Friday's MAC Volleyball Results

Updated 10/2/2010

Friday's MAC Volleyball Results
Ball State 3, Central Michigan 1
Eastern Michigan 3, Toledo 1
Akron 3, Ohio 2
Kent State 3, Buffalo 2

Ball State 3, Central Michigan 1
MUNCIE, Ind. - - After splitting the first two sets, the Ball State women's volleyball team dominated the final two in a 3-1 (25-21, 18-25, 25-10, 25-17) victory over Mid-American Conference rival Central Michigan Friday evening at Worthen Arena.

With the win, the Cardinals improve to 12-3 (2-1 MAC) on the year. The MAC West Division preseason favorite Chippewas drop to 6-9 (0-3 MAC) after the loss, with all three league losses coming to divisional foes.

"I thought we started a little slow in the first two games," said head coach Steve Shondell. "We were able to fight back and win the first game, but never got control of game two. After the halftime break, we came out with the intensity we needed to play with to protect our home court against a very strong Central Michigan squad."

Leading the charge for the Cardinals in the victory over the Chippewas were freshmen outside attackers Whitney Heeres (Flushing, Mich./Flushing Senior H.S.) and Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North H.S.), who each blasted 13 kills.

Heeres added a .290 (13-4-31) hitting mark in the match, while Baker tallied eight digs, two blocks, an ace and hit .257 (13-4-15).

"Both Whitney and Kylee hit the ball really well for us tonight," added Shondell. "Whitney got us going early, and both helped us keep the pressure on CMU. For a couple of freshmen, they did a great job tonight."

In the middle, juniors Kelsey Brandl (Lakeville, Minn./Lakeville North H.S.) and Jennifer Boyd (Evans City, Pa./Seneca Valley H.S.) also turned in solid performances with nine and seven kills, respectively. Brandl tied for match-high honors with five blocks, while Boyd posted a .312 (7-2-16) hitting mark.

In the backcourt, reigning MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week Alyssa Rio (Wayne, Ill./St. Francis H.S.) collected a match-best 26 digs, to help limit the Chippewas to a .106 (40-26-132) effort from the attack line.

Junior setter Brittany McGinnis (Fraser, Mich./Fraser H.S.) quarterbacked the Cardinals to a .240 (50-20-125) hitting mark on offense, dishing out a match-high 36 assists to go with eight digs, five kills, two aces and a block assist.

In addition to out-hitting the Chippewas, BSU held a 60 to 44 advantage in team digs and an eight to six lead in aces. Both teams finished the night with seven team blocks.

Lauren Krupsky paced the Central Michigan attack and tied for match-high honors with 13 kills. Lisa Johnson added a team-best 14 digs for the Chippewas.

The Ball State women's volleyball team returns to action tomorrow night (Saturday) when it hosts Eastern Michigan in another pivotal MAC West Division showdown. EMU enters the contest with a 16-3 (3-0 MAC) record after posting a 3-1 win at Toledo Friday night.

 Eastern Michigan 3, Toledo 1
TOLEDO, Ohio ( -- Sophomore outside hitter Rachel Iaquaniello (Plymouth, Mich.-Dearborn Divine Child) blasted 27 kills and junior Ashley Mason (Eastlake, Ohio-Lake Catholic) contributed 51 assists to lead the Eastern Michigan University volleyball team to a 3-1 Mid-American Conference win (24-26, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20) over the University of Toledo Friday, Oct. 1, at Savage Arena.

The win moves the Eagles to 16-3 overall and a perfect 3-0 in the league. With the loss, Rockets to 5-9 overall and 0-3 in the MAC.

Iaquaniello's 27 kills is the fourth-best total among MAC players this season and the most kills recorded in a four-set match by any player in the conference since 2006. Her total is, however, the second-highest number of kills recorded in a MAC match this season. Besides being a career-best, Iaquaniello's 27 markers are also the most by an EMU student-athlete since Lindsay Piccolini notched 28 against Western Michigan, Sept. 23, 2006.

Junior libero Haley Stein (Carleton, Mich.-Monroe St. Mary's Catholic Central) topped the Eagles with a match-best 26 digs, and Mason produced a team-best six blocks to go along with the 51 set assists. Senior Jenn Swartz (Canton, Mich.- Westland John Glenn) was the only other Eagle to reach double-figures in kills with 11

For Toledo, Cassie Kleespies tallied a team-high 16 kills and match-best .484 attack percentage with Amber DeWeerdt (13) and Becca Reidy (10) also reaching double digits in put-a-ways. Libero Katie Westerfeld led the Midnight Blue and Gold defensively with 17 digs.

The opening set was evenly played throughout with 19 ties and eight lead changes. The Rockets appeared ready to take control late in the set following a four-point run to take a 20-17 advantage. However, EMU regrouped though to take a 24-22 advantage, but a UT kill and an Eagle error evened the contest at 24-24. Following a timeout by the Green and White, Toledo closed out the set with an EMU hitting error and a block.

The second set also was tight in the early stages as Toledo held a 12-9 advantage nearing the midway point. EMU would rally to even the score at 13 and eventually took control with a 6-0 run to make it 22-15. The Rockets would get no closer with EMU rolling to the 25-20 decision.

Following the intermission, Toledo surged to a quick 7-2 advantage in the third set, but EMU countered with six consecutive points to pull ahead 8-7. Neither team led by more than two points until a 5-0 Rocket spurt gave UT the 18-14 advantage. On the verge of behind 2-1, EMU poured it on with a 7-1 run as Iaquaniello took control to give the visitors a 25-23 victory.

In the finale, Eastern Michigan again fell behind early before rebounding to knot the score at 6-6. Neither team was able to gain control until late with the Green and White capturing a hard-fought 25-20 win.

The Eagles return to action on Saturday, Oct. 2 when it travels to Muncie, Ind. to face Ball State University. First serve is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Worthen Arena.

Akron 3, Ohio 2
Athens, Ohio - For the first time since 2003, The University of Akron volleyball team (11-4, 3-0 MAC) defeated the Ohio Bobcats (10-6, 2-1 MAC) by a score of 3-2. Not only was the victory the first win over OU since a five set win against the Bobcats on Nov, 8, 2003, it also marked the first set win in the last 11 matches as Ohio held a 33-0 set margin entering tonight's contest. The Zips eighth straight victory, it also was the first victory at Ohio since the 1999 season.

Winning out the first set 28-26, Akron fell in sets two and three, 25-18 and 25-23. Commandingly winning the fourth 25-20 while striking a .370 hitting percentage, the teams would push on to the fifth set.

Akron would go up quickly in the deciding set taking a 3-0 lead after forcing two OU attack errors and a UA service ace. Ohio would tie it up at four and the two teams battled it out until UA took an 11-7 lead. Once again, Ohio tied it up at the 13-13 mark, which prompted an Akron timeout.

Out of the break, a kill from senior Jackie Goleman put UA back up (14-13) forcing a timeout from Ohio's bench. Back to back kills from OU gave the Bobcats their first lead of the set at 15-14, however, an OU service error put the ball back in the Zips hands with the 15-15 tie. With Goleman serving up an ace to regain the lead, a follow-up kill from freshman Alex Cocklin spurred UA to the 17-15 win.

A well balanced attack, five Zips posted double digit dig totals while four were in double figure kills with three Zips grabbing double-doubles. Reigning two-time Mid-American Conference Player of the Week junior Courtney Jarvis marked her sixth of the year with a team leading 14 kills to go along with 18 digs. Cocklin added 12 kills and 11 digs while sophomore setter Morgan Kuhn posted 50 assists and 14 digs. Fellow sophomore Chelsea Harvey was the defensive leader with 25 digs. Junior Tina Dimitrijevs was the star at the net for UA posting four solo blocks and three assists.

Akron, just one of two teams still undefeated in league play, will continue MAC road action Saturday facing Kent State. The match is slated for 7:00 p.m.

 Kent State 3, Buffalo 2
KENT, Ohio -- The Kent State volleyball team earned its fist Mid-American Conference victory of the 2010 season by toughing out a 3-2 (25-23, 26-28, 27-25, 20-25, 15-9) triumph over Buffalo today (Oct. 1) in front of an inspired M.A.C. Center crowd.

The Golden Flashes (8-10, 1-2) received another double-double from junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia), who totaled 14 kills and matched her personal season-high of 14 digs to help KSU bury the Bulls (13-6, 1-2). Sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) hit double digits in kills with 10 while freshman Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) dished out a career-high 28 assists to direct the Kent State attack. Nowak also posted a double-double thanks to 13 digs on the defensive end. The Flashes continued to dominate the opposition above the net -- outblocking the Bulls 19-6 -- and received a team-best nine total blocks (nine assisted) from senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.). Senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) tallied a team-high 16 digs, and Jones joined her, Brivule and Nowak in double-digit digs with 10. The win marked Kent State's first in a five-set match this season and halted a three-match losing skid.

The two squads set the tone for the back-and-forth affair by refusing to give each other an inch in the early going of the first set. KSU broke an eight-all tie thanks to a service error and an attack error by the Bulls and a kill by junior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis.) to go up 11-8. Buffalo managed to square things up again, but two kills by Brivule and an attack error by the Bull gave the Flashes a 17-14 lead. The Bulls fought back to take a 23-22 lead, but Kent State rallied for the set win after a kill by Jones and two straight attack errors by Buffalo.

Kills by Brivule and Paskert, a service ace by Nowak and seven errors by Buffalo allowed KSU to open with a 12-8 lead in the second set. Three errors by the Flashes helped the Bulls knot it up at 13-all. The teams continued trading punches until Buffalo broke through to take a 24-21 advantage. The Flashes didn't quit and took advantage of two attack errors by the Bulls and a kill by freshman Zane Malasevska (Riga, Latvia) to square the set at 24-all. Buffalo evened the match, though, by breaking a 26-all stalemate with a service ace and a kill.

It was Kent State's turn to win a set that went past the 25-point mark in the third stanza. The Golden Flashes jumped ahead to a 10-7 lead courtesy of kills by Jones and Paskert, a service ace by Nowak and seven Buffalo errors. Buffalo tied it up at 11-all and again at 15-all , but KSU answered with a 6-1 run that was highlighted by two kills by Nowak, one by Larsen and a service ace by Brivule. The Bulls retaliated with four kills and capitalized on two errors by Kent State to tie it up at 22-all. Buffalo put KSU on the brink of falling behind in the match after a kill gave it a 25-24 lead, but two kills by Brivule and an attack error by the Bulls sandwiched between put the Golden Flashes back in the driver's seat for the match.

The Bulls didn't let the Flashes enjoy staying in control for long, taking an 8-4 lead to begin the fourth set. Kent State crept back to tie it at eight-all, and the teams continued trading points. With the set even at 19-all, the Bulls forced the fifth set with a 6-1 run.

The squads gave the crowd a nail bitter to enjoy in the early going of the fifth as the two traded punches. Three errors by Buffalo and a kill by Larsen put the Flashes up 9-7, but the Bulls pulled back to within one with a kill. The Flashes weren't going to be denied, though, as kills by Brivule and Jones, a service ace by Paskert and three Buffalo errors sealed the hard-fought match victory.

Kent State returns to action tomorrow (Oct. 2), hosting crosstown rival Akron in a 7 p.m. MAC East showdown at the M.A.C. Center.