Central Michigan def. Eastern Michigan, 3-0
Ohio def. Kent State, 3-0
Stories courtsey of MAC Media Relations Offices
Central Michigan def. Eastern Michigan, 3-0
MOUNT PLEASANT - Freshman Angie White and junior Kelly Maxwell approached school-record totals in block assists and assists, respectively, as the Chippewas claimed three straight closely contested sets to sweep Eastern Michigan, 3-0, Thursday night inside McGuirk Arena.
White recorded six block assists, one shy of the record, and Maxwell 47 assists, just eight short of the record, as the Chippewas (8-6, 2-1 MAC) defeated the Eagles (11-8, 1-2 MAC) in straight sets, 25-23, 25-23 and 26-24.
The sweep was the first against the Eagles since 2008 when the Chippewas took down their in-state foe in Ypsilanti.
Despite hitting a match-low .179 in the first set, the Chippewas were able to grab the match lead, 25-23. The Chippewas and Eagles battled back and forth, with neither team building more than a two-point lead throughout the set. Eastern Michigan took a 23-21 lead on an attacking error from Kaitlyn McIntyre, but after a kill from senior Val DeWeerd, the sophomore came back with an ace to tie the set, 23-23. After an attacking error by the Eagles gave the Chippewas set point, McIntyre slammed home another kill to close the set out.
The Chippewas built on their attack in the second set as Maxwell continued to distribute the ball to all of her attackers, helping the home squad finish set two with a .286 hitting percentage. Again neither team was able to pull away until the Chippewas took a 22-18 lead on a double block by junior Danielle Gotham and DeWeerd. The Eagles were able to come back and pull within one, 24-23, and force CMU into a timeout, but White closed the set with a kill from the middle, 25-23.
White continued her prowess in the third set to help the Chippewas seal the sweep, recording three kills and three blocks as the Chippewas hit .310 and limited the Eagles to an attacking percentage of .217 in the set.
A pair of double blocks from White and DeWeerd sandwiched an ace from junior Jenna Coates to give CMU an early 7-4 lead before the Eagles battled back to take the lead, 15-14, on a kill from Erin Short. The Eagles held their two-point lead deep into the set and eventually held set point, 24-23, but after CMU tied the match, McIntyre put down back-to-back kills to give CMU the win, 26-24.
McIntyre finished the night with 13 kills and two aces to lead the Chippewas with 15 points, while chipping in with eight digs. Gotham recorded 10 kills, while White and Dulude each had nine and DeWeerd eight.
Coates led the way defensively for the Maroon and God, digging a match-high 16 balls to help CMU hold the attacking percentage advantage, .260-.237. The Chippewas finished with 14 blocks on the night, as Maxwell and DeWeerd each recorded three block assists to go with White's match-high six.
CMU will look to extend its win streak to three Saturday night when it plays its first road conference match of the season at Kent State. The match is set for a 7 p.m. start.
Ohio def. Kent State, 3-0
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio increased its winning streak against Kent State to 21 matches with a sweep this evening. The ‘Cats took their MAC home opener in straight sets, 25-19, 28-26, 25-22 and captured their ninth-straight home game against a MAC East foe.
“What I liked tonight, something we haven’t been doing lately, was come from behind to win a set,” Head Coach Ryan Theis said. “They led late in the second set, pushed us late in set three and we found a way to finish them off.”
Kelly Lamberti notched a double-double with 12 kills and 10 digs, while classmate Chelsea Bilger also added 12 kills, two shy of her season-high. Faith Robins tacked on nine kills, one shy of her season-high while Lexie Hartnett had seven kills to surpass the century mark for the season.
Serena Warner led Ohio with eight blocks, her second-highest total of the season. Meredith Ashy paced the ‘Cats with 20 digs, her fourth match this season of 20 digs or more, and Abby Gilleland had 32 assists and surpassed the 400-mark for 2012. Mollie Geske had her third double-digit dig contest of the season with 10.
The Bobcats, who lead the MAC in blocking with an average of 2.66 per set and rank 30th in the nation, had 11.0 total team blocks. The offense also got off to a good start with a .387 attack percentage in the first set against the Golden Flashes.
“We learned a lot our from our last loss,” freshman Meredith Ashy said. “We have been playing more as a team and I think that is what is helping us win. We need to play our game and have the mentality that we need to win every single volley that we get. We have really been focusing on digging the ball and getting it high and in the middle so we can attack.”
Ohio fell behind 6-3 in the first set and saw the deficit eventually grow to four. Trailing 11-8, the ‘Cats put together four in a row to retake the lead at 12-11 on a dual block by Gilleland and Hartnett. With the set tied 14-14, Hartnett and Bilger recorded kills before Warner denied a KSU attack to give Ohio a three-point edge.
The Golden Flashes would tie things once more at 18-18 before an error and kill by Robins forced a KSU timeout. Ahead by only one, Ohio scored the final five points of the set thanks to two kills by Robins, two blocks from Hartnett and an attack error.
Ohio took five of the first seven points in the second set before the teams started to trade points. The ‘Cats pushed the margin to four before the Golden Flashes cut the edge to 15-14. Kills by Warner and Robins reasserted Ohio’s advantage in the set and forced a KSU timeout.
Three points in a row by the visitors forced an Ohio timeout and Kent State eventually took a 23-21 lead. Facing set point, Robins delivered a kill and Liis Kullerkann followed with an ace to tie the score. After a timeout, Warner and Lamberti combined on a block give Ohio the lead.
The teams would trade points and KSU would stay in the set until an unlikely hero emerged. Geske, a defensive specialist picked up her first kill of the season to give Ohio the 28-26 victory and a two-set lead.
“They put is in some tough spots but I thought we bounced back,” Theis said. “I have to give Liis credit for stepping in and ripping an ace to tie the game at 24. She also put a ton of service pressure on them at 25 and got them out of system. That point at the end saved the day.”
Down in the third set, Ohio scored four in a row, culminating in a Gilleland ace to take a 6-4 lead. After falling behind 8-7, the ‘Cats would score four in a row to retake a lead. The largest lead would after a dual block by Warner and Bilger made it 17-11. The Golden Flashes made a push at the end to cut the deficit to 24-22, but a kill by Bilger earned Ohio the sweep.
The Bobcats return to the floor on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. when Eastern Michigan invades The Convo for a inter-divisional matchup.