Eagles To Meet Bobcats in MAC Championship Game

Updated 11/23/2013

MAC Volleyball Tournament Central
MAC Volleyball Tournament Bracket

Story courtesy of Eastern Michigan Sports Information

Eastern Michigan 3, Western Michigan 0

GENEVA, Ohio (EMUEagles.com) — Eastern Michigan University's volleyball team continued its run of success with a sweep of Western Michigan University, Saturday, Nov. 23, in the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament.  With the win, the Eagles advance to the final round of the tournament for the first time since 1990 and the chance to earn an appearance in the NCAA tournament.  The 25-17, 25-17, 29-27 sweep of the Broncos marked the first time in eight matches that the Eagles have topped the in-state rivals, as they had been knocked off in seven-straight contests dating back to Oct. 8, 2010.
The Green and White was led offensively by senior outside hitter Erin Short (Orville, Ohio-Orville), who has been a force in the front row as of late as she notched 16 kills backed by a scorching .452 hitting percentage and picked up a team-high five block assists.  Sophomore outside hitter Stacey Perinar (Channahon, Ill.-Minooka Community) also hit in double figures, picking up 14 kills and adding 14 digs to notch a double-double.  Junior setter Jill Briner (Oak Park, Ill.-Oak Park and River Forest (Northeastern)) led with 44 assists in the contest while scooping up 10 digs for a double-double of her own and rocketing in three service aces.  Defensively, senior Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) paced the squad with 24 digs, and junior middle blocker Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) contributed at the net with three block assists.
The Broncos were led by Richelle Raney and Alysia Baznik, who combined for 17 kills.  Western libero Lena Oliver led all players with 26 digs, and Lexie Pawlik recorded 32 assists in the Broncos' setback.  The Eagles held WMU to a .123 hitting percentage while posting a .186 clip of their own.  The Green and White also remained perfect on service reception, while the Broncos were aced seven times.
Eastern opened up with a commanding 5-0 lead in the opening frame and retained its lead throughout the remainder of the set.  The Green and White allowed just one run of four points by the Broncos while stringing together six runs of two-or-more points.  Perinar picked up five of her kills, committing just one error off 15 swings.  Though the Eagles did not set the court ablaze with their hitting percentage, notching just a .167 clip, they held the Broncos to a .119 percentage and tallied four aces as Briner recorded a pair and Smith and Perinar added one apiece.  The frame ended with kill from Perinar and a Briner ace, closing out the first set with a 25-17 decision.
The Green and White offense heated up in the second set, as the team hit at a .283 percentage, led by Short with seven kills and a .545 clip.  Briner balanced the offense well, as Perinar came away with four kills and Roback pounded down three, and Crawshaw found the court on two occasions.  The outside hitter duo of Roback and Perinar was vital in the back row, as the pair combined for 12 digs in the frame.  The Eagles outhit the Broncos 18 kills to 10 and added another two aces to the count.  The set was hard-fought until the Eagles came from behind to knot the score 11-11 off a Short kill, after which they took off to end the frame with another 25-17 count. 
Western battled back in the third set, leading by as many as five points, but ultimately the Eagles came out on top to complete the sweep.  WMU made a valiant effort in the frame, scooping up 39 digs compared to EMU's 28-dig output and posting five blocks in the tussle.  Down 21-16, a kill by redshirt-sophomore Katie Krasowski (Oak Lawn, Ill.-Marist) started off the offensive effort that would eventually tie the set at 24 apiece.  Perinar led the way with two of her five kills in the frame, remaining errorless in the 12-point battle to tie up the score.  Another kill from Perinar gave the Eagles the lead at 26-25, but the Broncos continued to tie up the matchup until a pair of kills from Krasowski and Perinar ended the contest at 29-27. 
The Eagles will play for the MAC Tournament Championship title Sunday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. when the squad takes on MAC regular season champion Ohio University.
The championship match will be able to be seen live throughout Ohio and in Western and Central New York on Time Warner Cable SportsChannel.  In addition, Cox and BCSN will also air the match live.  Comcast Michigan will carry the match live for the Michigan viewing audience.  Mike Cairns and Michelle Mimna will be on the call.  See channel information below and check your local listings for complete details.