Saturday's Volleyball Results

Updated 9/21/2013

Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments

Eastern Michigan 3, Cincinnati 0
Central Michigan 3, Charleston Southern 0
WKU 3, Western Michigan 1
Virginia Tech 3, Bowling Green 0
Bowling Green 3, Rice 1
Akron 3, St. Francis (Pa.) 1
Toledo 3, Green Bay 0
Northern Illinois 3, Oakland 0
Ball State 3, SMU 1
Kent State 3, Eastern Illinois 1
Buffalo 3, Maryland Eastern Shore 0
Youngstown State 3, Akron 1
Butler 3, Toledo 0
Eastern Michigan 3, Duquesne 1
Ohio State 3, Buffalo 0
Michigan 3, Ohio 2
Kent State 3, Illinois-Chicago 1
Ball State 3, College of Charleston 1
Dayton 3, Western Michigan 1
USF 3, Miami 1
EAST LANSING, Mich. ( – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team knocked off American Athletic Conference foe, the University of Cincinnati, Saturday, Sept. 21, at the 2013 Spartan Invitational. The Eagles (9-5) took the match with ease topping the Bearcats (0-12) in straight sets, 25-20, 25-19 and 25-18.
The Eagles offense was dominant throughout the match, with 41 kills in 97 attack attempts. EMU made just 13 errors in the three set victory, good for a .289 attack percentage. Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) led the Green and White on the offensive, posting a .529 hitting percentage with 10 kills and one error in 17 attempts. Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) was a close second in kill total, with nine, while Kelsey Jones (Reed City, Mich.-Reed City) notched eight kills in 11 attempts with just one error, hitting .636. Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) added seven kills, while Jill Briner (Oak Park, Ill.-Oak Park and River Forest (Northeastern)) was very steady offensively. The transfer notched a team-best 18 assists, while posting a .444 attack percentage with six kills.
On the defensive side of the net, Eastern was led again by Crawshaw. The junior was in on all five of EMU's blocks, picking up five block assists. Short added four and Briner had the final block assist. Corynne Smith (Norwalk, Ohio-St. Paul) led EMU with 11 digs, while Sierra Reed (Muncie, Ind.-Wapahani) added seven.
EMU used defense to take the opening set, 25-20. The Eagles held Cincinnati to a .040 (8-7-25) attack percentage, with 10 digs against the Bearcats. Offensively, the Green and White hit .273 (14-5-33). Crawshaw was a force in the frame, going 4-1-7 in her attack attempts. Her four kills led the set for either team, while Short notched a .750 hitting percentage, going 3-of-4 in her attempts.
The Eagles jumped on top by two sets after a 25-19 decision in the second frame. Again, Crawshaw provided the majority of the offensive output with four more kills. Briner and Jones each contributed three kills, including a perfect 3-for-3 performance from Briner. Jones hit 3-of-4, good for a .750 attack percentage. As a team, EMU hit just .176 (12-6-34), but held the Bearcats to a .000 attack percentage, with just seven kills.
EMU cruised to the three set victory Saturday when it hit .433 in the final set and kept the Cincinnati offense at bay, with a .071 attack percentage. The 25-18 third set win was led by Roback who notched six of her kills in that frame alone. Jones and Short each added a trio of kills in the frame. Briner added seven of her 18 assists in the third set.
The Green and White complete its trek to East Lansing Saturday evening, Sept. 21, when they take on Duquesne for a 5 p.m. tilt. The Eagles and Dukes will be the second to last match to take place in the 2013 Spartan Invitational at Jenison Field House.
Statesboro, Ga. — Central Michigan dominated Charleston Southern from start to finish Saturday morning to earn its second sweep of the weekend at the Bash in the Boro hosted by Georgia Southern. The Chippewas finished the non-conference portion of their schedule with an even 6-6 record by defeating the Buccaneers (5-8), 25-20, 25-20, 25-15.
Junior Kaitlyn McIntyre led the Chippewas with 14 kills, while freshman Melissa Fuchs once again stood out for the Maroon and Gold with 13 kills.
CMU dominated offensively with a .411 hitting percentage while limited the Bucs to a .186 clip. Senior libero Jenna Coates and McIntyre led the Chippewas with 10 digs each.
A 5-1 run in the first set broke things open for CMU, turning a 16-16 tie into a 21-17 advantage. The Bucs attempted a comeback, but a timeout by the Chippewas thwarted the effort as CMU scored four-straight points out of the break to grab a 25-20 win.
Set two was much of the same for the Chippewas as they maintained the advantage for most of the set. An ace by sophomore Kirsten Reenders pushed CMU’s lead to four, 18-14, and a McIntyre kill kept the lead at four, 21-17, before back-to-back errors on the Bucs gave CMU a 25-20 win.
CMU again used a run in the third set, breaking a 10-10 tie with a 6-1 run capped on a kill by sophomore Angelique White that forced a Charleston Southern timeout. A kill by McIntyre gave CMU an eight-point advantage and the Chippewas were able to push their lead to double digits on a kill by senior Kelly Maxwell, 24-14. Junior Hallie Endelere secured the sweep for CMU with a kill, 25-15.
After 12 straight games on the road to start the season, CMU will open Mid-American Conference play and McGuirk Arena next Friday, Sept. 27 at 7 p.m versus Toledo. 
DAYTON, Ohio - The Western Michigan volleyball team pulled even with their opponent after two sets, but they were unable to overcome Western Kentucky's block as the Hilltoppers defeated the Broncos 3-1 (18-25, 25-23, 11-25, 17-25) in the second match of the Flyer Classic hosted by Dayton. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 7-5 on the season. 
The Hilltopper block was on point for much of the match against the Broncos, as WKU recorded 14 team blocks compared to just seven for the Broncos. Stephenee Yancy had a match-high 18 kills and added four blocks to lead the Broncos, and Lena Oliver was just one dig off the match-high with 11 digs.
After falling behind early in the first set and dropping the frame 25-18, the Broncos came out much faster in the second set and challenged the Hilltoppers at the net. Yancy and Gillian Asque recorded a block to cap a short 3-1 run that gave the Broncos the lead, but the Hilltoppers rebounded and the teams proceeded to trade points.
Haley Bodway gave WKU a 15-13 lead, their latest of the set, but Caroline Rose dug a ball that landed inbounds on the Hilltopper side for a kill, and Alysia Baznik added a down line shot to tie the set at 15. WMU re-took the lead for good when Asque tipped one through the blockers to make it 17-16, and Rachel Sheffer added a service ace on the next point to tack on to the lead.
The Broncos' largest lead of the set came later, when Yancy went off the blocker for a kill to give WMU a 23-20 lead. The Hilltoppers went on a 3-1 run to pull within 24-23, but Ave Stout added a kill on the slide play to take the set 25-23.
Western Kentucky came out firing after the intermission, taking the third set 25-11 by closing on an 11-2 run and by holding the Broncos to a -.091 hitting percentage. The fourth set was closer earlier on, with the Broncos holding a brief lead and pulling to within 11-10 on a kill from Baznik. However, the Toppers proceeded to go on a 5-1 run to separate themselves from the pack, and WKU closed it out 25-17 with a block from Paige Wessel and Heather Boyan.
LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Bowling Green State University volleyball team split a pair of games at the Louisville Invitational Active Ankle Challenge on Saturday, falling to Virginia Tech in the first match before downing Rice in the nightcap. In the first match of the day, the Falcons lost in straight sets, 25-14, 25-21, 25-16. The Orange and Brown won the second match, downing the Owls by set scores of 25-20, 25-23, 15-25, 25-17. Bowling Green is now 3-8 on the season after today's two matches, and will begin MAC play on Thursday at Miami.
Virginia Tech's Megan Beckwith began the match with a service ace and service error, as the first set was tied 1-1. VT would score six of the next eight points, forcing the Falcons into a timeout at 7-3. The Falcons would hang around during the first set, as a Kaitlyn Skinner kill would make it 12-7 Hokies. Virginia Tech would score the next three points, and the Falcons were forced into a timeout trailing 17-8. The Falcons would never get rolling, as they hit .000 in the set en route to a 25-14 loss.
The second set would be the Falcons' best, as they hit .242 in the set. However, the Hokies would record an attacking percentage of .429 to hold on for the 25-21 win.
Needing to make a comeback in the third set to keep the match alive, the Falcons started the set by scoring the first three points. The Hokies would battle back to tie the set at four points a piece, and would eventually take a 6-5 lead that they wouldn't relinquish. After the Falcons led 5-4, Virginia Tech would score seven consecutive to take an 11-5 lead. The Falcons would not get within three points the rest of the set, as VT would win the third set 25-16.
In the second match of the day, the Falcons were able to rebound nicely, downing the Rice Owls in four sets. The Falcons jumped out quickly, winning the first two sets, before falling in the third set. The Falcons would bounce back in the fourth set, scoring 19 of the final 26 points of the set for the 25-17 win.
In the first set, Rice jumped out to a quick 4-2 lead, but the Falcons would score five straight to take a 7-4 lead. A Jelena Sunjic kill, a Kelsey Bates and Erica Fullenkamp block, and a service ace by Libby Dachenhaus helped the Falcons take the lead. Rice would not be able to tie the score the rest of the set, as Sunjic would record a kill for the 25-20 win.
In the second set, after falling behind 4-3 early on, the Falcons would retake the lead with strong play throughout. However, the Owls would hang in, as they would eventually come back to take a 17-16 lead in the second set. Two straight attack errors by Rice, and a block by Kaitlyn Skinner and Paige Penrod, would give the Falcons an 18-17 lead. The set would remain close throughout, as Rice and BGSU found themselves deadlocked at 20 late in the second frame. Rice would record a kill to force the Falcons into their final timeout, leading 21-20. A Penrod kill would tie the set, but Rice would once again regain the lead with a 22-21 lead. Senior Lindsey Butterfield would tie the set with a kill, at 22 points apiece. A kill by Fullenkamp and an ace by Skinner put the Orange and Brown ahead 24-22, with a serve for set point. The Owls would stave off one set point, but were unable to hold off the Falcons as the Orange and Brown took the 25-23 second set win.
Rice would come back with a vengeance in the third set, handling the Falcons 25-15.
In the fourth set, Rice appeared to be well on their way to claiming the fourth set, as they jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the set. But, the Falcons would roar back with eight straight points—five of them coming on Falcon kills—to take a 14-10 lead. Sunjic and Butterfield would lead the charge the rest of the way, as they combined for 11 kills in the 25-17 fourth set victory.
Two Falcons recorded double-digit kills, as Sunjic led the way with a career-high 19. Sunjic hit .447 in the match. Three Falcons also recorded double-digit digs, as Fullenkamp and Butterfield each had 11. Butterfield's 10 kills and 11 digs gave her a double-double in the match.
The Falcons will now turn their focus to Mid-American Conference play, as they begin MAC action on Thursday night at Miami. The Orange and Brown will return home next Saturday for a rematch of last season's MAC championship match, as Northern Illinois will come to Bowling Green for a 7 p.m. matchup.
Alex Cocklin recorded her second double-double in as many matches and Wilson put away 13 kills for a .393 clip as the Zips battled for a four-set victory over host St. Francis, 25-16, 30-28, 23-25, 25-17. Cocklin's 13 kills and 13 digs set the tone for Akron, as Ashley Holder (20 assists) and Karley Kusan (17 assists) split time at setter.
The turning point in the match proved to be the wild second set – a frame that saw an unprecedented 26 tie scores and 11 lead changes. Neither team was able to break free or hold an advantage greater than two points before Akron saw its first set point opportunity at 24-23 after a Red Flash error.
St. Francis (0-11) scored on three of the next four plays to extend the set and take a 27-26 lead, and after trading points again SFU maintained the one-point difference. The Zips surged ahead to score three unanswered points on kills from Wilson and Kusan to steal the set and go ahead 2-0.
After coming up on the wrong side of a 21-all tie in the third set, UA righted the ship in the fourth, leading by as many as nine and holding off a final push from Red Flash for the win.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Toledo won its second match of the weekend on Saturday afternoon with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-21) sweep of Horizon League foe Green Bay at the Butler Invitational. The victory improved the Rockets’ overall record to 7-5 and dropped the Phoenix to 4-7.
Senior OH Lauren Rafdal paced an efficient UT offense with 14 kills, while senior MB Dakota Harkins contributed eight kills and a season-high .667 attack percentage.  UT registered a .294 hitting mark in the match and limited the Phoenix to a .155 ATK%.
Harkins also paced Toledo’s defensive effort at the net with four blocks with senior RSH Becca Reidy and junior MB Brooke Frazer tallying three apiece.
The Rockets will return to action later this evening when it takes on the host Bulldogs at 7:00 p.m.
DeKALB, Ill. - Led by 13 kills from junior Mackenzie Roddy and 10 from freshman Jenna Radtke, the Northern Illinois volleyball team capped a perfect Huskie Invitational with a 3-0 victory over Oakland on Saturday morning at Victor E. Court.
The Huskies hit .283 in the match, while holding the Golden Grizzlies to just .108, including two sets under .100. With the victory, NIU claims the Huskie Invitational tournament title and improves to 8-6 on the season; the defeat drops Oakland to 6-8.
"In a word, champions," said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. "We had three positive matches this weekend against three solid teams. We did a really nice job with our serve reception and our defense. Our pin-hitters did a nice job getting on balls this weekend and we had some really good leadership from our seniors, both on and off the court."
"I thought our group really came together and continues to build. It was nice to end the non-conference on a positive note. We know now that first phase is done and now the battle is just beginning."
Neither team led by more than two points in the opening set until back-to-back blocks by the Huskies gave NIU a 13-10 lead. The blocks sparked a 7-2 run that gave NIU an 18-12 lead as the Golden Grizzlies used both of their timeouts. Following a side out for Oakland after the second timeout, NIU went on a 4-0 run to push its lead to 22-13. Oakland saved a pair of set points, forcing a Huskie timeout but a kill by Radtke gave NIU the first set, 25-18. Roddy hit .444 in the opening set with five kills to pace the Huskies, NIU also recorded five blocks in the set.
The Huskies built a three-point lead, 9-6, in the second set until a four-point run by Oakland pushed the Golden Grizzlies in front, 12-11. A kill by freshman Mary Grace Kelly ended the Oakland run and sparked a 5-0 burst that gave NIU a 16-12 lead. Northern Illinois pushed its lead in the set to as much as five, 21-16, before three-straight points for Oakland pulled the Golden Grizzlies within a pair, 21-19. But that is as close as Oakland would get as NIU closed out the second set, 25-22, on a kill by Kelly and took a 2-0 lead.
After the break, Oakland jumped out to an early 7-3 lead in the third set, but a 4-0 run by NIU, sparked by an ace from senior Sarah Angleos off the tape and a Radtke kill on an overpass, pulled the Huskies back even, 7-7. Still tied, 10-10, NIU went on a 5-1 run, capped by a block by junior Emily Paschke. A point by the Golden Grizzlies cut the NIU lead back to four, 16-12, but the Huskies responded with the next four to take a 20-12 lead. Oakland clawed back to within three, using a 6-1 run to cut the Huskie lead to 24-21, but an attack error by the Golden Grizzlies finished the set, 25-21, and gave NIU the sweep.
Northern Illinois out-blocked Oakland, 10-4, in the contest, led by two solos and a trio of assists for Radtke. Senior Justine Schepler had a team-high 14 digs for the Huskies.
NIU will return to action next weekend when it opens Mid-American Conference play on Thursday, Sept. 26, in Kalamazoo, Mich., against Western Michigan. The match with the Broncos is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. CT.
CHARLESTON, S.C. - - Redshirt sophomore middle Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) racked up a career-high 14 total blocks to help left the Ball State women’s volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-21, 27-29, 25-13, 25-14) victory over Southern Methodist to open the second day of the College of Charleston Classic Saturday afternoon.
The Cardinals conclude play in the two-day event this evening with a 7:30 p.m. first serve versus host College of Charleston.
Benson’s 14 total blocks (five solo and nine assists) tie as the most for a Ball State player in the rally scoring era with Christine Kennedy’s effort of 14 versus IUPUI on Sept. 6, 2006. As a team, Ball State finished the match with a season-high 17 team blocks.
In addition to Benson’s strong effort at the net, senior middle Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) blasted a career-high 16 kills to help the Cardinals improve to 11-3 and run their current winning streak to eight matches. Marx also connected for a career-best .667 (16-2-21) attack percentage while adding three blocks.
Aside from the strong effort by Ball State’s middles, senior outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Alex Fuelling (Decatur, Ind./Bellmont/Morehead State) each added double-doubles. Baker finished the match with 15 kills and 12 digs, while Fuelling tallied 12 kills and 12 digs.
Senior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) led the Ball State offense to a .300 (60-21-13) attack percentage, dishing out 48 assists while also scoring three kills, four block assists and five digs.
Caroline Young led the SMU (7-5) attack with 16 kills, while Morgan Heise collected a match-best 17 digs. Overall, the Ball State defense limited the Mustangs attack to a .118 (45-30-127) rate of success for the match.
Ball State pulled out to an 11-5 lead early in the opening set, only to see SMU battle back within one at 13-12. A kill from Baker would stop the Mustangs run and help the Cardinals reclaim a five-point edge at 18-13. After three straight SMU points forced a Ball State timeout at 18-16, the Cardinals scored seven of the final 12 points to win the frame 25-21 on a kill from Benson.
The second set was the closest of the contest with 15 ties and five lead changes. SMU would have the first two chances to win the set, only to see Marx answer each set point with a kill to move the score to 25-25. Ball State would then have two chances to win the frame after a Benson/Seidel block and a Baker kill only to be answered each time by the Mustangs.
With the score knotted at 27-27 after a kill from SMU’s Cailin Bula, a kill from Young would give SMU its third chance to win the set. This time, Bula would serve up an ace to give the Mustangs a 29-27 set win and even the match at 1-1.
SMU held a slim 4-3 advantage to open the third set, only to see a block from Benson shift the momentum to Ball State’s side of the court. Ball State would go on to take a 13-7 lead on a kill from Benson, only to have the Mustangs score the next two points to pull within four at 13-9.
That was as close as SMU would get, however, as Ball State scored the next seven points and went on to win the frame 25-13 on a blast from Marx.
Southern Methodist scored the first two points of the fourth set, only to see Ball State take control with a 9-1 run which included a kill and three blocks from Benson. The Cardinals would go on to take a 10-point lead at 17-7 on a SMU attack error, before winning the frame (25-14)  and match (3-1) on a kill from Fuelling.
KENT, Ohio – Freshman Bianca Cifaldi and sophomore Bridget Wilhelm posted career-high totals in kills as Kent State topped Eastern Illinois, 3-1 (20-25, 25-23, 25-19, 25-17), in Saturday's afternoon match at the Golden Flashes Classic. The win marks the second consecutive weekend that the Golden Flashes have won their first two matches.
"I'm very excited about our performance today," head coach Don Gromala said. "We started off a little slow but recovered really well and played some great volleyball. It was a really good win, a good comeback, and I liked how our girls fought back."
Kent State (5-6) used a balance attack to earn the four-set victory. Cifaldi led the way with a match-high 18 kills, including five or more in each of the final three sets. Wilhelm totaled 16 kills on just 20 attempts and had a .700 hitting percentage. Sophomore Kelly Hutchison added 10 kills, while junior Lauren Engleman came off the bench to post six kills in the final two sets.
"We had some players come in and be a big part of the win, which was good to see," said Gromala. "I think that's the key to us being successful, winning as a team and distributing the offense."
Senior Aleksandra Nowak turned in another terrific performance with a season-best 49 assists to go with nine digs. Senior Hannah Herc tallied a match-high 22 digs, while junior Kaylee Koller and sophomore Sarah Mills were also in double-figures with 12 and 10, respectively.
Kent State opened with a 3-1 lead in the first set, only to see Eastern Illinois take 9 of the next 10 points. The Panthers then controlled the rest of the set, leading by as many as seven points.
"It was a little different game plan than we had last night, so it took awhile to adjust", Gromala said of his team dropping the opening set. "Eastern Illinois is more physical than Binghamton. We made the adjustments at the net and became more disciplined. That's why our offense picked up in sets 2-4."
The second set featured six ties, but the Golden Flashes never trailed. After Eastern Illinois scored consecutive points to tie it at 22-22, Gromala called timeout to regroup his squad. A ballhandling error by the Panthers' setter put the Flashes back ahead, but they followed with a kill to even the score. For a moment, it appeared that the Flashes would be a point away from a 2-0 deficit, but it was ruled that the Eastern Illinois defender went over the net on a block attempt, awarding the point to Kent State. Cifaldi then put the exclamation point on the set with a kill on the next point.
"We've talked a lot as a program about those close sets and coming out on top," Gromala said. "Those moments make us better as a team and give us confidence. Coming out on top was huge for the team and we carried over the momentum into three and four."
With the scored tied 8-8 in the third, Wilhelm posted three kills to fuel a 5-0 Kent State run to gain control of the set. The Flashes led by as many as seven points and cruised to a 2-1 lead.
The fourth set also turned in the Flashes' favor at 8-8, but this time is was a more gradual 11-3 run that was the difference.
Kent State concludes the 2013 Golden Flashes Classic against Illinois-Chicago in a 7 p.m. matchup this evening at the M.A.C. Center.


Buffalo 3, Maryland Eastern Shore 0

BUFFALO, NY – The University at Buffalo volleyball team won its 12th straight match on Saturday afternoon as the Bulls defeated Maryland-Eastern Shore, 3-0, moving their record to 12-0.  The Bulls return to action tonight with the Blue and White Classic title on the line against 11-0 Ohio State.

UB took the contest, 25-23, 25-15, 25-16 as it hit .368, its third highest total of the season.  The Buffalo defense held UMES to just .095.  The Bulls trailed for most of the first set, including 23-19 late in the set.  However, UB scored the final six points of the set for the 25-23 victory.
The Bulls hit .545 in the second set as they went on a 10-5 run to take a 17-12 lead in the set.  With the Bulls up 18-15, UB scored the final seven points to go up 2-0 in the match.  In the third set, UB went on a quick 6-2 run to take a 10-6 lead and the Bulls had their biggest lead at nine as they went ahead 23-14.  A kill from senior Carissa McKenna ended the set and the match for UB.
McKenna led the way with 13 kills and just two errors, as she hit .524 for the match.  Sophomore Tahleia Bishop added 11 kills and just one error as she hit .476.  Senior Dana Musil added seven kills, while Kaja Schirmer and Christine Frtische each had five.  Senior Dani Reinert finished with a season-high 35 assists, while freshman Megan Lin saw her first collegiate action and had seven assists.
Senior Kelly Svoboda finished with 17 digs, while Musil added nine.  The Bulls had 9.0 total blocks, including five in the opening set.  Sophomore Amber Hatchett had four total blocks, including a solo, while McKenna also finished with four total blocks.
In earlier action, Ohio State defeated Valparaiso, 3-0.  The Crusaders and Hawks will play this afternoon at 4:30 pm.  UB and Ohio State will match up in a battle of undefeated teams this evening at 7:00 pm.  The Bulls and Buckeyes are two of eight remaining undefeated teams in the country.
The Zips were unable to combat a slow start and struggled to hit around Youngstown State's 16 total team blocks in round two, dropping a 3-1 decision, 25-10, 25-12, 25-27, 28-26.
Paluch tallied a team-high 19 digs while Kusan racked up 24 assists and a pair of service aces for UA.
After falling into a quick hole trailing two sets to none, the Zips returned from the break with something to prove in the third set. The two teams tied at 11, 12 and 13 before kills at the hands of Wilson and Alex Wiederholt pushed the Zips ahead 17-14 and forced a YSU timeout.
Akron maintained the slim lead until its first glimpse at set point at 24-22 after a Penguin service error. Youngstown State (5-7) came back to even the score at 24, but back-to-back kills from Wilson and Julie Shallman would give the Zips the set.
UA hung with the 'Guins in the fourth, and had two chances at set point after kills from Amanda Bedell and Julia Smagacz, but three straight errors gave the match to YSU.
The Zips kick off MAC play next weekend at home when they play host to rival Kent State on Friday, Sept. 27, in the first installment of the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge at 7 p.m. ET. Akron will then welcome No. 24 Ohio to Rhodes Arena on Saturday for a 5 p.m. contest.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – Toledo dropped a 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-16) decision on Saturday evening to the host Bulldogs in the championship match of the Butler Invitational. The Rockets’ overall record now stands at 7-6 entering Mid-American Conference play next weekend, while Butler’s improved to 12-2.
Senior OH Lauren Rafdal paced the UT’s attack with 14 kills and was the only Rocket to reach double digits in kills. Senior MB Dakota Harkins tallied a team-best .312 attack percentage and also shared the team lead in blocks with junior MB Brooke Frazer with four.
Harkins and Rafdal were honored for their play this weekend with a berth on the all-tournament team.
“We struggled to put things together as a team tonight,” Toledo Head Coach Greg Smith said. “Butler’s a good team but we compounded things by not playing as well as we could. We had a lot of very positives things happen this weekend and saw glimpses of the team we can be. We just need to play more consistently as we get ready to start conference play.”
Junior OH Belle Obert was Butler’s offensive leader with 13 terminations and tied for the team lead in blocks with junior MB Erica Stahl with seven apiece.
Butler controlled the net as evidenced by a .307-.107 advantage in attack percentage and a 14.5-8.0 cushion in team blocks.
Toledo will open conference play next weekend on the road with 7:00 p.m. matches at Central Michigan  on Friday, Sept. 27 and Eastern Michigan on Saturday, Sept. 28.
EAST LANSING, Mich. ( – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team finished the 2013 Spartan Invitational on a winning note, knocking off Duqesne University in four sets. The Eagles (10-5) were able to win the first two frames, before the Dukes (5-7) nabbed set three. EMU, however, grabbed the last set with relative ease to cruise to its 10th win of the season.
Jill Briner (Oak Park, Ill.-Oak Park and River Forest (Northeastern)) stole the show for the Eagles, picking up career-highs in kills (12) and assists (26). The junior transfer had a .500 hitting percentage, going 12-for-24 in her attempts without making an error, along with two service aces in the match. Stacey Perinar (Channahon, Ill.-Minooka Community) added 16 kills, while Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) toaled 10 kills, with just two errors in 22 attempts. Alyssa Davis (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Plainwell) led the Green and White in assists with 27, while Kelsey Jones (Reed City, Mich.-Reed City) went 9-for-18 in her attack attempts with just one error, good for a .444 hitting percentage. As a team, EMU hit .265 with 61 kills in 162 attempts, making 18 errors throughout the match.
Defensively, Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) had seven blocks assists, while Short added six of her own. Briner was strong at the net with four block assists and Jones had a solo block to go along with three assisted blocks. Corynne Smith (Norwalk, Ohio-St. Paul) led the team in digs with 18 and Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) picked up 13 of her own.
Briner's offense in the opening frame propeled the Eagles to a one set lead. Briner went 6-of-8 in her attack attempts, good for a .750 hitting percentage. The junior also added a pair of service aces and five assists. As a team, the Green and White hit an astounding .424, making just three attack errors in 33 attempts. Perinar posted a .500 attack percentage with five kills in eight attempts, while making one error in the 25-22 set win.
Briner continued her stellar play in frame number two as the Eagles took a two set lead after a 25-21 victory. The Oak Park, Ill. native added three more kills to her total, while picking up five assists and a block. The multi-dimensional athlete hit 3-for-4 in the set to keep her .750 attack percentage in tact. Perinar added another four more kills in the frame, while Short went 3-for-7 in attacks, good for a .429 percentage.
Duquesne got the best of Eastern, 22-25, in set three as the Eagles stumbled offensively in the frame. EMU hit just .091 in the set, while the Dukes boasted a .200 attack percentage. Arielle Love was the catalyst on Duquesne's side of the net, posting five kills and a .571 hitting percentage.
Eastern rebounded in the final set of the match, hitting an astonishing  .406, with 15 kills in 32 attempts. The Eagles made just two attack errors and had a total of four blocks in the fram. Crawshaw went 3-of-4 in attack attempts, while Perinar added four more kills to her total. Briner, Jones, Roback and Short each contributed a pair of kills in the match deciding set. EMU took down the Dukes with ease in the final frame, 25-17.
Eastern begins Mid-American Conference play Friday, Sept. 27, when it hosts Ball State University. The Eagles and Cardinals will meet at the Convocation Center for a 7 p.m. tilt.
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo volleyball team suffered defeat for the first time in 2013 on Saturday evening as the Bulls fell to the 13th ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, 3-0, in the championship match of the Blue and White Classic.  The match was played in front of a crowd of over 1,100 spectators.  The loss snapped UB's 12-match winning streak to open the year, which was tied for the longest in the MAC over the last 20 years with the 2011 Bowling Green squad.
The Buckeyes took the contest, 25-13, 25-14, 25-16 as for the first time this year, UB was outhit by its opposition.  Ohio State hit .365 on the night, while the Bulls hit .000. UB's only lead in the match came on the first point of the night on a service ace from freshman Siena Wilder.
"We were a little banged up this weekend and that definitely hurt us tonight, but I just thought that Ohio State came into the match much more prepared than us," said head coach Todd Kress.  "We will definitely take this week to work on some things and get ready to open conference play on Friday."
Sophomores Amber Hatchett and Akeila Lain each finished with five kills, as well as senior Carissa McKenna, who was named to the all-tournament team.  Senior Christine Fritsche was also named to the all-tournament squad ad she added four kills and five digs.
Kelly Svoboda had nine digs, while UB finished with 6.0 total blocks, including four from McKenna and Lain.
Joining McKenna and Fritsche on the all-tournament team was Ellen Vanden Berg from Valparaiso and Petra Jerabkova from Maryland-Eastern Shore.  The selections from the tournament champion Ohio State were Taylor Sandbothe and Erin Sekinger.  Senior Kaitlyn Leary was named the tournament MVP after finishing with match-high 17 kills tonight.
The Bulls will remain home to open up Mid-American Conference play next weekend, beginning with nationally-ranked Ohio on Friday night at 7:00 pm.

Michigan 3, Ohio 2

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – The 24th-ranked Ohio University volleyball team (10-2) gave No. 10 Michigan all it could handle, but the Wolverines ultimately prevailed in five sets (18-25, 25-22, 15-25, 25-23, 11-15) Saturday night inside Cliff Keen Arena.
The Bobcats responded with gritty set victories each time Michigan claimed a game, but the Wolverines closed the match on a 4-2 run to secure the fifth and final set. Ohio claimed a 6-3 advantage in service aces for the match and held their own with the Wolverines in the blocking game (11-11). But Michigan held edges in kills (72-59) and hitting percentage (.272-.195) to ultimately prevail.
Junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) played one of her best overall matches of the season for Ohio, with a match-high 21 kills to go along with 15 digs for her team-leading fifth double-double of the year.
Redshirt junior Liis Kullerkann (Keila, Estonia) and freshman Katie Horton (Westland, Mich.) each recorded 10 kills for Ohio, while sophomore middle blocker Karin Bull (Bloomington, Minn.) notched seven kills and a team-high seven blocks while hitting .375 for the match.
Bull garnered Michigan Invitational All-Tournament honors after averaging 2.7 points, 2.1 kills and 1.1 blocks per set while hitting a team-high .373 over the three matches.
Sophomore Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) also earned all-tournament accolades after notching a team-high 47 assists to go along with a season-best 18 digs and three total blocks. The setter averaged 9.8 assists and 2.9 digs per set while contributing seven total blocks and three service aces.
On the back line, sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) recorded her 10th-straight match with 10 or more digs after tallying 16 on the night. Freshman outsider hitter/libero Mallory Salis (Oak Lawn, Ill.) added eight digs and a match-high three service aces for Ohio.
Michigan jumped out to a 7-2 lead in the opening set and held a 9-5 advantage early. The Bobcats trimmed the deficit to two (12-10) on a kill from Lamberti, but the Wolverines extended their lead to four at 17-13. Ohio moved as close as two (20-18) on a kill from Bull, but Michigan closed out the set with five-straight points to take set one, 25-20.
The Bobcats improved their start in set two, racing to a 6-3 lead punctuated by a service ace from freshman setter Brooke Coleman (Plano, Texas). The Wolverines used a 3-0 run to tie the score at nine, but Ohio answered back with three-straight kills to re-take the lead at 12-9 and force a Michigan timeout. The Green & White remained in front by three (16-13) after another ace from Coleman and led 19-17 on a kill from Horton.
Michigan posted the next two points to tie it up at 19, but Ohio responded with another two to go back up, 21-19. The Wolverines posted two-in-a-row to tie the score at 22, but Ohio came up big with the final three points of the set to take it, 25-22. The ‘Cats held a 3-0 advantage in aces and 3-1 edge in blocks for the frame.
The two teams battled back and forth for much of the early portion of the third set, as the score was tied nine times over the first 20 points. With the score at 10, Michigan finally broke free with 10 of the next 11 points to build a 20-11 advantage. The Wolverines hung on to win set three, 25-15.
Michigan built an early 11-8 lead in set four before the Bobcats used a 4-1 run to tie the score at 12. Ohio crafted another 3-0 run to take a 15-13 lead in the set, and the Bobcats led 18-14 after Lamberti knocked down her fourth kill in Ohio’s last seven points. With Ohio holding a 20-16 edge, Michigan rallied with four-straight points to tie the score and force a Bobcat timeout.
Ohio grabbed the next two points to move ahead 22-20, but Michigan answered with the next three points to take a one-point lead (23-22). The Bobcats then continued their strong play closing out sets in 2013. The Green & White responded with a 3-0 run to take the fourth set, 25-23.
Michigan took a 5-3 lead to start set five and led 8-5 early in the frame. The ‘Cats countered with kills from Lamberti and Horton to cut it to one (8-7), but Michigan responded with three-straight to build a four-point lead (11-7). Ohio cut the lead to two at 11-9, but the Wolverines notched four of the last six points of the set to take it, 15-11.
The Bobcats earned a second-place finish in the Michigan Invitational after opening the event with wins over Maryland (3-0) and Marshall (3-1). Ohio finishes the pre-season with a 2-2 record against teams ranked in the AVCA Coaches Poll.
The Bobcats now open Mid-American Conference play next weekend with a two-match road trip. Ohio begins the trip with a match at Buffalo (12-1) on Sept. 27 (7 p.m.) before heading back east to battle Akron (5-6) on Sept. 28 at 5 p.m.


Kent State 3, Illinois-Chicago

KENT, Ohio –Kent State put the finishing touches on an unbeaten weekend by defeating Illinois-Chicago in four sets (24-26, 25-20, 25-18, 25-17) Saturday night, earning the team championship at the Golden Flashes Classic in the process. Senior libero Hannah Herc earned MVP and Top Defensive Player honors for the Golden Flashes and was joined on the all-tournament team by fellow senior Aleksandra Nowak and junior Liz Reikow.
"This is an exciting weekend for our team," said head coach Don Gromala. "The past two weeks, the way that we've been carrying ourselves as a team and playing volleyball, it's been great to watch."
Herc led a defense that limited Illinois-Chicago to a .043 hitting percentage by recording 10 digs in the opening set, the final of which made her a member of Kent State's 1,000-dig club. She finished with a match-high 19 digs and is ninth on the school's all-time list with 1,009 in her career. Herc posted a 5.37 digs per set average over the three matches and was perfect in serve receive.
"Our goal was just to play well on defense and we really did that. Whenever we were down, we got back up through our defense. I wasn't even thinking about the 1,000 career digs. I didn't even know that I got it until after the game. My main goal is just to be consistent for the team for the team."
Nowak and Reikow both had double-doubles in the victory. Nowak recorded 46 assists and 12 digs, finishing the weekend at 12.0 assists and 2.64 digs per set. Reikow used her 6-6 frame to dominate around the net as she totaled 10 kills and 10 block assists.
"They had a great whole weekend," Gromala said of the trio. "Hannah was steady as ever. She's our leader of our floor court. And that's the big part of the turnaround of this team right now. It's a testament to her and the rest of the 'diggers', as we call them. Ola made some great decisions. This tournament had some pretty good middles all around. And she was neck-and-neck with the, so we're really happy about that."
Just as it did in its match earlier in the day, Kent State (6-6) had to battle back after dropping the opening set. A back-and-forth set that featured 12 ties and five lead changes, the Flashes had their chance to put the set away after Reikow and sophomore Kelly Hutchison combined on a block to go up 24-23. However, the Flames proved to be resilient and posted three straight kills to take the set.
After hitting just .053 in that opening set, the Kent State attack caught fire. The Flashes hit .396 over the final three sets. Four players posted double-digit kills as part of a balanced attack. All of freshman Bianca Cifaldi's team-best 12 kills came after the first set. Hutchison and junior Lauren Engleman added 11 each, as Hutchison also contributed a career-high eight blocks on the defensive side.
"In that first set, we made some silly errors on scrambled plays and free balls, and just weren't taking care of the little things," Gromala said. "We definitely tightened that up and really picked up our blocking. We had a pretty good performance all weekend with our digs, but we picked up our blocks in that last match."
Kent State begins Mid-American Conference play with a pair of road matches this coming weekend. The Golden Flashes play at rival Akron on Friday (Sept. 27) as part of the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge and then travels to Buffalo on Saturday (Sept. 28).
"When we reflect back and look at the season, these are the moments that may be a turning point for us, and I hope we can carry it over a bit into the MAC. Our girls are focused, they have their goals, and they know what they have to do to achieve those goals."
CHARLESTON, S.C. - - The Ball State women’s volleyball team captured its second tournament title in as many weeks with a 3-1 (25-22, 16-25, 25-20, 25-23) victory over the College of Charleston in the championship match of the CofC Classic Saturday evening.
With the victory, the Cardinals (12-3) extended their current winning streak to nine matches which ties as the second-longest winning streak under current head coach Steve Shondell. BSU won the final 10 matches of the 2010 regular season under Shondell and opened the 2011 season with nine straight wins.
In the championship match victory, senior opposite Lauren Grant (Eagan, Minn./Eastview/Cincinnati) turned in her best match of the season, racking up 12 kills and adding a pair of block assists.
Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Alex Fuelling (Decatur, Ind./Bellmont/Morehead State) led the Ball State offense with 15 kills, while adding nine digs and a match-high three service aces.
For her efforts over the entire tournament, senior middle Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) was named the College of Charleston Classic Tournament MVP. After racking up a career-best 16 kills versus SMU, Marx blasted 11 more in the win over Charleston, while adding a match-best six total blocks.
Joining Marx on the all-tournament squad were redshirt sophomore middle Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) and senior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls).
After recording a career-best 14 blocks earlier in the day, Benson added five kills and a pair of solo stuffs in the championship match win over the Cougars. Fredrich finished the championship match with 20 digs.
Senior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) set the Ball State offense to a .203 (55-24-153) hitting mark versus Charleston, dishing out 41 assists to go along with 17 digs for her fifth double-double of the season.
Muncie native and Delta graduate Darcy Dorton led the College of Charleston (10-4) attack with 16 kills, while Kallie McKown logged a team-best 14 digs.
Trailing 8-7 in the opening set, a block and kill from Benson helped the Cardinals rattle off the next four points and take an 11-8 edge. However, the host Cougars answered with the next six points to reclaim the lead at 14-11.
A pair of kills from both Grant and Fuelling would help Ball State rally back and reclaim the lead at 17-15. The back-and-fourth battle continued from there, as the teams went on to play to a 21-21 stalemate.
Thanks to a CofC attack error and a solo block from Seidel, Ball State would score the next two points to pull ahead 23-21. Following a point from the Cougars, the Cardinals posted the final two points and went on to win the set 25-22 on an ace from Seidel.
Ball State pulled out to a 6-4 advantage to open the second set, only to see the College of Charleston score the next eight points to take control of the frame at 12-6. Ball State answered with a mini three-point run, only to see SMU score six straight and eventually win the frame 25-16.
The Cardinals rebounded from the second set loss by building a 7-2 lead to open the third stanza. However, the hosts would battle back and eventually even the score at 17. Back-to-back blasts from Fuelling would give BSU the momentum back and help force a CofC timeout at 20-17.
Ball State added four of the next five points to reach set-point at 24-18 thanks to a Fuelling service ace. After a pair of Cougars points, a kill from Marx helped Ball State close out the set 25-20.
Ball State jumped out to another 7-2 advantage to open the fourth set and maintained the five-point lead at the 16-11 mark. Once again Charleston would charge back, evening the score at 18-18. This time, a dump kill from Seidel and a CofC attack error helped BSU reclaim the lead at 20-18 and force a timeout from the hosts.
Ball State continued to carry the momentum after the break, using a CofC attack error and a kill from Grant to pull ahead 22-18. The Cardinals would reach match-point at 24-22 after a kill from Benson, before going on to claim the set 25-23 and the match 3-1 on a kill from Fuelling.
The Ball State women’s volleyball team now turns its attention to Mid-American Conference play, as it travels to Eastern Michigan Friday (7 p.m.) and Central Michigan Saturday (7 p.m.).
DAYTON, Ohio – The Western Michigan volleyball team nearly came back from a two-set deficit on the road, but Dayton proved to be too resilient as the Broncos fell to the Flyers 3-1 (22-25, 22-25, 29-27, 21-25) at the Frericks Center on Saturday. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 7-6 on the season and conclude non-conference play. 
Claire Gerwig tied her career-high with 15 kills to lead the Broncos, while Stephenee Yancy posted 12 kills and hit a team-best .320 to go with a team-high six blocks. Rachel Sheffer added 14 kills, a career-high nine digs, and four blocks, while senior libero Lena Oliver had a match-high 21 digs. Lexie Pawlik had her third double-double of the season with 54 assists and a career-best 17 digs, and Caroline Rose also broke double-digits in digs with 12.
The Broncos’ best set of the night was the third, as WMU battled back from an 18-11 deficit to stun the Flyers and extend the match to the fourth set. The Flyers came out red-hot to start the set and looked to wrap things up neatly, but the Broncos were not interested in backing down. Gerwig got things moving with a kill to bring the Broncos to 18-12, and Pawlik followed up with an ace to start turning the momentum. Gerwig forced a Flyer timeout with a kill to make it 18-15, and Alysia Baznik and Ave Stout capped the 5-0 run with a block on the next point. Baznik and Yancy cut the lead to three points again with a block to make it 22-19, and Sheffer sliced it to two points with a down line tip kill.
Dayton held set point at 24-22 after scoring on a Bronco attack error, but Yancy pounded a kill in the middle to stave off elimination, and Baznik added one on the next point to tie the set at 24-24. The teams traded points back and forth until Gerwig gave the Broncos the upper hand for good, going through the block on the left side for the kill to make it 28-27. The Flyers sealed their own fate with an attack error, giving the Broncos a 29-27 set win and new life in the match.
The fourth set very nearly turned the Broncos’ way as well, with WMU taking a lead midway through the set on another block. The tandem of Yancy and Sheffer shut down Shayne Brown’s attack to give WMU the lead at 11-10, and Yancy would rip a kill two points later to extend the Broncos’ lead to 13-10 and force a Dayton timeout. Sheffer gave the Broncos their largest lead of the set with a kill at 15-11, but the Flyers chipped away and ultimately re-took the lead at 18-17 on a Bronco attack error. Dayton closed the set on a 10-4 run to salt away the win for the Flyers.
The first two sets of the match were just as close as the final two, as the Flyers couldn’t convincingly put away the Broncos in either set despite winning both. WMU led late in the first set at 20-19 on a Gerwig kill and trailed by just one point near the end, at 23-22, before the Flyers put it away for the 25-22 win. The Broncos led 17-10 in the second set before the Flyers came storming back, closing the set on a 15-5 run to win by an identical 25-22 score.

USF 3, Miami 1

EVANSTON, Ill. – In a tough fought battle, the Miami University volleyball team dropped a 1-3 (15-25, 24-26, 25-20, 17-25) match to the University of South Florida to complete play at the Wildcat Invitational on Saturday. The RedHawks fall to 8-4 on the season, while the Bulls improve to 6-8.
Junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley had her second straight triple-double, finishing with 14 kills, 10 assists and 17 digs. It is her third triple-double of the season and 11th of her career.
Sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig had another strong match with 11 kills. She had 29 kills over the weekend, an average of 2.64 per set. She hit .308 in three matches to earn a spot on the All-Tournament Team.
Despite kills from junior middle hitter Chelsea Visk, sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle and sophomore outside hitter Sarah Chaney, along with a block by Ingle and Reiswig, USF was able to build a narrow, 8-6, advantage early in set one. From there, an 11-1 run by the Bulls gave it control at 19-7. Riley put down three kills, while Reiswig recorded two more as Miami attempted to make a comeback, but the deficit was too great as USF went on to win, 25-15.
The Bulls opened a 6-3 lead to begin set two. Riley scored with two kills as the RedHawks fought right back with a 6-1 run to take a 9-7 advantage. Freshman middle hitter Paige Hill and senior outside hitter Madison Dodd had kills as Miami was able to build a three-point lead at 16-13. USF responded with an 8-3 run that put it in front, 21-19. Trailing 20-22, a kill from Hill, a Bull attack error and a kill by Reiswig gave Miami a 23-22 lead. The teams traded side outs, which gave RedHawks set point. USF was able to fight it off, and followed with two points in a row to capture the second set, 26-24.
A pair of kills from Riley, along with a kill from Ingle helped Miami to a 9-3 advantage in set three. The RedHawks were able to maintain the eight-point advantage throughout the middle part of the set thanks to two kills apiece from Riley and Ingle. Trailing 9-17, USF battled back with a 7-2 run that pulled it to within three at 16-19 and forced a Miami timeout. Out of the break, Hill answered with a pair of kills that sparked a 6-4 closing run that gave the RedHawks a 25-20 victory.
Tied at four in set four, a 10-4 run by the Bulls put them in control at 14-8. USF eventually pushed the advantage to eight at 19-11 before a service ace and kill from Riley cut the deficit to six and forced the Bulls to call timeout. Out of the break Hill put down another pair of kills off assists from freshman setter Krista Brakauskas, but USF was able to maintain its lead and earn a 25-17 win to take a 3-1 victory.
Ingle finished with 13 kills and hit .480 for the match. Hill had 11 kills and hit .375. Brakauskas recorded a career-high 38 assists, and made it a double-double with 12 digs. Senior libero Madison Hardy led Miami with 23 digs.
The RedHawks begin Mid-American Conference play next week at home with a pair of key matches. Miami hosts defending MAC Tournament champion Bowling Green on Thursday at 7 p.m. The ‘Hawks then take on defending MAC West Division champion Western Michigan Saturday at 5 p.m. Both matches can be seen live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.