite Kelly Hutchison were both named to the all-tournament team, which is the first time this season that multiple Flashes have be honored. Hutchison was the catalyst of the Kent State attack on Saturday, totaling 30 kills and hitting .328 to extend her streak of matches with double-digit kills to four. Herc followed a career-best 31 digs Friday night with 18 and 21, respectively, in Saturday's matches.
Kent State (3-6) had one of its best offensive performances of the season in beating Southern Illinois. The Flashes totaled 48 kills and hit .284 as a team in the victory. Freshman outside hitter Bianca Cifaldi posted 12 kills to join Hutchison (14) in double-digits for the match. Both players were efficient in their attack by hitting .333 or better. Senior Aleksandra Nowak helped orchestrate the Kent State offense and recorded 36 assists.
The Flashes jumped out to an 8-2 lead in the opening set and never looked back. The next two sets were much closer and featured 19-all and 22-all ties, but the Flashes found a way to close out the Salukis in both sets.
"Winning those close sets is huge for us, especially against the level of teams we played this weekend, which are similar to the teams in the MAC," added Gromala. "Our girls have to be prepared for and find a way to execute in those moments."
Against Marshall, the Flashes' inconsistency on offense proved to be their downfall. Kent State hit .299 in winning the second and fourth sets, but managed a hitting percentage of just .025 in in the other three sets.
"Marshall did a great job of blocking," Gromala said. "But our girls did a good job of battling again tonight, which they've done all season."
Cifaldi posted a match-high 18 kills in the loss, while Hutchison added 16.
Kent State will try to even its record on the season when it hosts the Golden Flashes Classic next weekend (Sept. 20-21) at the M.A.C. Center.
Western Michigan 1, Florida St. 3
GAINESVILLE, Fla. - The Western Michigan volleyball team closed their stay at the Active Ankle Challenge with a spirited performance against the nationally-ranked host team, falling 3-1 (21-25, 22-25, 30-28, 18-25) to #5 Florida in the final match of the tournament. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 6-4 on the season.
Stephenee Yancy was named to her third All-Tournament team of the season, recording 20 kills and hitting a mind-boggling .613 (20-1-31) against the Gators. Claire Gerwig tied a career-high with 15 kills and hit at a .278 clip, and Ave Stout finished with a career-high 12 kills and a very strong .370 hitting percentage. Lena Oliver had a match-high 29 digs for the Broncos, and Lexie Pawlik dished out 53 assists.
Both of the first two sets were close, with the Broncos not backing down from their nationally ranked opponent. The Broncos actually led 10-6 at one point in the first set when Yancy recorded a solo block of Taylor Brauneis, and the Broncos and Gators traded points deep into the set. Yancy tied the set at 18 with a kill, but the Gators took the lead on Ziva Recek's kill to make it 19-18 and to take the lead for good, en route to a 25-21 win. Similarly, the Gators took the lead midway through the second set to take the 2-0 lead on their opponent; after Rachel Sheffer notched a kill to tie the set at 13, the Gators took the lead on a service error and ultimately came away with the 25-22 win.
The Broncos were not done, though, pushing their hosts to the very limit by taking the third set and playing a competitive fourth. WMU opened the third set on a 6-0 run, with Yancy setting the tone with a kill to take the lead. Alysia Baznik and Gerwig had kills on back to back points to make it 4-0, and Yancy solo-blocked Simone Antwi to make it 5-0 and force a Florida timeout; Baznik notched a kill to make it 6-0. The Gators fought back, though and in fact tied the set at 23-23, and eventually took a 24-23 lead. Sheffer put the Broncos back in position with a kill to tie it at 24, and the teams traded point until Gerwig had a kill to give WMU a 28-27 lead. Gerwig struck again to make it 29-28, and a Florida attack error gave the Broncos the marathon set win at 30-28.
The Gators rebounded from the loss, though, and drove back a feisty WMU attack to seal the win in the fourth set. Sheffer gave WMU a 10-8 lead with a kill at one point, but the Gators went on a 5-0 run to take a 13-10 lead, and Florida held on to that lead for good. The closest the set would get from that point was when Ave Stout ripped a kill to make it 18-16, but the Gators tightened up and eventually won 25-18.