Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Western Michigan 3, Buffalo 0
Ball State 3, Ohio 2
Toledo 3, Kent State 1
Bowling Green 3, Central Michigan 1
Northern Illinois 3, Akron 1
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo volleyball team tried to win its third straight Mid-American Conference match for the first time in school history, however, the visiting Western Michigan Broncos came into Alumni Arena and swept the Bulls, 3-0. With the loss, UB's record falls to 16-5 and 4-4 in conference play.
Western Michigan took the contest 25-20, 25-18, 25-20 as it hit .269 on the night, opposed to .183 for the Bulls. The Broncos opened up an 11-5 lead in the first set, but the Bulls were able to pull within 20-18 following a service ace from junior Taylor Pritchett. The Broncos answered with three straight and took the set, 25-20.
Western Michigan again had a big lead in the second set up 17-12 and went on to win 25-18. The Bulls had their best chance for a victory in the third, despite getting down 8-3 early. UB went on a 10-2 run to take a 13-10 lead in the set. The set remained tied at 19-19 in the third set when WMU scored four straight points to go up 23-19. The Broncos ended up winning the set 25-20.
Sophomore Tahleia Bishop led the way for the Bulls with 10 kills, while fellow sophomore Akeila Lain added seven and senior Christine Fritsche had six. Seniors Dana Musil and Carissa McKenna each finished with five kills. Pritchett finished with 17 assists, while senior Dani Reinert added 14.
Defensively, senior Kelly Svoboda ended the night with 15 digs, while Bishop had eight and Musil and Reinert each had seven. The Bulls had 8.0 total blocks, led by five from sophomore Amber Hatchett. McKenna added three total blocks, including two solos.
The Bulls will begin a five-match road trip next weekend on Friday night at Central Michigan. Match time is set for 7:00 pm.
ATHENS, Ohio – Despite an excellent defensive effort on the back line and at the net, the Ohio University volleyball team (16-4, 6-2) could not knock off MAC West-leading Ball State (19-4, 7-1), as the Cardinals edged the Bobcats in five sets (21-25, 25-17, 22-25, 25-13, 10-15) Saturday evening inside the Convocation Center.
Ohio notched a season-best 94 digs against the No. 1 killing offense in the MAC and held a commanding 21-10 advantage in total blocks. But Ball State stepped up at crucial times, including a fifth set in which the team hit .381, to capture the five-set victory.
“Momentum didn’t seem to carry from game-to-game tonight,” head coach Ryan Theis said. “I thought we got things rolling in the third set and were playing well, but we hit a stumbling block at that point with an injury to Kelly Lamberti. I thought if we stole that one we’d be in good shape. But we played well in four and in five, you throw the numbers away. Ball State made a couple more plays than we did to win.”
Sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) notched career bests in digs (31), assists (9) and service aces (3) to lead Ohio on the back line, while freshman outside hitter/libero stepped up in wake of the Lamberti injury to notch her first-career double-double with 16 digs and a career-best 12 kills.
Freshman outside hitter Katie Horton (Westland, Mich.) also posted double-digit kills for Ohio (12) and hit at a solid .323 clip, while sophomore middle blocker Karin Bull (Bloomington, Minn.) notched nine kills and a career-best 12 total blocks to pace Ohio at the net.
Graduate middle blocker Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) chipped in nine kills and six total blocks for the Bobcats, while sophomore setter Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) recorded her third-straight double-double with a match-high 42 assists, 13 digs, seven kills and a career-best eight total blocks.
Ball State took an early 14-10 lead in set one and extended the advantage to six (19-13) after an Ohio attack error. The Bobcats marched back to cut the lead to two at 23-21 on a kill from Salis, but the Cardinals would go on to take set one, 25-21.
In set two, Ohio put the pedal to the medal, racing out to a 12-4 lead. From there, Ohio stayed in front by eight (16-8) after a kill from Horton and extended the advantage to 11 (22-11) after an attack error from Ball State. Consecutive kills from Horton closed out the set, as Ohio won it, 25-17.
In set three, the teams played to a 12-12 tie, before Ball State used a 3-0 run to take a 16-13 lead. At that point, the Bobcats used a 6-1 run to take a 19-17 lead. After Lamberti left the court with an injury, Ohio battled to stay in front by two at 20-18, but Ball State took the lead at 23-22 and went on to win the frame, 25-22.
The Bobcats regained their form in set four with another strong start to the set. Ohio jumped out to a 10-4 lead and led by 10 (15-5) after a power kill from Salis from the back line. Ohio completed a 10-2 run to build a strong 14-point lead (20-6) late in the set, then held on to take the frame, 25-13.
Both teams battled in the fifth and final set, as the score was tied at 8-8 midway through the frame. At that point, Ball State put together a crucial run of 6-1 to build a 14-9 lead. The surge would help BSU ultimately claim the fifth set, 15-10, and win the match.
Ohio’s 94 digs were its most in a match since Aug. 27, 2011, when Ohio notched 108 in a five-set match against Villanova.
The Bobcats now hit the road for a pair of MAC West matches next weekend. Ohio will play at Northern Illinois on Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. before matching up with Western Michigan Saturday at 7 p.m. in Kalamazoo, Mich.
KENT, Ohio – Kent State was unable to get back on track Saturday evening and suffered its second setback in a row, falling to Toledo, 3-1 (17-25, 27-25, 23-25, 18-25) at the M.A.C. Center. The Golden Flashes, who sported new pink uniforms for the annual 'Dig for the Cure' match, were successful in raising money for the J.D. Breast Cancer Foundation. The Flashes sold out of their allotment of pink 'Dig for the Cure' t-shirts, the proceeds of which will be donated to the Cleveland-based organization.
On the court, Kent State (10-11, 4-4) had a repeat of Friday's performance against Ball State. After dropping the opening set, the Flashes evened things going into intermission. Leading 20-18 in the third, Kent State saw its lead slip away and was unable to recover in the final set.
"It was a little bit of déjà vu for us tonight," said head coach Don Gromala. "Our team has to figure out on the court what's happening in the moments that aren't going so hot."
One bright spot for Kent State was that it was able to out-dig its opponent. Senior Hannah Herc turned in another good performance and led the defense with a match-high 25 digs. Sophomore Sarah Mills came a dig shy of equaling her career-high with13 and junior Kaylee Koller added 11 digs.
"We were missing some digs that we were making a couple weeks ago, but you saw at the end with our backs to the wall that we were scrapping," Gromala said. "The hustle plays is where you get a lot of digs, and we were making those plays towards the end."
The Flashes also managed to record more kills than the Rockets, holding a 53-51 advantage. Sophomore Bridget Wilhelm led the way with 13 kills, while sophomore Kelly Hutchison and junior Liz Reikow each had 12. Senior Aleksandra Nowak had 48 assists.
"Ola's did a great job of setting them at the right times," said Gromala. "She's getting them the ball when they should be in-system and they're' dong their jobs. They're taking care of their business when they're 1-on-1."
The Flashes also had more misfires, totaling 33 errors to just 20 for Toledo, which proved to be the difference in the match.
"We're getting blocked a lot more than we have been, so we just have to make some better decisions offensively."
Kent State goes back on the road with Mid-American Conference matches at Western Michigan and Northern Illinois next Friday and Saturday.
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio—The Bowling Green State University volleyball team bounced back nicely on Saturday night, rolling to a four-set victory over Central Michigan. The Mid-American Conference match was played inside the Stroh Center in front of 693 fans clad in pink. Saturday's match was Bowling Green's annual "Dig Pink" match, aimed to raise awareness for breast cancer. With the win, the Falcons are now 10-10 overall and 6-2 in the MAC.
The Falcons controlled the CMU attack all night, as they held one of the MAC's top hitters, Kaitlyn McIntyre, to just 14 kills in four sets (3.5 per set). McIntyre entered the night averaging more than 4.5 kills per set in MAC play.
Kaitlyn Skinner was a big reason for McIntyre's struggles, as she paced a Falcon defense which posted 12 team blocks in the match. Skinner's nine blocks were just two shy of her career high.
For the second consecutive night, Ashley Dunn posted more than 20 digs. Her 21 digs led the Falcons, who outdug the MAC's top team in the dig category, 63-50.
The Falcons won the first two sets by 25-17 and 25-19 scores, as they received contributions from all over the court. Lindsey Butterfield, who led the attack with 17 kills on the evening, had nine kills and six digs through the first two frames. Jelena Sunjic, a freshman, had eight kills in the first two sets. Sunjic ended the night with 12 kills in just 26 attempts, as she hit .308 in the match.
Bowling Green looked ready to put the match away in three sets, but three straight service aces by McIntyre late in the set kept the Chippewas alive. BGSU led 20-16 late in the set, but CMU countered by scoring nine of the final 12 points to keep the match going.
In the fourth set, the Falcons gave Central Michigan no hope, as Skinner and Sunjic teamed up for three blocks on CMU's McIntyre. McIntyre committed five errors in the set alone, as the Falcons posted four blocks and 12 kills to post a decisive 25-10 win.
The Falcons will now prepare for a crucial week, as they will travel to a pair of MAC West foes. On Friday night, the Falcons will play on the road at MAC-leading Ball State. On Saturday, the Orange and Brown will make the quick trip up Interstate 75 for a battle with Toledo.
AKRON, Ohio – Following a demoralizing loss the previous night, the Northern Illinois University volleyball team rebounded Saturday afternoon in Rhodes Arena with a 3-1 win against Akron.
After dropping the first set, NIU (12-10, 4-4 MAC) caught fire with 44 kills and a .306 attack percentage in the next three sets, while limiting UA (6-13, 0-8 MAC) to a .135 hitting average. The victory also extended the Huskies’ winning streak over the Zips to 11 matches.
“It was great to end a tough road trip on a positive note,” said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. “We’ve been working hard on playing a more consistent brand of volleyball and we’re getting closer. It was nice to see the team close it out in four.”
NIU got off to a rough start against the Zips that put them in a big hole early. After falling behind 3-1, the Huskies got kills from Sarah Angelos and Jenna Radtke to knot things at 3-3. Yet, that gave way to a 7-0 UA run to give the Zips a commanding 10-3 advantage. NIU was able to battle back to within four at 14-10, but UA kept the Huskies at bay and even added a 4-0 run for good measure to take a 25-15 first set win.
Despite allowing the homestanding Zips to build some early momentum on their home court, NIU quickly squashed that in the second set. Ignited by a kill and back-to-back service aces from Radtke, the Huskies moved out to a 6-1 lead. Once the Zips got back to within 9-6, NIU closed the door on UA with an impressive 8-0 run that included two kills from T’ara Austin and two blocks from Radtke, allowing the Huskies to hold a comfortable 17-6 lead. From there, NIU was able to coast to a 25-16 second set win.
Much like the first set, the Huskies allowed Akron to build an early 4-1 lead in the third set. However, NIU was able to keep the Zips within striking distance and, with the score at 9-6 Akron, used a 5-0 run to slide in front, 11-9, courtesy of kills from Radtke and Mackenzie Roddy. Unlike the opposition, the Huskies were able to let their slim lead hold. Once the Zips battled back to within 15-14, Roddy, Angelos, Austin and the Huskies closed the door on Akron with a 5-0 run for a 20-14 advantage and an eventualy 25-19 set win.
NIU and UA went back-and-forth several points into the fourth set, resulting in a 14-14 stalemate after neither side could build a lead of more than two points. The Huskies, though, stopped the Zips in their tracks with back-to-back blocks from Alexis Gonzalez and Radtke, followed by a Gonzalez ace to give NIU a well-timed 3-0 run and a 17-14 edge. UA got back to within one point at 19-18, but the Huskies outlasted the home team down the stretch and emerged with a match-clinching 25-23 fourth set win.
Roddy paced the NIU offense with 14 kills, while Angelos notched 12 and Mary Grace Kelly got 11. On defense, Radtke got five blocks and Angelos had four as part of NIU’s 12 team blocks in the match. Nine different Huskies earned a dig in the match.
The Huskies return to the friendly confines of Victor E. Court next weekend when they host Ohio and Kent State. NIU takes on the Bobcats Friday at 7 p.m., then battles the Golden Flashes Saturday night in the annual Pink Match and Alumni Night.