Saturday's MAC Volleyball Results
Central Michigan 3, Kent State 0
Ball State 3, Northern Illinois 0
Ohio 3, Eastern Michigan 1
Toledo 3, Western Michigan 1
Buffalo 3, Miami 0
Akron 3, Bowling Green 2
Central Michigan 3, Kent State 0
KENT, Ohio -- The Kent State volleyball team fell to Central Michigan, 3-0 (13-25, 17-25, 13-25) today (Oct. 30) in a Mid-American Conference interdivision match at the M.A.C. Center.
Junior Liva Brivule (Riga Latvia) and sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) each recorded seven kills to lead the Golden Flashes (10-17, 3-9 MAC) on offense. Freshman Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) posted a team-high 22 set assists. Sophomore Kathy Krupa (Burbank, Ill.) tallied three blocks (three assisted) while senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.) compiled eight digs on the defensive end.
Double blocks by Brivule and senior Celia Sabo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and Nowak and Krupa helped put Kent State within one point of the Chippewas (12-12, 6-6 MAC) at 8-7 in the first set. Central Michigan upped its lead to six at 14-8, but the Flashes pulled within four at 15-11 thanks to a kill by redshirt freshman Jessica Ronyak (Burton, Ohio). The Chippewas retaliated with a 10-2 run to take the 1-0 match advantage.
The Golden Flashes and Chippewas exchanged points through much of the second set, as three kills and a service ace by Brivule, a service ace by Sabo and a double block by Krupa and Ronyak helped tie things up at 13-all. Central Michigan used a 12-4 surge, though, to go up 2-0.
Kent State again kept pace with Central Michigan in the early going of the third, keeping things squared up at seven-all thanks to a kill and a service ace by Krupa and kills by Brivule and Paskert. That's as close as Kent State got, however, as the Chippewas went on to win the match.
The Golden Flashes look to get back on track next weekend as they make their final road trip of the regular season, heading to Akron Friday (Nov. 5) and Buffalo Saturday (Nov. 6).
Ball State 3, Northern Illinois 0
MUNCIE, Ind. - The Northern Illinois volleyball team came up short in its attempt to avenge the first Mid-American Conference loss of the season as the Huskies were swept (25-16, 25-16, 25-21) by Ball State at Worthen Arena on Saturday night.
The Cardinals handed NIU its first MAC loss of the season in the league opener on September 24 in five sets. Now, coupled with last night's loss to Toledo, Ball State gave the Huskies their first losses in back-to-back matches, dropping NIU to 13-2 in three-set matches.
"Ball State is playing with a lot of confidence right now and has improved a lot throughout the season," said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. "They play very well at home and have the record to show it."
In an important season-long, five-match road trip, the Huskies stand at 2-2 with one contest remaining. Winners of nine of their last 11 matches, the Huskies entered the trip in first place in the West Division but now stand in a tie for second place with Eastern Michigan. Meanwhile, Ball State moves into sole possession of first place. With four matches remaining over the next two weekends, the Huskies still have an opportunity to win the division and earn a bye in the first round of the MAC Tournament for the second year in a row as one of the top four seeds in the league.
"The standings to me are irrelevant right now as it is," Gooden said. "A couple weeks ago, when we were battling Akron and both of us were 5-1, it made for a compelling sub plot. But on the whole, it was just about what our team needed to do to be successful. The same thing is true for Thursday [against Western Michigan].
"This challenges now to not be the same, both individually and as a group."
For the second match in a row, and the fourth and fifth times, respectively, the conference's top offense was outhit (.366-.151) and outkilled (45-33) by an opponent. NIU's 33 kills tied a season-low. The MAC's leader in points, kills and aces, freshman outside hitter Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill./Geneva) led NIU with 11 kills.
"Ball State did a great job of frustrating us by touching the ball both on the dig and eventually with the stuff block," said Gooden.
NIU stumbled out of the gate as BSU outhit (.297-.111) and outkilled (15-10) the Huskies in the first set. NIU held a slim advantage early, 10-9, but a 7-0 surge by BSU rattled the Huskies to the point where two timeouts could not get them back on track.
The second set was a mirror image for the Huskies, who were outkilled by the same tally and outhit .520-.091. NIU jumped out to a 9-7 lead, but a 10-1 Cardinal run put the Huskies on their heels again. Two timeouts once again proved to make no difference in slowing down the Ball State attack.
The Huskies fought hard in the third set but it was still not enough to overpower Ball State on this night. NIU trailed nearly the whole way, but stayed close. After tying the score, 1-1, on a kill by freshman middle blocker Sarah Angelos (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan), the Cardinals ran off to a 7-3 lead. The Huskies cut the lead to one point on four separate occasions. Down 16-15 after a powerful putaway over BSU's block by sophomore outside hitter Meghan Romo (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), NIU would get no closer as the Cardinals scored four straight points to answer. A pair of timeouts later, the Huskies made a late push. Wicinski and sophomore middle blocker Mary Kurisch (La Crosse, Wis./West Salem) teamed for a block to force Ball State into a timeout at 23-20. Wicinski then delivered a kill over a Cardinal block, but BSU capitalized on the next two serves. One was a long serve by junior setter Kristin Hoffman (Batavia, Ill./Batavia) and the other was a Cardinal ace to end the match.
NIU wraps up its road swing at Western Michigan (18-8, 8-4 MAC) on Thursday, November 4th at 6 p.m. (CT). The Huskies then return home for the remaining three MAC matches of the regular season, starting with a Saturday, November 6th contest against Bowling Green (8-19, 2-10 MAC) at 7 p.m.
Ohio 3, Eastern Michigan 1
ATHENS, Ohio - Three Bobcats reached double-digit kills and Ohio earned a weekend sweep with a 3-1 (23-25, 26-24, 25-20, 25-19) win over Eastern Michigan at The Convo this evening. Sue Jacobi had 19 kills, Katie Post had 15 and Mandy Nichols finished with 14.
After hitting .171 and .113 in the first two sets, Ohio hit a sizzling .342 and .424 over the final two sets. Post wound up hitting .545 on 22 attempts, Nichols hit .481 on 27 attempts and Lexie Hartnett had one of her best games as a Bobcat, hitting .333 on 18 attempts and a match-high six blocks.
Michelle Jantsch had a monster night as well with a season-best 55 assists and Jacobi registered her 13th double-double of the season with 12 digs. Meryl Bender led the way in that category with 19 and Mollie Geske added a career-best 16 digs.
The first set would come down to the wire as both teams were knotted on the scoreboard at 23-23. However, back-to-back kills by Jenn Swartz, her sixth and seventh of the set, would give the Eagles an early 1-0 advantage in the match. Jacobi led the `Cats with five kills and Nichols added four while hitting .429.
Ohio's largest lead of the second set would come late as consecutive kills by Nichols and an ace by Nicole Staverman made it 22-18.At 24-21, Eastern Michigan would run off three-straight points on two Ohio errors and a kill by Paige Roback. Now tied, 24-24 and facing a two-set deficit, Ohio forced an attack error by the Eagles and then Hartnett and Faith Robins blocked an attack by Roback for a 26-24 win that evened the match 1-1. Nichols, Hartnett and Post all accumulated four kills apiece. Jacobi added two blocks solos while Hartnett led the way with three blocks of her own.
In the third set, Ohio took a 9-6 lead and would never look back in taking a 2-1 lead in the match. The lead would eventually get to five at 21-16 as Jacobi picked up four-consecutive kills for Ohio points. The senior would add one more and Robins would get the last two of the set as the `Cats took the lead with a 25-20 win. Jacobi had her best set of the match with nine kills and Post added five kills on six swings for an .833 hitting percentage.
The fourth set started to favor the Green & White at 12-8 after a kill by Nichols pushed the lead to four. EMU quickly cut the gap to one at 12-11 and would eventually tie things at 14-14. The Bobcats responded with three points to create some breathing room for themselves and would then push the lead to five at 22-17 after another kill by Nichols. Consecutive kills by Jantsch garnered the final two points of the match for Ohio and gave the team their first weekend sweep since the first two matches of the conference season.
Six Bobcats had kills in the final set with Nichols and Post each registering four and Jantsch going 3-for-3 on her attack attempts.
Also, after netting only 1.0 total team blocks in the first set, Ohio averaged 4.0 total team blocks over the final three sets. The Bobcats rank among the top 10 in the nation in total team blocks per set and increased their average with tonight's performance.
Ohio has not lost to Eastern Michigan in a MAC match since 1999.
Ohio's next match is at Buffalo this coming Thursday at 7 p.m.
Toledo 3, Western Michigan 1
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo pulled off another upset on Saturday evening with a 3-1 (23-25, 25-23, 25-12, 25-17) triumph over defending MAC West Division champion Western Michigan. The Rockets are now 10-13 overall and 5-7 in conference play and have won five of their last seven matches since opening the MAC campaign with five straight defeats. With the loss, the Broncos' record fell to 18-8 overall and 8-4 in conference play.
Toledo's win was its first over WMU since Oct. 14, 2006 and snapped a nine-match losing streak in its series with the Broncos.
Junior RSH Cassie Kleespies led UT with 15 kills along with a .256 attack percentage, while freshman OH Lauren Rafdal tallied 13 kills and 13 digs for her fifth-straight double-double.
Sophomore MB Bailey Blank also made her presence felt with 11 kills, a .381 ATK% and a career-high six blocks. Sophomore MB Bethany Irwin also came up big at the net coming off the bench with a career-best three block solos as UT limited the Broncos to a -.043 attack mark in the third and fourth sets.
Junior libero Katie Westerfeld tallied 23 digs for UT, and junior S Kassie Kadera registered 20 digs and 50 assists.
Junior MB Ashley Turnage topped WMU offensively with 11 kills with senior OH Allyson Doyle adding 10 terminations.
Toledo looked to be on its way to an opening-set victory with a 14-9 advantage, but the Broncos rallied with an 8-1 run to take a 16-15 lead. WMU continued its momentum by taking a 24-20 lead, but the Rockets wouldn't give up. Kills from junior OH Amber DeWeerdt and sophomore OH Sondra Parys and a WMU attack error brought UT within 24-23. Sophomore MB Jessica Brown's kill ended the Rockets' hopes though and put Toledo down 1-0. WMU out-hit UT in the set by a slim .208-.188 margin. Kleespies led UT with four kills, while Doyle and freshman OH Ali Gossen tallied four kills apiece for WMU.
UT turned the tables on the visitors in Set 2 by rallying from a 20-17 deficit. Two Blank kills and a WMU setting error tied the contest at 20 apiece. The two teams then exchanged points until a Kleespies kill and a Bronco attack error evened the match at 1-1. Kleespies was UT's top attacker with five kills, while Brown and Doyle topped Western with four kills each.
Toledo dominated Set 3 by jumping out to a 13-2 lead and never looking back. The closest the visitors could come the rest of the way was 15-9 as UT rolled to a 13-point win. The Rockets limited the Broncos to a -.088 ATK% with Kleespies topping UT for a third-straight set with four kills.
The fourth set started out evenly until the Rockets broke free from a 6-6 tie with a 5-0 spurt for an 11-6 advantage. After WMU climbed to within 12-9, UT produced another string of points with a six-point rally for an 18-9 lead. Rafdal topped Toledo's offense in this set with five kills as UT's defense held WMU to a .000 hitting mark.
Toledo will look to continue its momentum next week when it hits the road for matches at Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. The Rockets will battle the Chippewas in Mt. Pleasant, MI on Thursday, Nov. 4 at 7:00 p.m. before taking on the Eagles in Ypsilanti, MI on Saturday, Nov. 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Buffalo 3, Miami 0
OXFORD, Ohio - It was a battle in each set, but in the end Buffalo defeated Miami, 0-3 (22-25, 23-25, 19-25) Saturday evening. The RedHawks fall to 9-15 overall and 4-8 in the Mid-American Conference. The Bulls improve to 15-13 overall and 3-9 in the MAC.
Three kills from Michele Metzler along with kills from Colleen Loftus, Cassie Farrell and Amy Raseman helped stake the RedHawks to an 8-5 lead in set one. Buffalo would go on a 12-4 run to take a 17-12 advantage. Miami would respond with three more kills by Metzler as it would pull to within two at 16-18. The Bulls would eventually create set point at 24-20, but the RedHawks would fight it off twice on a kill by Madison Dodd and a block by Lisa Treadway. A service error on the following point gave Buffalo a 25-22 win.
Tied at 11 in set two, a double block by Farrell and Christina Menche was the first of four straight points for Miami. Kills by Metzler and Loftus would help the RedHawks eventually expand the lead to six at 20-14. The teams traded points until it was 23-18. Trailing by five, the Bulls would score the next seven points to steal the set, 25-23.
Miami fell behind, 4-8, to begin set three. A block by Metzler and Raseman, along with kills from Loftus and Farrell helped close the gap to two at 9-11. Buffalo would follow with a 12-4 run that would put it in front, 23-13. The RedHawks would not give up as they scored six straight points to pull within four at 19-23. That would be as close as Miami would get however; as the Bulls scored the next two points to earn a 25-19 win.
Farrell led the RedHawks with seven kills. She hit .348 for the match. Madison Hardy led Miami with 16 digs, while Michelle Magnia recorded 16 assists.
The RedHawks return to action on Thursday when they host Bowling Green at 7 p.m. That game will be Senior Day and fans are encouraged to dress in red and white as Metzler and Mangia are honored in a pregame ceremony.
Akron 3, Bowling Green 2
Bowling Green, Ohio - The final volleyball match in Anderson Arena had all the intrigue one could hope for in closing down a building. Unfortunately, it was the home team that came up short as Bowling Green lost to Akron in five sets Saturday afternoon 29-27, 23-25, 25-18, 13-25, 15-6.
Akron hit .538 in the fifth set to spoil Bowling Green's storybook ending for The House That Roars. The Zips never trailed in the frame, scoring the first three points on a kill and a pair of blocks and building the lead to four points at 6-2. A Paige Penrod kill got the Falcons back within three at 9-6 but Akron scored the final six points and scored the final point in Anderson Arena on a Jackie Goleman service ace.
Freshman Danielle Tonyan led Bowling Green with 17 kills and Lindsey Butterfield added a career-high 13. Both Noelle Spitler and Penrod had 11 kills apiece. Ashley Dunn ended with a team-high 22 digs and Laura Avila had 45 assists. Spitler, Penrod, and Kari Galen had four blocks each.
The Falcons had a chance to set the tone in the opening set, leading for much of the stanza. Spitler had three consecutive kills followed by one from Penrod to put Bowling Green on top 19-14. The Orange and Brown still led 21-16 but Akron scored the next three points and eventually tied the score at 23-23 on an attack error. An Alex Cocklin kill gave the Zips a 24-23 lead but the Falcons tied it back up on a Spitler kill.
After a Tina Dimitrijevs kill gave Akron a 25-24 lead, Lauren Mizgalski scored on her only attack of the match to tie it up again. Bowling Green then had its only set point attempt of the frame after an attack error by Akron but the Zips battled back with two consecutive points to make it 27-26. After another Spitler kill tied the score, Akron got a kill and an ace to win the set.
Bowling Green came back with an equally impressive win in the second set, fighting back from a 23-19 deficit. An Akron attack error was followed by a Tonyan kill and a Zips ball handling error to make it 23-22. Tonyan tied it with another kill, forcing Akron to use a timeout. She continued her hot streak after the stoppage with another kill and Dunn closed it out with an ace to even the match.
The two teams split relatively easy victories in sets three and four before the drama of the fifth set.
With the win, Akron improves to 14-10 overall and 6-6 in MAC play. Bowling Green drops to 8-19 overall and 2-10 in conference action. The Falcons will finish the regular season with four straight road games beginning with a game at Miami (Ohio) Thursday at 7 pm.