Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Ball State 3, Western Michigan 1
Ohio 3, Central Michigan 0
Northern Illinois 3, Toledo 0
Eastern Michigan 3, Kent State 1
Buffalo 3, Bowling Green 2
Miami 3, Akron 1
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan volleyball team honored both its past and its present on Saturday night by honoring both its seniors in their final home matches as well as the legendary 1983 volleyball team, but WMU was unable to overcome the Ball State Cardinals, falling 3-1 (21-25, 26-28, 25-23, 17-25) at University Arena. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 16-13 on the season, 9-7 in Mid-American Conference play. The Broncos will face the Cardinals again in the first round of the 2013 MAC Tournament, scheduled for next Friday, Nov. 22.
Senior Gillian Asque, playing the final home match of her Bronco career, ripped 13 kills on 30 attempts with just one error for a .400 hitting percentage, the second match in a row in which she's posted a .400 or better mark from the floor. Alysia Baznik also broke double-digits in kills, adding 12 for the Broncos, and Rachel Sheffer added nine kills and a .304 hitting percentage. Lena Oliver had a team-high 19 digs, and Ave Stout led the defensive effort with six total blocks, including three solo stuffs.
The Broncos tried to climb back from a 2-0 deficit in the match, and they took a big first step by taking the third set against the Cardinals in close fashion. WMU trailed 10-8 at one point, but came back to tie the score at 13 on a kill from Sheffer. The lead reached 16-13 after the Cardinals recorded three straight attack errors, and though Ball State tied it at 16 with a 3-0 run of their own, Asque snapped the stalemate with a kill. Stout recorded a solo block of Jenna Spadafora to give WMU a 19-17 lead, and the advantage reached 21-18 when Stout and Sheffer combined for another block of Spadafora. Sheffer made it 22-19 with a kill, Stout 23-20 with another, and Baznik pounded home two balls in a row to close the set and win it 25-23 for the Broncos.
However, the Cardinals stopped the Broncos' potential rally with a strong fourth set. Ball State led by as many as 10 points in the fourth set, eventually winning 25-17 on a kill from Spadafora.
The first set was back and forth throughout, with the Broncos actually holding the early advantage over the Cardinals. WMU took a 7-4 lead on the strength of a kill from Claire Gerwig, and expanded that advantage to 14-9 when Asque shot a kill through the block, forcing a Ball State timeout. The Cardinals fought back, though, tying the set at 17-all and eventually taking a 21-20 lead on a kill from Jenna Spadafora. Spadafora forced set point with a kill to make it 24-21, and a BSU block sealed the first set win for the Cardinals.
The teams traded points back and forth in the second set as well, with neither team leading the other by more than three points at any time. The biggest lead of the set belonged to the Broncos, who led 16-13 after Ball State's Hayley Benson committed an attack error. The Cardinals tied it, though, and the teams remained deadlocked until the score reached 26-26. Ball State wrapped with kills on back-to-back points to win the set 28-26.
ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University volleyball team (24-4, 14-2) won the eighth MAC regular season title in program history outright Saturday evening after sweeping Central Michigan (25-15, 25-14, 25-19) before 1,926 fans inside the Convocation Center.
The Bobcats enter the 2013 MAC Championship as the No. 1 seed and will take on the No. 8 seed (TBD) on Friday at noon at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Ohio won its eighth-straight match and second-straight MAC title on the strength of a solid hitting night in which the ‘Cats held a 43-30 edge in kills and hit .301 while limiting the Chippewas to a .133 clip.
The Bobcats also out-blocked CMU, 9-3, and held a 6-2 edge in service aces on senior night.
A pair of Bobcats hit major milestones in the match, as junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) and sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) each recorded her 1,000th career dig in the match.
Lamberti knocked down a team-high 10 kills and added 10 digs to post her team-leading 16th double-double of the season, while Ashy notched a match-high 16 digs and contributed two assists on the night.
Sophomore middle blocker Karin Bull (Bloomington, Minn.) chipped in 8 kills on 18 attempts (.444) and added three total blocks, while freshman outside hitter Katie Horton (Westland, Mich.) notched four blocks (two solo) and five kills for the Bobcats. Graduate middle blocker Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) also tallied four blocks and knocked down five kills while hitting a blistering .714.
Sophomore Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) tallied a match-high 28 assists and added five kills from the setting position.
The Bobcats were red hot out of the gate, posting 11 of the first 14 points of the opening set. A block from Bull and redshirt junior Liis Kullerkann (Keila, Estonia) gave Ohio a nine-point edge (20-11) in the frame and the Green & White won the first set by 10 (25-15) after Bull punctuated the set with a kill.
Ohio held an 11-5 edge early in the second set and moved ahead by eight (18-10) on a kill from freshman outside hitter/libero Mallory Salis (Oak Lawn, Ill.). The Bobcats forced set point after a kill from Pinson and won the second frame, 25-14.
After the break, the two teams played to an 11-11 tie, before CMU moved ahead by two (18-16) on an Ohio attack error. But Ohio stormed back with four-straight points to move ahead by two (20-18) and an ace from freshman defensive specialist Geneva Yee (Milwaukee, Wis.) pushed Ohio in front by three (22-19). The Bobcats ended the set on a 9-1 run to clinch its second straight MAC regular season title outright.
The victory moved Ohio to 13-0 in three-set matches this season.
Prior to the game, Ohio’s four senior student-athletes were honored for their contributions to the program.
Stay tuned to OhioBobcats.com to see who the Bobcats will play Friday in the quarterfinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University volleyball team honored their four seniors Saturday at Victor E. Court with a resounding 3-0 sweep of the Toledo Rockets.
In the final home match for Sarah Angelos, Tori Halbur, Justine Schepler and Kayla Zeno, NIU (18-12, 10-6 MAC) outhit UT (19-11, 12-4 MAC), .296-.167, and tallied 10 blocks on the night. The night was also a big one, as junior Mackenzie Roddy became the 21st Huskie in program history to record 1,000 kills in a career.
“I thought tonight was a great way for our group and our seniors to end the regular season,” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. “It was an all-around solid team effort.”
With plenty of emotions in the building, the Huskies came out firing in the first set en route to building a 15-9 lead midway through the set. The catalyst in the first half of the set was a 4-0 NIU run that included an Emily Paschke solo block and an Angelos kill. The Huskie offense kept going on all cylinders against the Rockets and built an eight-point advantage at 22-14. However, UT threatened to get back into the set late by getting within 24-20, only to have Roddy close the door and give NIU a 25-20 first set victory.
It was NIU getting out of the gate fast again in the second set, as kills from Alexis Gonzalez, Roddy and Jenna Radtke put the Huskies ahead, 5-2. The Rockets, though, retaliated with a 4-0 run to move ahead, 6-5. After trading points, the Huskies erupted midway through the set by going on an 11-2 run, which included back-to-back Angelos kills, and make it a 19-11 edge. That burst gave NIU all they needed to coast to a 25-15 win in the second set and a 2-0 match lead at the break.
In desperation mode, UT came out in the third set and quickly made it a 15-9 advantage. The Huskies, however, got back into the set at 15-13 with a 4-0 run that included to Radtke kills and a Gonzalez ace. After Toledo got back up to a three-point lead at 20-17, NIU got three-straight points from Angelos, Gonzalez and a Rocket error to tie things at 20-20. The Huskies would get set and match point following a Gonzalez ace, only to have UT score three consecutive points and get a set point opportunity of their own. NIU denied the Rockets the set win and instead got three more set point chances, finally winning on the third try due to a UT ball handling error.
Roddy led the Huskies with 12 spikes on the night, while Angelos also had double-digit kills with 11 to go along with five blocks. Zeno and Schepler tied for the team lead with 13 digs apiece.
NIU gets back on the court next weekend when they compete in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. They enter the tournament as the fifth seed and will face Bowling Green in the first round.
KENT, Ohio – Kent State was unable to send its two seniors out with a win in the last home match of their careers, falling in four sets to Eastern Michigan Saturday night at the M.A.C. Center (25-21, 22-25, 7-25, 15-25). The Golden Flashes will open play in the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament at noon on Friday against top-seeded Ohio at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva.
After a terrific team performance in the opening set, Kent State (12-17, 6-10) appeared on its way to earning the No. 7 seed. Led by 13 digs from senior libero Hannah Herc and five blocks from junior middle blocker Liz Reikow, the Flashes held Eastern Michigan to a .083 attack percentage in the set. Trailing 13-12, the Flashes used tough serving from sophomore middle blocker Bridget Wilhelm to score seven consecutive points and gain control of the set.
Kent State could not get anything going offensively the rest of the way, however. The Flashes totaled just nine kills in the second set, but nine attack errors by the Eagles helped keep the set close throughout. They finished the night with a .049 attack percentage, as Reikow and junior outside hitter Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola led the way with nine kills each. Senior setter Aleksandra Nowak tallied 31 assists in the final home match of her career.
Herc, the other senior on Kent State's roster, was terrific in the back row and finished with 27 digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Sarah Mills added 17 digs in a solid defensive performance for the Flashes.
Kent State will look to regroup heading into the postseason. The Golden Flashes, who will be appearing the MAC Tournament for the first time since the conference changed its format entering the 2011 season, will play regular season champion Ohio for the third time this year. The Flashes split the first two matchups this season.
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo volleyball team swept a Mid-American Conference weekend for the first time since 2003 as the Bulls ended MAC play with an impressive 3-2 victory over the defending MAC Champions, the Bowling Green Falcons. The Bulls improved to 18-11 on the season, just the second time they have reached 18 wins in a season since 1996, both under current head coach Todd Kress. The Bulls also finished the conference season with a 6-10 record. The six victories are the most a UB volleyball team has had since joining the conference in 1998.
The Bulls took the contest 25-20, 22-25, 25-21, 26-28, 15-13 as they narrowly outhit the Falcons, .110 to .104. UB trailed early in the first set, 8-5, but went on a 9-2 run thanks to a few BG errors, forcing the Falcons to call timeout. UB built its lead up to 20-13 following a kill from Akeila Lain and although BG cut it to three at 23-20, UB scored the final two points with the final one coming on one of 20 blocks, this time from seniors Carissa McKenna and Christine Fritsche.
The Falcons were able to take a close set in the second, 25-22, but UB came back out of the break and won a tight third set. With the two teams tied at 21-21, the Bulls rattled off four straight points, including two monster kills from sophomore Tahleia Bishop to win the set 25-21 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
In what was a back-and-forth match all night, Bowling Green took the 20-16 lead in the fourth set, but the Bulls answered with an 8-2 run, capped off on a solo block from McKenna. However, with UB leading 24-22 and needing just one more point for the match, Bowling Green fought off three match points and scored the final three points of the set, 28-26.
For the Bulls this became their seventh match to go five sets, all in conference play and the second time that UB and BG were going five. The Bulls opened the fifth on a 5-2 run and never trailed although the Falcons did tie it up late at 12-12. A kill from sophomore Megan Lipski followed by a block from Amber Hatchett and Dana Musil put the Bulls up 14-12 and just one point away from the match. Following a UB service error, Musil took a pass from senior Kelly Svoboda and converted for the final point of the night.
"Tremendous team win to celebrate these seniors and all they have done for the program," said Kress. "This group is extremely hard-working and their accomplishments over these last four years have changed the expectations of this program moving forward."
Bishop led the way with 22 kills, giving her 400 on the season, the first UB player to do so since 2006 and the first to do it since the current 25-point scoring format. Her 3.67 kills per set are currently the fourth most in a single season. Bishop had just three errors, hitting .365 for the night.
Lain chipped in with 13 kills, while Musil had nine on her senior night. Fellow senior Dani Reinert finished with 31 assists and 14 digs, while Taylor Pritchett added 24 assists.
The Bulls had a solid night defensively as Svoboda added 25 digs, giving her 626 on the season and 1,935 for her career. Pritchett and Musil both finished with seven digs.
UB finished with a season-high 20.0 blocks, led by McKenna, who had a career-high 11 blocks, including five solos. The five solo blocks from McKenna are the most by a UB player in one match since Nov. 3, 2005 when Katie Weekley had seven against Toledo. Hatchett added seven blocks, while Lain had six.
With the regular season concluding, the Bulls finished in a tie for seventh place in the MAC, but lost out on a conference tournament bid due to tiebreakers. This is a team, that as mentioned earlier played in seven five-set matches in conference, losing three of them by just two points.
The Bulls opened the match tonight by honoring its six seniors and when the match began all six were in the starting lineup including Kaja Schirmer, who was on the floor with Musil, Fritsche, Reinert, McKenna and Svoboda.
AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron (8-19, 2-14) volleyball team lost to Mid-American Conference opponent Miami (Ohio) University (12-16, 4-12) in four sets on Saturday night at James A. Rhodes Arena.
The first set of the match had a lot of back and forth between the Zips and RedHawks, as the final score of first set ended at 33-31 in favor of Miami. Akron remained close in the second set, 25-23, but ended on the losing end also.
The Zips picked up their lone win of the evening in the third set by a score of 25-22. However, the RedHawks had their strongest set of the night in the fourth and final of the match, as they managed a 25-10 win over the Zips to take the final regular season match of the year.
Senior Alex Cocklin led the way for the Akron attack with 15 kills. Cocklin also added seven digs in the loss.
Ashley Holder tallied a match-high 45 assists on Saturday, while also contributing 15 digs for her sixth double-double of the year. She finished the 2013 season with 7.05 assists per set.
Kelsey Wilson and Alex Wiederholt also had double digits with 11 and 10 kills, respectively, in the loss to the RedHawks. Tori Lanzillotti recorded a team-high 18 digs to pace the Zips' defense.
Akron volleyball wrapped up its 2013 season with Senior Night after the match. The Zips honored their three seniors, Cocklin, Jill Paluch and Wiederholt, for their work both on the court and in the classroom.