Northern Illinois 3, Eastern Michigan 1
YPSILANTI, Mich. - Breaking a recent trend, the Northern Illinois volleyball team picked up its third road win in a row by beating Eastern Michigan, 25-20, 26-28, 27-25, 25-21, at the Convocation Center on Saturday night in only four sets. The Huskies (19-2, 5-1) had won each of the last three Mid-American Conference matches in their five-game winning streak in five sets.
"We are very happy for the weekend," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden of his team's 2-0 weekend away from Victor E. Court. "We played against two really good teams on their home courts. Eastern is doing a really good job. They are a good team. It was great for us to get off to a really good start."
In advancing to 5-0 on the road, something that hadn't been done since 1992, NIU featured a three-headed offensive effort that led the Huskies to advantages over the Eagles (17-6, 4-2 MAC) in kills (67-50), hitting percentage (.229-.187), and aces (7-6). Freshman outside hitter Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) fronted the attack with 27 kills, adding three aces and 14 digs for her eighth double-double. She has now had 20 or more kills in four of the last six matches. Freshman middle blocker Sarah Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) put up 11 kills, as did junior outsider Allison McGlaughlin (Morton, Ill./Morton), who also added a season-high 18 digs. The double-double for McGlaughlin was her sixth. Junior setter Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) also achieved a double-double, her fifth, with 48 assists and 12 digs.
"The thing we did well tonight was we played a lot more aggressively from the start," Gooden said. "It was nice to have that. The output from our left sides was solid again. We also had a real nice night from the middles in terms of blocking and scoring. It was really good for us to score a lot of points with our blocks and in transition."
The Huskies were even better on defense, netting a season-high 90 digs, along with holding a 9-4 edge in blocks. For the second night in a row, senior libero Maddie Hughes (St. Charles, Ill./North) reached the 30-dig mark, with 32 digs, as she captained the back row. Sophomore middle blocker Mary Kurisch (LaCrosse, Wis./West Salem) owned the net, notching a career-high-tying seven blocks.
"[Maddie] had a real consistent match," Gooden said. "She helped us not only with her defense, which is her trademark, but she also did a nice job of serving for us. Overall, our defense really picked it up a notch."
NIU led wire to wire in the opening set, scoring four of the first five points on a pair of kills each by the freshman duo of middle blocker Sarah Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) and outside hitter Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill./Geneva). Later, the Huskies extended their lead to an insurmountable 19-10 after kills by the sophomore pair of middle blocker Mary Kurisch (LaCrosse, Wis./West Salem) and outside hitter Meghan Romo (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso).
In the second set, the teams went back and forth the whole way. The Eagles had the first chance at taking the set with a 25-24 lead, but Wicinski kept the Huskies alive with a putaway. An Eagle point later, McGlaughlin saved the set with a kill. However, NIU could not get on top of EMU as a serve error and ace tied the match.
NIU trailed for most of the swing set before a late run changed the match. Down 10-5, the Huskies could not keep up with the Eagles until a timeout at 21-18 turned the tide. A revamped NIU squad went on a 5-3 run behind four kills by Wicinski. After an EMU break in action, Hoffman served up an ace and Wicinski put down another kill to put NIU in front, 25-24. The Eagles answered with a kill, but then Kurisch played a big role in giving the Huskies momentum in the match. The sophomore tallied a kill and then teamed with McGlaughlin on a block to end the set.
"Kristen's serving was big in that late run," said Gooden. "It was one of the first times in a while where we had to really fight to get that set. That part was really good to see. That fight carried over to the fourth set. It was a big momentum shift."
In the final stanza, NIU held a slim margin for a majority of the set and the Eagles tied the score several times but couldn't get over the hump. The final tie was at 20-20, when the Huskies promptly ran away with the match on a 5-1 run. The spurt was started by a McGlaughlin kill and Wicinski took over after that, ending the contest with four straight putaways for the Huskies.
The victory, along with Buffalo beating Ball State at home tonight, gave the Huskies sole possession of first place in the MAC West Division as NIU improved to 5-1 in league play for the first time since 2006.
Next up for the Huskies is a return to home as they will face Akron (13-4, 5-0 MAC) at 7 p.m. CT on Friday, Oct. 15 and Buffalo (14-8, 2-4 MAC) at the same time on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Western Michigan 3, Central Michigan 1
MT. PLEASANT, Mich. -- Freshman outside hitter Ali Gossen tied her career high and led all players with 16 kills as Western Michigan defeated in-state rival Central Michigan, 3-1 (25-27, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19), at Finch Fieldhouse for its first road Mid-American Conference win of the season.
The Broncos (13-6, 4-2 MAC) received double-doubles from both senior outside hitter Allyson Doyle and freshman outside hitter Taylor Richard. Doyle had 14 kills, 16 digs, three assists, three blocks and hit .306, while Richard had 13 kills, 11 digs and hit .306. Freshman libero Lena Oliver added 21 digs to lead WMU and junior setter Sam Viox had 52 assists and seven digs.
Junior middle blocker Ashley Turnage came off the bench to contribute seven blocks, six digs and five kills in three sets against the MAC West preseason favorite Chippewas (7-11, 1-5 MAC).
Central Michigan was led by outside hitter Lauren Krupsky with 15 kills and libero Lisa Johnson led all players with 26 digs.
The Broncos hit .198 with 60 kills and the Chippewas hit .178 with 56 kills. Each team had nine blocks and the Chippewas had five more digs, 79-74. Each team had three aces and CMU had one more service error, 5-4.
"This was a good MAC road win for us against the preseason division favorite," head coach Colleen Munson said. "I'm pleased to see us bounce back from the loss last night. We were able to play well in our system and respond to good defense by Central Michigan."
Central Michigan went up 4-1 in the opening set, but the Broncos came back to take its first lead, 11-10, after kills by sophomore middle blocker Jessica Brown and Gossen. The Chippewas went back up by two, 14-12, when WMU came back with a 6-1 run for its biggest lead, 18-15, at the point. CMU called timeout, but WMU went up by four, 21-17, after a Richard kill and CMU called its last timeout. The Chippewas tied the score, 22-22, but kills by Richard and Gossen gave WMU set point, 24-22. CMU saved the next two points, but WMU earned another set point with a Gossen kill, 25-24. Central Michigan rallied with three kills in a row to snatch the opening set, 27-25.
CMU finished with 19 kills and hit .318, while the Broncos hit .289 with 17 kills and six errors. Gossen led the Broncos with seven kills.
The Chippewas led early, 6-4, again until the Broncos went on a 4-0 run to take the lead, 13-10. The Broncos pushed the lead up another point, 18-14, after Doyle notched a kill. A Richard kill pushed the lead, 21-16, to five, but CMU scored six of the next seven points to tie, 22-22. Kills by Turnage and Richard put WMU back up two, 24-22, and after one saved set point Gossen evened the match, 25-23.
WMU had 12 kills and nine errors to hit .064 and the Chippewas hit .104 with 13 kills and eight errors. The Chippewas had two service errors and one ball-handling error, while WMU had one service error in the set.
Central Michigan led 13-10 when the Broncos rattled off five points in a row to take the lead, 15-13, after a block by Doyle and Turnage and kill by Richard. Another Doyle kill put the Broncos up five, 20-15, and CMU called timeout. Central Michigan was unable to mount another late rally and Doyle put WMU in front, 25-20, with a kill.
The Broncos hit .200 with 15 kills and the Chippewas hit .111 with 11 kills. Doyle had seven kills and hit .538 in the set.
A kill by Brown broke a 12-all tie and started a 6-1 run by the Broncos to put them up five, 18-13, and force CMU to burn through both timeouts. The Chippewas closed within three, 22-19, but WMU closed the set with a solo block by Brown, ace by Doyle and kill by Richard on match point, 25-19.
The Broncos hit .262 and tallied 16 kills in the final set, while holding CMU to 13 kills and .171 attacking. Richard finished the match with six kills in the fourth set.
Western Michigan returns to Kalamazoo for its next three matches at home at University Arena. The Broncos host Buffalo (14-8, 2-4 MAC) on Friday at 7 p.m. and MAC East leader Akron (13-5, 5-1 MAC) on Saturday at 7 p.m. WMU concludes the homestand against Notre Dame (11-6, 4-1 Big East) on Tuesday, Oct. 19 at 7 p.m.
Kent State 3, Bowling Green 0
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- The Kent State volleyball team ran its win streak to two matches after another strong offensive outing helped the Golden Flashes sweep Bowling Green, 3-0 (25-23, 25-16, 25-18), today (Oct. 9) in a Mid-American Conference East Division battle at Anderson Arena.
The Flashes (10-11, 3-3) set a new team season standard in attack percentage for the second match in a row, hitting .367 a day after posting a .328 mark in a 3-1 victory at Miami. Junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) led KSU with 16 kills while sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) contributed 12. Freshman Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) directed the offense with 35 set assists and paced the defensive effort with six blocks (one solo, five assisted). The Flashes outblocked the Falcons (6-14, 1-5), 9-2. Senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) recorded 11 digs to lead the team.
The Falcons took the early advantage in the first set, grabbing a 7-3 lead with five kills, a service ace and a KSU attack error. Kills by Paskert, Brivule and senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.) and two bad sets and an attack error by Bowling Green helped the Golden Flashes close the gap to 9-8. The teams continued to trade punches from there, as kills from Paskert, Jones, Brivule and Nowak helped shorten the deficit to one point again at 14-13. Three more kills by Paskert allowed KSU to tie the match at 18-all. The Flashes took a 19-18 lead thanks to a service ace by Paskert, but Bowling Green took back the lead with three straight points, forcing KSU to call timeout trailing 21-19. The squads then traded points to tie it up at 23-all. The Flashes broke through for the set victory and 1-0 match lead thanks to a double block by Nowak and junior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis.) and a kill by Paskert.
Bowling Green opened the second set with a 3-1 lead, but a kill by senior Celia Sabo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and a double block by Nowak and Paskert tied it at three-all. Barr followed that up with a service ace to give Kent State the lead for good as KSU went on an 11-6 run highlighted by three kills by Brivule, two kills and a block by Larsen and two kills by Paskert. Kent State swelled its lead to 10 at 23-13 with another run that featured two more kills by Paskert, one apiece by Jones and Larsen and a double block by Paskert and Nowak. An attack error by Bowling Green and a kill by Sabo gave the Flashes the 2-0 match lead.
Kent State took the mystery out of things early in the third set as well, breaking a two-all tie with a block by Nowak to stay in control the rest of the way. Kills by Nowak, Larsen and Brivule and a double block by Paskert and Nowak extended the advantage to 7-3. The Flashes forced the Falcons to call timeout after five more points put them up 12-7, including a kill by Larsen and four Bowling Green errors. The Flashes began to bury Bowling Green's hopes of a comeback with an 8-2 run highlighted by two kills by Brivule, one by Larsen, a service ace by Barr and a double block by Nowak and Sabo. Bowling Green shaved KSU'S lead to 22-16 with a 7-2 run, but kills by Larsen, Brivule and Paskert helped nail down the victory.
The Golden Flashes take on two MAC West opponents as they continue their four-match road trip, traveling to Toledo next Friday (Oct. 15) and Ball State Saturday (Oct. 16). Both match start times are scheduled for 7 p.m.
Miami 3, Ohio 1
OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami volleyball team overcame a slow start to defeat Ohio, 3-1 (10-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-20), Saturday evening. The RedHawks used a balanced attack that saw four different players record double-digit kills. Miami improves to 7-12 overall and 2-4 in the Mid-American Conference. The Bobcats fall to 12-7 overall and 4-2 in the MAC.
Ohio would jump to a 10-1 lead in set one. Miami would get as close as seven at 6-13 thanks in part to kills from Christina Menche and Michele Metzler, but was unable to sustain a run. The Bobcats would go onto to take the set by a 25-10 score.
Miami would bounce back from the slow start with a strong performance in set two. Tied at nine, two kills from Metzler helped the RedHawks open up a four point lead at 14-10. Colleen Loftus took over from there, scoring three kills as Miami maintained the cushion. Trailing 18-22, Ohio pulled to within two by scoring the next couple of points. Amy Raseman responded with two kills as the RedHawks closed out a 25-21 win on a 3-1 run.
Trailing 2-4 in set three, Miami would score six straight points, including two kills from Loftus and two double blocks from Cassie Farrell and Amy Kendall. Ohio would respond with an 11-5 run to take a 15-13 advantage. Kills from Farrell and Loftus helped Miami tie the set at 17. Tied at 18, a kill from Loftus a block from Raseman and Metzler and a kill by Metzler would put the RedHawks up three, a lead they would not relinquish. Raseman put down the winning kill off of Kendall's assist to earn the 25-22 victory.
Two more Loftus kills helped give Miami a 10-5 lead to start set four. The Bobcats would narrow the margin to two at 12-14 after a 7-4 run. A kill from Raseman and two blocks from Menche would put Miami up five again. Ohio would get as close as three at 20-23, but it followed that with a service error. Kendall and Farrell then won the match for the RedHawks with one final block of a Bobcat attack.
Loftus had her second consecutive double-double for Miami, leading the RedHawks with 12 kills and 12 digs. Metzler, Raseman and Menche recorded 11 kills each. Madison Hardy had 10 digs, while Kendall led the way with 42 assists. Miami hit .221 for the match, compared to .225 for the Bobcats.
The RedHawks hit the road for two matches next week. Miami will take on Eastern Michigan on Friday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. It will follow that up with a 7 p.m. match at Central Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Toledo 3, Akron 2
AKRON, OH - Toledo registered its first conference victory of the season with a come-from-behind 3-2 (25-21, 18-25, 23-25, 27-25, 15-13) triumph on Saturday evening over MAC East Division leader Akron at Rhodes Arena.
Sophomore OH Sondra Parys led the Rockets with a career-high 27 kills with freshman OH Lauren Rafdal and senior OH Margot Joniec also in double figures with 12 and 10 kills, respectively.
Junior OH Amber DeWeerdt topped UT defensively with 24 digs and was joined by junior S Kassie Kadera (23) and senior libero Katie Westerfeld (22) in the 20-dig club. Kadera also dished out a season-high 64 assists, one shy of her career record set against the Zips.
The Rockets are back in action next weekend with a pair of home matches vs. Kent State and Ohio. UT's contest vs. the Golden Flashes is on Friday, Oct. 15 at 7:00 p.m. with the meeting vs. the Bobcats taking place on Saturday, Oct. 16 at 3:00 p.m.
Buffalo 3, Ball State 2
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo volleyball team overcame a late four-point fifth set deficit on Saturday night to pick up its first ever win against Ball State, 3-2, at Alumni Arena. The win for UB snaps a four-match losing streak and improves its record to 14-8 and 2-4 in the MAC.
The Bulls took the contest 28-26, 20-25, 25-19, 19-25, 15-13 as UB was able to stake itself out to an early lead beginning in the first set. Down 16-15, the Bulls went on a 5-1 run to take a 21-17 advantage. The Cardinals would go on to tie the set up at 22-22, but UB again regained the advantage with two straight points. Again Ball St. would tie it and even had a set point of its own at 26-25, but three straight UB points coming on two kills from Marisa Hornbaker and a Kelly Svoboda ace gave UB the set.
The Bulls got out to an early lead in the second set at 10-5, but the Cardinals tied it up and eventually took the lead. UB would tie the set up 20-20, but Ball St. scored the final five points of the set. UB got itself off to another strong lead in the third set, taking a 7-3 advantage and never looking back. The Cardinals would cut it to within 16-14, but a 9-5 Buffalo run gave UB a 2-1 lead in the match.
Ball State came back swinging in the fourth set as it let for much of the set, leading by as many as seven, before finally winning 25-19 and setting up the pivotal fifth set. The Cardinals rode their momentum early as they raced out to a 5-1 advantage and continued to lead by four when the teams switched ends at 8-4. Two quick UB points cut the deficit to 8-6, but the Cardinals opened their lead back up to four at 11-7, causing the Bulls to call their second and final timeout. Three straight hitting errors from Ball State pulled UB to within 11-10. Following a Cardinal kill to go up 12-10, UB would tie the set up on two straight kills from senior Kayla Govier. The Cardinals regained the lead at 13-12 on a UB service error, but senior Kristin Bignell fired home a kill to tie things up before the Bulls would seal the victory after two more Cardinal attacking errors.
"Just a tremendous team win tonight that should really help our confidence after the last few matches," said head coach Todd Kress. "I was impressed with the way we fought back following the fourth set and after we were down 11-7 in the fifth set. Overall it was a really big win for the ladies."
The Bulls had five players with at least nine kills, led by 10 from Hornbaker and Bignell. Govier, Abby Niekamp and freshman Christine Fritsche each finished with nine kills. Senior Lindsey Schlegel led the UB offense with 44 assists.
Defensively, UB played a fantastic match, finishing with 89 digs and 15.0 total team blocks. Junior Heather Pyle tied her career high with 24 digs, while Svoboda finished with 17. Schlegel added 14 digs, while Dana Musil had 11 and Hornbaker completed the double-double with 10. Despite just playing the final three sets, Fritsche added seven digs to go along with her nine kills.
Bignell had a match-high 10 blocks, including three solos as Govier had nine total blocks, a new career high for her. Niekamp added five blocks, including two solos.
UB hits the road for its next two matches beginning next Friday at Western Michigan. The match in Kalamazoo, MI is set for 7:00 pm.