Friday's MAC Volleyball Results

Updated 11/7/2009
Friday's MAC Volleyball Results
Ohio 3, Buffalo 0
Toledo 3, Central Michigan 2
Eastern Michigan 3, Ball State 2
Kent State 3, Akron 0

Stories Courtesy of MAC Media Relations Offices

Ohio 3, Buffalo 0
ATHENS, Ohio-The Ohio volleyball squad hit on all cylinders early against visiting Buffalo and never looked back as it secured a 3-0 (25-18, 25-15, 25-20) victory Friday evening in the Convocation Center. The Bobcats (20-5, 12-1 MAC) picked up their school-record eighth-straight 20-win season in the process. Buffalo dropped to 15-12 overall and 5-8 in the league.

Ohio, who flirted with the school record for hitting percentage (.507 vs. Rutgers on Aug. 26, 2007) during the first two sets, got double-digits kills from senior Ellen Herman (18) and junior Sue Jacobi (11), while junior Michelle Jantsch had 37 assists and 11 digs.

"Michelle (Jantsch) was really doing a good job," said head coach Ryan Theis. "Our passers were getting the ball to her in really good situations and she gave hitters really good looks. Everything was kind of flowing at this point, which is what you'd hope for this time of year at home."

Herman, Jacobi, Jantsch, sophomore Katie Post, freshman Faith Robins and sophomore Mandy Nichols all hit .400 or better.

Buffalo was held to a .179 clip during the contest. The Bulls were led by Dani Silvers' 10 kills and .368 percentage. Tori Beckman had a match-high 14 digs to go along with Lindsey Schlegel's 26 assists.

Ohio out-blocked Buffalo 9-4 with senior Meghan Simons (2s, 2a) and Robins (0s, 4a) posting four total blocks apiece. Post also notched three aces.

Ohio's big burst in the first set came when the Bobcats held a narrow one-point lead at 12-11. The Bobcats then ran off six straight points, highlighted by a pair of kills from Herman and Jacobi, to go up 18-11. Herman put an end to the set with a kill off a Jantsch set.

The 12-11 mark also proved to be the point where Ohio took control of the second set. The Bobcats answered Kristin Bignell's kill with eight consecutive points of their own on a pair of aces by Post and four Herman kills. Herman again did the honors of ending the second set, this time on a set from senior Sarah Petrulis.

The Bobcats jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the third set and let the Bulls get no closer than two points the rest of the way.

Ohio will close out its home regular season slate Saturday evening against Akron at 7 p.m. The match will serve as Senior Night as the post-match ceremony will honor Herman, Simons, Jane Sytsma and Petrulis.

"I've said from January of last year what a special group of seniors and leaders that these student-athletes are," said Theis. "The senior class has given so much to this program and we hope to get a big crowd Saturday night to appreciate what they've done."

Toledo 3, Central Michigan 2
TOLEDO, OH - Toledo continued its homecourt success this season with a thrilling come-from-behind 3-2 (20-25, 25-23, 23-25, 25-19, 15-11) triumph over Central Michigan (14-9, 7-6 MAC) on Friday evening in Savage Arena. The victory improved the Rockets' home ledger to 8-2 overall and snapped a six-match losing streak to the Chippewas in the process.

The triumph gives UT a 15-10 overall mark and guarantees the Midnight Blue and Gold their first winning season since the 2005 campaign heading into tomorrow night's Senior Night contest vs. Eastern Michigan.

"This was a tough match and it was good to see us rally after Central came out strong to start the match," said Toledo Head Coach Greg Smith after his club improved to 6-2 in five-set matches this season. "They force you into a lot of mistakes but we settled down once we realized we could play with them. We knew CMU was going to fight hard to win the match, but we just had to weather the storm. We gained some momentum late and that played a big part in our win."

That momentum was evident in the match-deciding fifth set as UT jumped out to a 7-0 lead. Keying the Rockets' quick start was three blocks as CMU's offense was shut down. The Chippewas finished the set with a -.158 ATK%, but they were still able to nearly tie the match. Toledo's lead was down to 12-11, but kills from senior MB Sarah Wilson and sophomore OH Cassie Kleespies ended a four-point CMU run and allowed UT to secure the win.

Sophomore OH Amber DeWeerdt paced a balanced offensive attack for the Rockets with 15 kills. Kleespies also was in double figures with 14 terminations and was joined by senior OH Stephanie Kersting and senior MB Liz Sundburg with 12 and 11 kills, respectively.

Sundburg and Kleespies keyed UT's defensive effort at the net with six blocks apiece, while junior libero Katie Westerfeld tallied a team-high 20 digs. Sophomore S Kassie Kadera (55 assists, 19 digs) and DeWeerdt (15 kills, 17 digs) also garnered double-doubles for the Rockets.

Junior OH Lauren Krupsky led CMU's offense with a match-best 19 kills, with sophomore MB Kaitlyn Schultz adding a 13 kills and a .522 ATK%.

The Rockets took an early three-point lead in the first set at 8-5 but saw the Chippewas take control with a five-point run. Toledo couldn't put much of a dent into the visitor's cushion though as CMU maintained at least a two-point lead the rest of the way. Central Michigan registered an impressive .417 ATK% in the set and limited UT to a .098 hitting mark. Schultz led CMU with six kills and a .750 ATK%, while four Rockets notched two kills apiece.

The second set appeared to be going in the Chippewas' favor as well until senior MB Lyndsey Holt served an eight-point run to help UT take a 24-21 lead. Three kills from DeWeerdt and two from Kleespies keyed the spurt and Kleespies ended the set with her seventh kill of the set. UT tallied a .348 ATK% in the set with CMU posting a .293 mark.

The Rockets carried over their late run in the second set and took a 9-4 advantage in Set 3 following three straight Kersting kills. UT maintained its lead until a Kersting attack error put the Chippewas in front, 17-16. A Kersting block and kill along with a kill from Kleespies forced CMU to call timeout with Toledo up, 19-17. The visitors rallied to tie the score at 20-20 on a Rocket service error and continued their run to take a 23-21 advantage. UT bounced back to even the score at 23-23 on a DeWeerdt kill and a Kleespies ace, but CMU took the set on kills from Schultz and freshman OH Lindsey Dulude. Kersting led both teams with six kills in the set, while Krupsky paced Central Michigan with five.

Toledo fell behind 4-1 early in the fourth set before evening the score at four points apiece. UT couldn't take its first lead of the set though until a block from Sundburg and Kleespies gave the Rockets a 14-13 advantage. UT then took a 17-14 advantage on kills from DeWeerdt and Kadera as well as a Kleespies' ace. The Rockets' lead didn't fall below two points the rest of the set. Senior MB Sarah Wilson and DeWeerdt led the way with five kills and helped UT post a .302 team ATK%.

Eastern Michigan 3, Ball State 2
MUNCIE, Ind. - - In a hard-fought contest that went the distance, the Ball State women's volleyball team fell short Friday evening versus Mid-American Conference rival Eastern Michigan, suffering a 3-2 (25-13, 20-25, 21-25, 27-25, 17-19) setback.

With the loss, the Cardinals fall to 11-15 (4-9 MAC) on the year and are 0-5 versus teams from the state of Michigan. The Eagles improve to 5-24 (4-9 MAC) with their second win over the Cardinals this season.

The Cardinals suffers the loss despite a balanced offensive that saw double-digit kills from senior Julie Breivogel (Boonville, Ind./Boonville), junior Hannah Sullivan (New Albany, Ind./University of Houston) and sophomore Kelsey Brandl (Lakeville, Minn./University of Cincinnati).

Sullivan threw down a match-leading and season-high 20 kills, while Brandl and Breivogel registered 15 and 12, respectively.

Overall, BSU sophomore setter Brittany McGinnis (Fraser, Mich./Fraser H.S.) helped the Cardinals post a .196 (65-30-179) to .142 (59-32-190) hitting edge in the contest, while collecting her fourth double-double of the season with 50 assists and 14 digs. She also added a match-high five service aces.

On the defensive end, BSU junior Alyssa Rio (Wayne, Ill./St. Francis H.S.) claimed a match-high 34 digs, which was her highest dig total since a 30-dig night versus Siena Sept. 1, 2007. Joining Rio and McGinnis with double-figure digs for BSU were Sullivan and sophomore Kaylee Schembra (Indianapolis, Ind./Roncalli H.S.) with 15 and 10, respectively.

On the EMU side of the net, Jennifer Swartz was one of three Eagles with double-figure kills, collecting 17 in the contest. Joining Swartz were Rachel Iaquaniello with 15 and Kristen Baker with 12. Haley Stein added a team-best 23 digs, including a pivotal play late in the fifth set to keep EMU alive.

The Cardinals continue their three-match homestand Sunday for a 1 p.m. showdown with MAC foe Central Michigan. THe match will also serve as senior day for BSU's three seniors: Breivgoel, Elaina Kakatolis (Arcanum, Ohio/Franklin Monroe H.S.) and Alisha Green (Country Club Hills, Ill./Hillcrest H.S.).

Kent State 3, Akron 0
KENT, Ohio - The story about the battle between rivals and Kent State and Akron simply comes down to net play.

The Golden Flashes (12-15, 5-8 MAC) out-blocked the Zips (12-15, 4-9 MAC) 13-2 and KSU tallied eight unassisted kills on over-passes in knocking off the Zips 3-0 (25-18, 25-17, 25-19).

"Net play was definitely the difference tonight," explained head coach Glen Conley. "It was a focus for us tonight. They go into two-man passing play a lot. That is a lot of court for two players to cover and we tried to exploit that tonight. It worked out for us."

Kent State outhit Akron .346-.124 for the game as the Golden Flashes smashed 46 kills on only nine errors while Akron recorded 34 kills and 21 errors. Individually, senior Arjola Prenga led Kent State with 17 kills and nine digs while junior Lauren Jones led the team with 14 digs. Senior Jenny Keck added 32 assists.

For the Zips, Brionna Patterson had 10 kills and seven assists while Kara Smith contributed 25 assists.

Kent State came out swinging from the start on kills by Prenga and sophomore Liva Brivule. Akron rallied and the teams traded the first 14 points of the set before a 10-1 run helped sink the Zips. The spurt started with four-straight points on two attack errors by Patterson and a pair of unassisted kills on over-passes by Prenga.

A service error by freshman Meredith Paskert looked like it gave Akron hope, but an unassisted kill by Keck started a separate KSU 6-0 spurt. As in the first meeting this season in Akron, Keck was able to keep the Akron defense on its toes with long and short serves as the Zips committed three attack errors during the run. Akron made a run late in the set, but a Brivule kill and an Akron attack error ended the first set.

Kent State hit a blistering .485 in the first set (17 kills and one error on 33 attempts) while Akron was held to .188 (13 kills and seven errors on 32 attempts).

The hitting cooled a bit for the Flashes in set two, but Akron countered with 11 kills and 11 errors of their own. Akron went up 13-10 in the set, but six attack errors on Brivule's serve and a well-placed ball that got hung up in the net and fell softly on the Akron side of the net put Kent State up 22-15. The Flashes went on to win the second set by eight.

Keck proved to be the serving hero in the first and Brivule kept the Akron defense on its toes in the second, but it was junior libero Kristen Barr's turn in the final set. With Akron clinging to a 14-13 lead, a kill by junior Celia Sabo put Barr on the serve. Her mix of long and short serves led to four-straight kills by Kent State. An attack error and a kill by Brivule put an exclamation point on the 6-0 run. Akron cut the lead to 22-18, but Kent State scored three of the final four points to close out the match.

In two contests and seven total sets this season against Akron, Kent State has out-blocked the Zips 31-8 (4.43-1.14 blocks per set).

"Blocking is a focus for us," added Conley. "We feel like when we are blocking well, we are playing well. That is what we have to focus on, and we did this week and it paid off."

Kent State returns to action tomorrow night when it hosts Buffalo in its regular season home finale. Following the match, Kent State will honor the contributions of four seniors to Kent State volleyball.