Miami 3, Akron 1
OXFORD, Ohio - After dropping the first set, the Miami volleyball team rebounded to take the next three and earn a 3-1 (20-25, 27-25, 25-15, 25-17) victory over Akron Saturday night. The RedHawks improve to 9-15 overall and 4-7 in the Mid-American Conference. The Zips fall to 13-10 overall and 5-6 in the MAC.
Despite three kills early from Colleen Loftus, Miami fell behind in set one by a 7-10 score. Akron would maintain that lead throughout the set, and in front 23-20, would close out the win by scoring two final points. Miami only hit .091 during the frame.
Set two started out similarly for the RedHawks, as they fell behind 5-10. Michele Metzler helped close Miami to within two at 12-14 when she sparked a run with three kills. Akron would answer with a 9-6 run of its own that pushed the lead back to five at 23-18. After a service error, Cassie Farrell put down a kill off an Amy Kendall assist that pulled the RedHawks to within two and forced a Zip timeout. Following the break an Akron attack error and a setting error tied the set at 23. The teams would trade points until it was tied at 25. Miami would complete the comeback with kills by Madison Dodd and Lisa Treadway off Michelle Mangia assists to earn a 27-25 victory.
Tied at six in set three, Miami went on an 8-1 run that featured three blocks. Loftus had a hand in all three of the blocks, teaming up with Farrell for one and Metzler for the other two. Akron would get as close as five at 13-18, but kills from Farrell and Amy Raseman, along with yet another block-this time by Farrell and Jenn Caylor, helped push the advantage back to eight at 22-14. A kill by Dodd, an illegal substitution and a setting error by the Zips would eventually give the RedHawks the win by a 25-15 score. Miami recorded five total blocks in that set.
Miami fell behind, 1-6 to begin set four. Two kills by Raseman helped spark a 9-4 run that would tie the score at 10. From there the RedHawks took control as two kills from Metzler, along with a double block by Caylor and Metzler helped Miami go in front, 17-12. In front 22-15, Dodd would put down a kill and Treadway would follow with a service ace to give the RedHawks match point. Two points later, Loftus would put down the winning kill and give Miami a 25-17 win.
Metzler led a balanced RedHawk attack with 11 kills, while Loftus contributed nine kills and a team high 15 digs. Miami hit .234 for the match, helped by a .409 hitting percentage in set three and a .429 hitting percentage in set four. The RedHawks held Akron to a .141 hitting percentage for the match.
Miami returns to action on Saturday when it hosts Buffalo at 5 p.m. The match is the annual Dig Pink contest, where the RedHawks will help raise money in the fight against Breast Cancer.
Bowling Green 3, Buffalo 1
Bowling Green, Ohio - Playing its next-to-last match in Anderson Arena, the Bowling Green State University volleyball team hit .278 and rolled to a 25-19, 25-9, 20-25, 25-21 Mid-American Conference victory over Buffalo Friday night. The team will play its final match in Anderson Arena Saturday before moving into the new Stroh Center for the 2011 season.
Freshman Paige Penrod had a classic Anderson Arena performance, posting a career-high 25 kills and hitting .354. Freshman Danielle Tonyan added 16 kills and hit .355 as classmate Laura Avila directed the lethal offensive attack with 48 assists.
Even though Bowling Green won the first two sets with relative ease, the Falcons had to rally late to keep the match from going to a fifth set. After Buffalo battled back into the match with a 25-20 third set victory, the Bulls scored the first seven points of the fourth frame and seemed to be in control. Bowling Green steadied the ship but Buffalo still led 16-11 midway through the set. That's when the youthful Falcons took over.
A Buffalo service error opened the door and freshman Lindsey Butterfield followed with a kill. Another freshman, Ashley Dunn served up an ace to make it 16-14, forcing the Bulls to burn their second timeout of the set. After a Buffalo kill made it 17-14, Buffalo had another service error. Butterfield followed with another kill and Buffalo had an attack error that tied the score at 17-17.
The score was still tied at 19-19 when the Falcons went on one last run. Penrod had two kills, rattling the Buffalo defense and a bad Bulls' set made it 22-19 Bowling Green. Penrod completed the comeback with kills on each of the Falcons' final three points for the 25-21 win.
Bowling Green played as well as it had all year in the first two sets, storming past Buffalo early. The Falcons hit .333 in the first set and .545 in the second. Buffalo made some adjustments and held Bowling Green to .154 in the third and .205 in the fourth but the damage had been done.
The Falcons had 12 more kills than the Bulls, eight more digs and four more aces. The only area in which Buffalo won the statistical battle came in blocking, where Carissa McKenna had seven blocks to lead the Bulls to 8.0, compared to 6.0 for Bowling Green.
Buffalo falls to 14-13 overall and 2-9 in MAC play with the loss. Bowling Green improves to 8-18 overall and also 2-9 in league action and will host Akron Saturday at 3 p.m. in the final BGSU volleyball match ever in Anderson Arena. The Falcons will honor seniors Sam Fish and Noelle Spitler for Senior Day as well.
Toledo 3, Northern Illinois 2
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo rallied from a 2-0 deficit on Friday evening to knock off Mid-American Conference West Division leader Northern Illinois in Savage Arena by a 3-2 margin. The Rockets improved their overall record to 9-13 overall and 4-7 in the MAC with the victory, while the Huskies lost their first road match of the season and fell to 23-3 overall and 9-2 in conference play.
Freshman OH Lauren Rafdal continued to emerge as one of the team's key offensive threats by registering a season-high 25 kills and .279 attack percentage. She also tallied 12 digs for her fourth straight double-double.
Three more Rockets joined Rafdal with double-digit kill totals - junior OH Cassie Kleespies (13 kills, .407 ATK%), freshman MB Becca Reidy (11 kills, .400 ATK%) and sophomore MB Bailey Blank (10 kills, .368 ATK%) - to help UT post an impressive .280 team hitting mark.
Senior libero Katie Westerfeld led Toledo defensively with 25 digs with junior S Kassie Kadera tallying 16 digs and equaling her career high with 64 assists.
Freshman OH Lauren Wicinski topped NIU's attack with 22 kills, while senior libero Maddie Hughes collected a match-best 29 digs.
The opening set of the match was evenly played as there were seven lead changes and 15 occasions when the score was tied. A Rafdal kill late in the set gave UT a 23-22 lead but NIU answered with a Wicinski putaway and ace. The Rockets were able to even the contest at 24-24 but sophomore OH Meghan Romo's kill and another ace gave the visitors a 1-0 lead. Rafdal paced UT in the set with seven kills, while freshman MB Sarah Angelos and Wicinski each tallied four apiece.
The second set was going in the Rockets' favor until the Huskies rallied late to pick up another two-point win. UT surged to a 5-0 lead out of the gate and held a 21-14 cushion when NIU went on a 9-1 run to take a 23-22 advantage. Junior OH Amber DeWeerdt evened the contest at 23-23 with a kill and Reidy tied the score at 24-24 with another kill before a Wicinski termination and a Rocket attack error ended the set. Kleepsies led UT with five kills and a .500 hitting mark, while Wicinski was NIU's leader with six kills.
Toledo broke away from NIU in a tight third set with a four-point run to take a 22-16 lead. Kills from sophomore OH Sondra Parys, Rafdal and Reidy ignited the decisive spurt with Rafdal continuing her dominance in the match with eight kills. UT registered a .425 ATK% in the set and that momentum carried over to Set Four as the Rockets tallied a .400 hitting mark. UT fell behind early in the set, 3-2, but the Rockets didn't trail again. Rafdal posted 6-0-13 totals in the set to lead Toledo.
The fifth set was tight early as neither squad enjoyed more than a two-point cushion until the Rockets took a 12-9 advantage on back-to-back kills from Rafdal and Kadera. NIU answered though with a four-point rally for a one-point lead at 13-12. A Blank kill evened the match at 13-13 but Wicinski's kill on the next point gave the visitors a chance to win the match. The Huskies followed though with two attack errors and a kill from junior OH Allison McGlaughlin to even the score at 15-15. Parys and Kleespies then came through with a pair of kills to end the match and give UT the upset win.
Toledo returns to action tomorrow night when it hosts Western Michigan at 5:00 p.m. The Broncos dropped a 3-2 decision at Ball State this evening.
Ball State 3, Western Michigan 2
MUNCIE, Ind. - - With just its third block of the match, the Ball State women's volleyball team completed a thrilling 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 16-25, 25-22, 15-13) come-from-behind victory over Mid-American Conference West Division rival Western Michigan Friday evening at Worthen Arena.
With the win and a Northern Illinois loss at Toledo, the Cardinals move into a tie with NIU and Eastern Michigan for first place in the league standings, with all three having 9-2 league records. EMU defeated Central Michigan Thursday night to also improve to 9-2.
Tonight's victory over the Broncos ended Ball State's seven-match losing streak to Western Michigan and helped the Cardinals improve to 19-4 (9-2 MAC). BSU also remains perfect at home with a 9-0 record in Worthen Arena. Western Michigan falls to 18-7 (8-3 MAC) with the loss.
"We beat a great team in Western Michigan tonight," said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. "It is exciting to see the players who have been in the program for a number of years and not seen success against Western pick up a victory."
While four different Ball State attackers finished the night with double-digit kills, it was the play of senior libero Alyssa Rio (Wayne, Ill./St. Francis H.S.) who Shondell credits with lifting the team to victory. Rio finished the match with a career-high 44 digs, including nine in the shortened fifth set.
"Alyssa was absolutely fantastic tonight with a career-high 44 digs," added Shondell. "She led the team on the court as a player and emotionally. Everyone fed off her performance as the match went on. She refused to lose tonight and put this team on her back."
Perhaps the biggest individual play for the Cardinals also came late in the fifth set, when junior right side attacker Jennifer Boyd (Evans City, Pa./Seneca Valley H.S.) posted her season-best 16th kill of the night to give BSU match-point at 14-13. BSU had held a 13-8 lead, only to see WMU battle back and tie the score at 13.
Boyd then combined with freshman middle blocker Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven H.S.) for the match-winning block assists, giving BSU its first victory over Western Michigan since Oct. 28, 2006.
"After Western Michigan fought back to tie the fifth set, Jennifer came up with probably the biggest kill of her career to give us match point," said Shondell. "Then the stuff block by Jennifer and Mindy at the end was a great way to finish the match. The block could not have come at a better time."
Junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North H.S.) paced all players with 19 kills in the contest, while BSU's freshman outside attacking duo of Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North H.S.) and Whitney Heeres (Flushing, Mich./Flushing Senior H.S.) added 18 and 17 kills, respectively. Baker's 18 kills tied her career-high set versus IPFW (Sept. 14).
Junior setter Brittany McGinnis (Fraser, Mich./Fraser H.S.) guided the Ball State offense to a .229 (77-33-192) hitting effort in the contest, dishing out 58 assists to go along with 11 digs for her team-leading eighth double-double of the year.
While Western Michigan was able to hold a .253 (62-18-174) to .229 edge in hitting in the contest, it was BSU's offensive and defensive play in the final two sets that lifted the Cardinals to victory. BSU out-dug the MAC's leading defense 82 to 70 on the night.
Ali Gossen paced four Broncos with double-figure kills with 14. Gillian Asque and Ashley Turnage each collected 13, while Jessica Brown added 11. Lena Oliver WMU with 26 digs on the night.
The Ball State women's volleyball team battles Northern Illinois in another pivotal MAC West division tilt Saturday at 7 p.m. in Worthen Arena.