Friday's Volleyball Results

Updated 9/14/2013


Courtesy of MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Ball State 3, W. Illinois 1
Toledo 3, Portland 2
UALR 3, Northern Illinois 0
Milwaukee 3, Bowling Green 0
Central Michigan 3, South Carolina Upstate 0
Buffalo 3, Davidson 1
Eastern Michigan 3, Bryant 0
Western Michigan 3, Iona 0
Ohio 3, UNLV 0
S. Dakota 3, Akron 0
Ball State 3, Iowa 1
Northern Illinois 3, Southern Utah 2
Kent State 3, E. Kentucky 2
Miami (Ohio) 3, Saint Louis 2
Oregon St. 3, Toledo 0
IOWA CITY, Iowa - - Redshirt freshman outside hitter Mackenzie Kitchel (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove/Cincinnati) blasted a career-high 14 kills to lead the Ball State (5-3) women’s volleyball team to a 3-1 (25-21, 22-25, 25-19, 25-15) victory over Western Illinois (4-6) Friday afternoon in the team’s opening match of the Hawkeye Challenge hosted by Iowa.
Ball State continues play on the opening day of the Hawkeye Challenge later this evening with a 7 p.m. (CT) showdown versus host Iowa. The match will be streamed live by Student U on and through the BTN2GO application.
In addition to her career-high 14 kills, Kitchel finished the match with a career-best .379 (14-3-29) attack percentage. She also helped BSU dominate play at the net with three solo blocks and a pair of block assists, both of which were career-best efforts.
Also blasting double-figure kills for Ball State in the win were redshirt sophomore middle Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) and redshirt sophomore opposite Kelly Hopkins (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) with 10 apiece.
Senior middle Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) also had a strong outing, blasting nine kills and hitting .471 (9-1-17).
In the backcourt, senior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) led all players with a match-best and season-high 22 digs. The effort marks the 23rd time in her career Fredrich has collected 20-or-more digs in a contest.
Overall, the Cardinals held an 11-4 edge in team blocks, while out-hitting the Leathernecks .222 (53-23-135) to .142 (48-29-134).
Samantha Fournier led the Western Illinois attack with 14 kills, while Molly Murphy added a team-high 16 digs.
Looking to avenge last Saturday’s loss to the Cardinals, the Leathernecks came out strong in the opening set, pulling ahead 6-2 to force an early Ball State timeout. However, with the help of a pair of kills each from Benson, Kitchel and Marx, the Cardinals rallied back to take a 14-11 advantage.
WIU would battle back to tie the score at 19 and force another Ball State timeout at the 21-21 mark. Back-to-back kills from Kitchel following the timeout gave BSU the momentum back as they scored the final four points to win the set 25-21.
Ball State surged out to a 4-0 lead in the second stanza and forced the Leathernecks to call their first timeout trailing 6-1. Western Illinois would pull within three, at 8-5, only to see the Cardinals rattle off the next six points and make the score 14-5.
While Ball State looked to be in control, the guests on the scoreboard responded with a 13-4 run which evened the score at 18 and led to a BSU timeout. Western Illinois continued to hold the momentum from there, scoring the next five points and eventually winning the set 25-22.
The teams battled to a 15-15 stalemate to open the third set, before back-to-back kills from Marx gave the Cardinals a 17-15 edge and led to a Western Illinois timeout. Three Ball State blocks later, two of which included Marx, the Leathernecks were calling their second timeout trailing 20-15. BSU went on to win the set 25-19 on a Benson smash to the hardwood floor.
Ball State took control of the fourth set early, pulling ahead 6-2 and never looked back. WIU would draw within two points, at 6-4, only to see the Cardinals answer with the next five. BSU played to a 10-point edge at the 23-13 mark, before winning the set 25-15 on a Leathernecks’ service ace.
PORTLAND, OR – Toledo (5-3) extended its win streak to three matches with a 3-2 (21-25, 25-23, 20-25, 25-12, 15-11) triumph at Portland (0-7) on Friday afternoon in its opening match of the North Harbour Marriott Challenge. The victory also improved UT’s record in five-set matches to a perfect 4-0 this season.
“We had a slow start to the match but played well at the end,” Toledo Head Coach Greg Smith said. “Our passing was very good in the match at that was big key to the success our middles enjoyed. Dakota and Brooke were definitely a presence which gave us a balanced offense.”
The Rockets were paced by their middle blocker tandem of senior Dakota Harkins and junior Brooke Frazer. Harkins tallied a season-high 14 kills, a .542 attack percentage and five blocks, while Frazer contributed a season-best 10 terminations, a .500 hitting mark and team-best six rejections.
Also producing double-digit kill totals for UT were seniors outside hitters Lauren Rafdal and Jordan Kielty with 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Senior RSH Becca Reidy finished just shy of double digits with nine terminations to give the Rockets an even more balanced attack.
Senior S Adria Pryor quarterbacked Toledo’s attack and collected 47 assists to go along with a career-best four kills, 10 digs and four blocks. UT posted a solid .265 team attack percentage and held a significant defensive advantage at the net with a 13-7 in the blocking department to limit Portland to a .178 ATK%.
Senior Autumn Wedan, who entered the contest ranked fifth nationally in kills per set, topped the Pilots’ attack with 25 kills.
Freshman libero Ellen Hays paced the Rockets’ defensive efforts in the back row by tying her season high with 23 digs. Rafdal joined Hays and Pryor in double digit digs with 15.
Pryor ignited a four-point Toledo run midway through the fifth set to put the Rockets ahead, 9-7. With UT trailing 7-5, the Rockets’ senior setter dropped a dump in and following a Pilot attack error she combined with Frazer for a block for an 8-7 advantage. UT then took an 11-8 lead, but the hosts rallied to even the score at 11-11. The Rockets closed out the match with a Rafdal kill, a Portland attack error, a Rafdal ace and a block from Frazer and Reidy.
Toledo will return to action later this evening when it faces Pac-12 Conference foe Oregon State (4-2) at 8:00 p.m.
LAS CRUCES, N.M – The Northern Illinois volleyball team opened the NM State Tournament on a sour note Friday afternoon inside the Pan American Center with a 3-0 loss to the UALR Trojans.
The loss drops the Huskies’ record to 4-4, while the Trojans improved to 3-4. The NIU offense was shut down by 11 UALR blocks and a .093 hitting percentage.
After both teams split the first 10 points of the opening set, UALR stuffed the Huskie offense by notching three straight blocks and forcing another attack error en route to taking a 10-5 lead. The Trojan lead would grow to 12-5 before Sarah Angelos ended the run with a cross-court kill. The play, though, failed to jumpstart the NIU offense, as UALR built a set-high lead of 19-10 and seemed poised to take the first set.  A 5-0 run put the Huskies within four, but that was all the closer they would get with UALR taking a 25-16 first set win.
The Huskies regained their groove on offense early in the second set by building a 4-2 lead behind kills from Mackenzie Roddy and Jenna Radtke. Yet, the Trojans answered back to claim an 8-5 advantage that moved to 11-6, forcing an NIU timeout. Northern continued to fight and got within 15-13, only to have UALR take four of the next five points for a 19-14 lead. The Trojans would claim the second set, 25-21, but not after NIU battled back to within two points of UALR at 21-19 and 22-20.
Following halftime, NIU fell behind early to the Trojans, 4-1. However, the Huskies battled back to take a short-lived 5-4 lead before both sides started exchanging points. A Tori Halbur ace gave NIU a 13-11 lead, but UALR responded with a 4-0 run to take a 15-13 lead and force a Huskie timeout. That four-point swing proved critical, as UALR maintained that margin until two Huskie errors pushed the NIU deficit to 20-16. Undeterred, the Huskies rallied and tied the set at 20-20, capping it off with a Roddy ace. Much like the previous two sets, though, NIU’s bad luck reemerged when UALR scored five of the final six points to take the set, 25-21, and the match.
Roddy led the Huskies with 15 kills in the match, while Radtke added nine and Angelos seven. On defense, Justine Schepler paced NIU with 15 digs in the losing effort.
NIU gets back on the floor at 6 p.m. CT when they take on the Thunderbirds of Southern Utah.
MADISON, Wisc. - Freshman Jelena Sunjic posted a career-high 16 kills, and Lindsey Butterfield added 14, as the Bowling Green State University volleyball team was defeated in three sets by the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee on Friday afternoon. The match was the first of the InnTowner invitational, hosted by the University of Wisconsin. With the loss, the Falcons drop to 1-5 on the season. Bowling Green will finish the InnTowner Invitational tomorrow with two matches.
Paige Penrod put away a ball to begin the match, as her kill put the Falcons ahead 1-0 in the early going. But, the Panthers would score six straight points, as Rachel Neuberger would force the Falcons into an early timeout after four kills during the stretch. Out of the timeout, the Falcons would score back-to-back points, as Butterfield would record her first kill of the match. UWM would respond, as Neuberger would compile consecutive kills, leading to a 3-0 run and a 9-3 Panther lead. Sunjic would record her first two kills of the match to get the Falcons within four, at 12-8. The Panthers would begin to pull away, as head coach Danijela Tomic would be forced into calling her second timeout of the set with the Falcons trailing 19-12. UWM would finish off the set out of the timeout, closing out the 25-16 win.
The Falcons would show their fighting spirit in the second set, as the set would remain tied at 11 through the first 22 points. With the set tied 15-15, UWM would commit back-to-back attacking errors to give the Falcons a 17-15 lead in the set. But, out of the Milwaukee timeout, the Panthers would score two straight to even up the set, and the two teams would go back-and-forth, eventually finding themselves in a 23 all tie. The two teams would trade kills, as Danielle Tonyan's swing would find the floor to keep the set alive at 24 apiece. But, the Panthers would score the final two points to take the set, 26-24.
In the third set, UWM would jump out to a quick 7-2 lead, forcing the Falcons into another early timeout. The Panther attack would continue out of the timeout, as the Falcons could not find an answer, eventually falling behind 13-4. The Falcons would battle back to 18-14, as Butterfield's kill kept the Falcons in the match. Two more Butterfield kills a few points later would bring the Orange and Brown to within 19-17. Out of a UWM timeout, the Panthers would score two straight points, forcing the Falcons into their final timeout of the set. Out of the break, Bowling Green would score two straight to get within 21-19, but it would not be enough, as the Panthers would go on to post a 25-21 win in the third, and decisive, set.
The Falcons will return to action tomorrow for an InnTowner Invitational doubleheader. In the first game of the day, the Falcons will face the Jayhawks of Kansas University. In the nightcap, the Falcons will face the host Wisconsin Badgers, who enter the match ranked 25th in the country.
Hempstead, N.Y. - The Central Michigan volleyball program earned its first sweep of the 2013 season Friday afternoon, taking down South Carolina Upstate in straight sets - 28-26, 25-21, 25-21.
The Chippewas (3-4) used a heavy attack from junior outside hitter Kaitlyn McIntyre to take down the Spartans (0-6), as the Beaver Dam, Wis., native finished the match with 18 kills and a hitting percentage of .533. Much of McIntyre's big night came in part to the distribution from senior Kelly Maxwell, who dished out 43 assists.
The Spartans were able to take advantage of costly mistakes by the Chippewas in the first set and nearly swung the match in their favor after holding a 23-18 lead that forced a CMU timeout. The Maroon and Gold responded behind the play of McIntyre, going on a 7-1 run to grab a 25-24 lead. Freshman Melissa Fuchs and sophomore Angelique White eventually put away back-to-back kills to give the Chippewas a 28-26 set-one victory.
The Chippewas carried the momentum from their rally into the second set to the tune of a .255  hitting percentage and five more kills by McIntyre. Back-to-back errors on the Spartans gave CMU a three-point lead, 17-14, and forced a timeout before a block by White out of the timeout gave CMU it's largest advantage, 18-14. The Spartans were able to pull within two, 23-21, on a service error, but a kill by junior Hallie Enderle gave CMU match point and another Spartans' error secured the set for the Maroon and Gold, 25-21.
CMU closed the match behind a finely-tuned offense orchestrated by Maxwell in set three. The senior dished out 15 assists in the final set and helped CMU hit .560 en route to a 25-21 victory. With the set tied at 14, the Chippewas went on a 8-1 run capped on a kill by McIntyre to grab a 22-15 lead and ultimately secured their first sweep of the season on a kill by White.
Senior Katie Schuette and White chipped in with seven kills apiece, while sophomore Kalle Mulford had six kills and four blocks. Senior Jenna Coates led the defense with 19 digs.
CMU continues the Hofstra Tournament tomorrow with matches against Princeton (11 a.m.) and the host Pride (7:30 p.m.).
ATLANTA, GA – The University at Buffalo volleyball team began play at the Georgia State Invitational on Friday evening with a 3-1 victory over Davidson.  The win improved UB's record to 7-0 on the season.
The Bulls took the match 25-21, 23-25, 25-16, 25-20 as they outhit Davidson, .185 to .135.  UB had to fight back early in the match as it was down 10-5 to Davidson in the opening set.  UB remained down five at 16-11 when the Bulls went on a 9-1 run, capped off on a double block from Amber Hatchett and senior Kaja Schirmer.  The Bulls went on to win the opening set, 25-21.  The second set was a back-and-forth affair where UB was unable to hold on to a late lead and fell, 25-23, which tied the match up at one set a piece.
UB had its best set in the third as it opened up the set on a 7-3 run.  The Bulls led 10-8 when they went on an 11-5 run to take a 21-13 lead in the set.  UB went on to win the set, 25-16 and take a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Bulls got out to another big lead in the fourth set, leading 9-4 after a kill from senior Christine Fritsche.  Davidson pulled back within one at 12-11, but a quick 6-1 run from UB put it back up 18-12.  Davidson again pulled within two at 22-20, but a Wildcat ball handling error moved UB's lead to 23-20 and the final two points came on service aces from junior Taylor Pritchett.
"We fought through some adversity tonight and beat a very good Davidson team," said head coach Todd Kress.  "We blocked well when we needed to and got some big points at the service line.  We are happy to get the victory, but know we have two more tough matches tomorrow."
Fritsche led the way with 18 kills as she notched a double-double by adding 11 digs.  Sophomore Tahleia Bishop also finished in double figures in kills with 15.  Sophomore Akeila Lain and senior Carissa McKenna each added nine kills.  Lain was playing in her home state for the first time in her career.
The Bulls tied a season-high with nine services aces, including a career-best five from Pritchett, who also had 26 assists.  Senior Dani Reinert added 27 assists and nine digs.
Defensively, senior Kelly Svoboda finished with a match-high 19 digs and added one ace.  As a team, UB finished with 10.0 total blocks, including five from McKenna.  Hatchett and Bishop each added four.
The Bulls continue play at Georgia State with a pair of matches tomorrow.  UB faces Central Florida at 11:30 am and the host Panthers at 7:30 pm.
PROVIDENCE, R.I. ( – Dominant offense and serving led the Eastern Michigan University volleyball team to its second-straight three set victory over Bryant University Friday night, Sept. 13,iIn the first of three matches for the Eagles (5-4) at the 2013 Brown Invitational. Eastern dropped the Bulldogs (0-8) in straight sets, 25-12, 25-11 and 25-17.
Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) led the Eagles in kills with seven, while also posting a .467 (7-0-15) attack percentage. Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) totaled six kills after hitting .500 (6-1-10). As a team, EMU hit .289 (30-8-76) with just eight attack errors. Jill Briner (Oak Park, Ill.-Oak Park and River Forest (Northeastern)) posted 15 assists, while Alyssa Davis (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Plainwell) added 12. The Eagles notched 13 aces for their season-high, four more than the previous amount, including six from Stacey Perinar (Channahon, Ill.-Minooka Community). EMU totaled 6.5 blocks in the win, while Corynne Smith (Norwalk, Ohio-St. Paul) led the Eagles with 13.
Roback led EMU in the opening frame by posting a .714 (5-0-7) with five kills, while the team posted a .346 (10-1-26) attack percentage in a 25-12 set victory. Perinar notched four of her six aces in the set. Defensively, Eastern held Bryant to a .222 (10-4-27) and had a pair of blocks to cruise to a 1-0 lead.
EMU needed just eight kills in set two and took a 2-0 lead after winning the set, 25-11. The Bulldogs were held to a -.095 (5-7-21) due to EMU's stellar defense, include a trio of blocks. Kelsey Jones (Reed City, Mich.-Reed City) helped reject three attacks, earning three block assists.
Short notched the majority of her offense in the final set as EMU took the final frame, 25-17. Short posted six kills after going 6-0-10 for a .600 attack percentage. Perinar went 3-1-4 for a .500 attack percentage, while Briner added eight of her assists. As a team, the offense notched a .320 (12-4-25) attack percentage with just four errors. The Eagles held Bryant to a .152 (11-6-33) hitting percentage in the frame.
Eastern is back in action Saturday, Sept. 14. The squad is set for a double-dip at the Brown Invitational. The Eagles will square off with Holy Cross University in the morning at 10 a.m. before taking on the host Brown University Saturday evening at 7 p.m.
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The Western Michigan volleyball team won for the fourth time in five matches on Friday, cruising to a 3-0 (25-16, 25-11, 25-14) victory over the Iona Gaels at the Active Ankle Challenge hosted by Florida. The win improves the Broncos to 6-2 on the season and a perfect 4-0 record away from University Arena.
Three Broncos reached double digits in kills – Stephenee Yancy (12), Rachel Sheffer (11), and Ave Stout (10, a career high) – and WMU hit .367 as a team to spike the Gaels. Lena Oliver posted a match-high 14 digs and led a defensive unit that held the Gaels to a .000 hitting percentage; Sheffer added to the effort with a team-high two blocks. Lexie Pawlik dished out 35 assists, and Kaycee Acree added seven digs.
WMU turned the heat on the Gaels from the outset in the first set, with Yancy notching a kill to start the set and the Broncos embarking on a 7-3 run to put the pressure on Iona. The Gaels pulled to within 8-7, but Stout stopped the bleeding with a kill and the Broncos were back on their way to the set win, with the kill sparking a 5-0 run to make it 13-7. Oliver scored a fluke kill to make it 15-11, and Yancy made the Broncos the first to 20 with a kill from Yancy that made it 20-13. Sheffer put the Broncos at set point with a kill, and Stout notched one on the next point to give the Broncos a 25-16 win.
The second set was even better for the Broncos, who pushed their momentum further for a post-to-post win. Yancy and Alysia Baznik notched kills as part of a 4-1 run to start the set, and the Broncos were the first to 10 points when Stout recorded a kill. WMU went on a 10-1 run to seal the win, a streak that started with Sheffer’s solo block of Catrina Warren. Sheffer notched a kill to give the Broncos an 18-10 lead, and would strike again to make it 22-11. Baznik put the Broncos at set point with a kill to make it 24-11, and a Gael attack error sealed the win for the Broncos.
WMU closed out the win by pulling away midway through the third set, snapping a 6-6 tie and going the distance for the victory. Sheffer put the Broncos ahead 8-6 and 9-7 with kills, and the lead reached six points when Claire Gerwig and Yancy had back- to-back kills to put WMU up 15-9. With the Broncos leading 16-11, Stout factored in on four straight points by recording three kills and combining with Sheffer for a block, and Gerwig made it 23-14 with a kill of her own. A pair of Iona attack errors gave the Broncos the set and match win.
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. – The Ohio University volleyball team (6-1) is off to its best start in eight years after dispatching of UNLV (3-4) in straight sets (26-24, 25-21, 25-13) Friday evening at the WKU Invitational in Bowling Green, Ky.
Ohio is 6-1 on the season for the first time since 2005 when the ‘Cats began the campaign with an 8-1 record. The Green & White have posted an impeccable 20-3 mark in total sets this season.
The Bobcats were strong at the net and held a 7-3 edge over the Runnin’ Rebels in total blocks. Ohio knocked down 41 kills to UNLV’s 36 and hit .245 as a team while limiting Vegas to a .140 clip.
Freshman outside hitter Katie Horton (Westland, Mich.) paced the Ohio offense with a career-high 11 kills while hitting at a blistering .500 clip on the night. Sophomore middle blocker Karin Bull (Bloomington, Minn.) chipped in nine kills and three total blocks (one solo) for the ‘Cats, while junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) contributed eight kills and six digs against the Rebels.
"I thought Katie played really well today," head coach Ryan Theis said. "Other than a bad run of points in the first set, I thought we controlled the match. UNLV is a good offensive team so we needed to side out well and we did that."
Sophomore setter Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) was sensational in the contest with a match-high 38 assists - including an impressive 15 in the key opening set – while adding a pair of kills and two block assists.
Freshman outside hitter/libero Mallory Salis (Oak Lawn, Ill.) paced the Ohio back line with a career-best 12 digs, while sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) notched her sixth-straight double-digit dig effort (10) while adding a team-high two service aces.
The Bobcats posted kills on three of their first five points to build an early 5-2 lead in set one. After the Rebels cut the Ohio edge to one (9-8), the ‘Cats responded with four of the next five points to extend their advantage to four (13-9). After UNLV moved back within one (14-13), Ohio rattled off six-straight points – highlighted by two kills from Lamberti – to build a 20-13 cushion and force a Vegas timeout.
The Rebels would not go away in the first set, as UNLV responded with nine-straight points to build a one point lead (22-20). Ohio was not fazed by the surge, as two kills by Lamberti and a block from Gilleland and Bull propelled the ‘Cats back in front by one (23-22).
UNLV shot back with two-straight to set up set point (24-23), but two huge kills from Bull moved the ‘Cats back in front (25-24) and cue a set point of their own. A kill from Horton clinched the exciting first frame for Ohio, 26-24.
Ohio raced out to a 5-3 lead in set two, but UNLV rallied to build a 9-8 advantage. From there, the ‘Cats moved ahead (11-10) on a kill from redshirt junior Liis Kullerkann (Keila, Estonia) and surged in front by three (14-11) after an ace from freshman setter Brooke Coleman (Plano, Texas). The ‘Cats increased their lead to as many as six (20-14) before UNLV raced back to cut the lead to three (21-18). But Ohio went back up by four on a kill from graduate middle blocker Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) and hung on to take set two, 25-21.
The ‘Cats took control in set three after the teams played to an early 9-9 tie. From there, the Green & White notched five-straight points to go up 14-9, then went up by eight (19-11) after putting the finishing touches on a 10-2 run. A kill from Bull set up match point (24-13) and the ‘Cats cashed in on a Kullerkann ace to win the match in straight sets.
Ohio begins day two of the WKU Invitational against host and No. 21 Western Kentucky Saturday at noon at E.A. Diddle Arena. The ‘Cats wrap up the event with a 6 p.m. contest against ACC foe Virginia.
BOZEMAN, Mont. – Akron gave South Dakota all it could handle for three sets but came up short in the opening match of the Bobcat Classic on Friday night, falling 25-17, 27-25, 27-25.
The result dropped UA to 5-2 overall, while South Dakota moved to 6-3.
"We continue to make strides in putting together point runs and staying competitive in sets," said head coach Ron Arenz. "Tomorrow we face two very strong teams that will elevate our game to where we need to be."
Alex Cocklin posted 10 kills and Ashley Holder recorded her first double-double of the season with 30 assists and 11 digs, but it was not enough to offset a 21-kill effort from USD's Kendall Kritenbrink.
Kelsey Wilson helped the Zips' offense with six kills on 13 attempts without an error to finish the night with a .462 clip. The sophomore also put up three service aces, after entering the match ranked 16th in the nation in aces per set.
Akron saw a 16-all tie fizzle away in the first set, but rebounded from eight points down in the second set to tie the score at 20 and take the late lead on a kill from Mary Delich. A Cocklin kill gave the Zips their first look at set point with a 24-22 advantage, but the Coyotes answered with three straight points to get back on top.
Another kill from Cocklin evened the score at 25, but USD used a kill and one of its 21 total block-assists to take set two.
The Zips came out after the break and developed some distance midway through the third set. Amanda Bedell and Julia Smagacz delivered two kills apiece amidst a 6-0 run that put Akron ahead 16-12.
Four more unanswered points for UA made it 22-17 in its favor, and the Zips eventually made their way back to set point at 24-21 on a Coyote service error. South Dakota would not go quietly however, fighting back through two more tie scores to take the final set in similar fashion.
Defensively, Jill Paluch registered a team-high 13 digs, helping Akron to narrowly out-dig South Dakota, 46-44.
UA will face a quick turnaround on Saturday, taking on tournament host Montana State at 12:00 noon ET, followed by a matchup with Gonzaga at 7:00 p.m. ET.
IOWA CITY, Iowa - - The Ball State women’s volleyball team took down Big Ten foe and tournament host Iowa by a score of 3-1 (25-14, 23-25, 25-20, 25-17) Friday night to end the first day of the Hawkeye Challenge.
In picking up his first win over a Big Ten opponent, head coach Steve Shondell saw his Cardinals improve to 6-3 on the season, while handing Iowa just its second loss as the Hawkeyes fall to 6-2.
The Cardinals close play in the Hawkeye Challenge tomorrow with matches versus Drake (10 a.m. CT) and Illinois-Chicago (2 p.m. CT).
“I thought we turned in a great team effort tonight,” Shondell said. “Beating a Big Ten team on its home court is not an easy task. I am really proud of the way the team competed in the final two sets to allow us to bring a marquee victory back to Muncie.”
Leading the way for the Ball State offense was redshirt sophomore outside hitter Alex Fuelling (Decatur, Ind./Bellmont/Morehead State) who blasted a match-high 20 kills. The effort marks the second time this season Fuelling has tagged 20-or-more kills in a match, while she also added 10 digs for her fifth kill/dig double-double of the season.
Redshirt sophomore middle Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) also tallied double-digit kills for Ball State, collecting 10 while hitting .429 (10-1-21).
Senior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) added her third double-double of the campaign with 34 assists and 12 digs.
Senior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) led all players with a season-high 25 digs, marking the second match on the day she recorded season-high dig numbers. The effort also marked her 80th career match with double-figure digs and the 24th time she has recorded 20-or-more digs in a match.
Overall, the Ball State offense connected for a .252 (60-23-147) attack percentage, while the defense limited the Hawkeyes to a .079 (35-24-140) rate of success.
Alex Lovell led the Iowa attack with 11 kills, while Bethany Yeager posted a team-high 20 digs.
The teams played to a 3-3 tie in the opening set, before a Ball State block and four consecutive Iowa errors led to a Hawkeyes timeout at 8-3. BSU followed the break with kills from redshirt sophomore opposite Kelly Hopkins (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) and Fuelling to pull ahead 10-3.
From there, the Cardinals cruised to a 25-14 opening set victory which was capped by a kill from redshirt freshman transfer outside hitter Mackenzie Kitchel (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove/Cincinnati). Overall, the Cardinals connected for a .577 (15-0-26) attack percentage in the opening set, while limiting Iowa to a .069 (9-7-29) rate of success.
The Hawkeyes looked to reverse their fortune early in the second set, pulling ahead 12-2. However, Ball State managed to claw back into the set by drawing within two at 17-15 following a Fuelling kill.
Trailing 21-18, the Cardinals used a pair of kills and a block to even the score at 21. Unfortunately, Iowa scored the next two points and went on to win the frame 25-22 on a BSU service error.
With the score of the third set tied at 4-4, an Iowa attack error followed by three consecutive kills from Fuelling gave the guests a brief 8-4 edge. The hosts responded with an 11-1 run to pull ahead 15-9 and force BSU to use both its timeouts along the way.
Following the Cardinals second timeout, a kill from Benson sparked a 5-0 Ball State run and pushed the score to 15-14. After Iowa used its first 75-second break, the Cardinals scored two of the next three points to tie the score at 16 on a kill from senior outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North).
Ball State would then regain the lead at 17-16 after a kill from senior opposite Lauren Grant (Eagan, Minn./Eastview/Cinncinnati). Moments later, another Grant kill gave the Cardinals a 20-18 edge and led to the Hawkeyes’ second timeout. A Fuelling ace would give Ball State set-point, at 24-20, while an Iowa attack error ended the frame at 25-20.
Seidel served up a pair of aces to help the Cardinals pull ahead 3-0 early in the fourth set. Ball State would extend its lead to five points, at 8-3, after a blast from senior middle Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) and maintain the margin at 15-10.
Moments later, Ball State forced Iowa to use its final timeout after freshman defensive specialist Nikki Box (Yorktown, Ind./Yorktown) made a diving save on a ball going over the scorer’s table to help setup a Fuelling kill which made the score 17-11. Iowa would battle back within four points, at 20-16, only to see the Cardinals win the set 25-17 on a kill from Fuelling.
LAS CRUCES, N.M – The Northern Illinois volleyball team endured a marathon match Friday night, but emerged with a 3-2 win over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds.
The win pushes the Huskies record to 5-4, while the Thunderbirds fall to 1-7. In the defensive battle, the Huskies accumulated a season-high 93 digs against SUU and held the Thunderbirds to a .093 hitting percentage.
“Though it sounds cliché, our young group is continuing to learn how to win,” said NIU Head Coach Ray Gooden. “For our first road trip, its an experience as a group. It was a good thing for our team not to quit against a very scrappy team from Southern Utah.”
Things did not start smoothly at all for the Huskies in the first set. Following a controversial call that charged NIU with an attack error instead of a kill, Southern Utah charged out to an 8-0 lead. The Huskies battled back and got the deficit to within 11-8, only to have the Thunderbirds boost the lead back up to 18-11 and eventually 23-15. That is when NIU ran off a 6-0 run to narrow the margin to two. Yet, a SUU kill and a Huskie error resulted in the Thunderbirds claiming a 25-21 opening set triumph.
NIU prevented SUU from getting out to a fast start as they had the previous set with both teams exchanging points all the way to a 9-9 tie. With the set deadlocked, the Huskies busted out of their funk with a 5-0 run to claim a 14-9 lead. After a T’ara Austin kill and a Thunderbird ball-handling error forced SUU to burn a timeout, the Huskies got three more points from an Austin kill, a Lauren Zielinski kill and a Jenna Radtke-Zielinski combo block. That run powered NIU to a 25-17 win in the second set.
The Huskies used their momentum from the second set and got out to a quick 5-1 lead on the Thunderbirds. Yet, SUU retaliated with a 9-1 run of their own to claim a 10-6 advantage over the Huskies. The Thunderbird lead slowly grew to 17-11 before NIU embarked on yet another rally in the match, going on an 8-1 run to move ahead, 19-18. As both teams fought to a 22-22 tie, NIU scored on a SUU attack error and a Zielinski kill to get a 24-22 advantage and set point. However, the Thunderbirds had other plans and scored four consecutive points to steal a 26-24 set three win.
After a demoralizing loss the set prior, the Huskies fell behind the Thunderbirds early, 3-2. Yet, the Huskies responded with an 12-4 run of their own to move ahead, 13-8. That advantage would grow to 21-10 as the Huskie offense continued to impose their will on the Thunderbirds. Though SUU made a mini-run late, NIU’s lead was far too much to overcome, allowing the Huskies to coast to a 25-18 fourth set win.
The fifth set began as a war of attrition with both teams splitting the first 10 points. NIU broke the stalemate with a 3-0 run behind a combo block from Sarah Angelos and Emily Paschke, coupled with two SUU errors. After the teams switched sides, the Thunderbirds battled back to tie the match again, this time at 10. SUU briefly took an 11-10 lead on a service ace, but Mackenzie Roddy answered with a kill before NIU reclaimed the lead with an Alexis Gonzalez kill. Another kill by Gonzalez gave the Huskies a 13-11 lead, only to have the Thunderbirds tie it again at 13. As both teams traded scores and match points, the Huskies finally clinched the set with kills from Angelos and Mary Grace Kelly to grab an 18-16 final set win and the match.
Angelos paced the Huskie offense with 14 kills, while Radtke and Roddy eached chipped in 11 scores. On defense, Angelos and Radtke had five and six blocks, respectively, while Justine Schepler set a career-high with 25 digs in the win.
The Huskies close out their stay in the Land of Enchantment Saturday at 2 p.m. CT when they face the tournament host New Mexico State Aggies.
HUNTINGTON, W. Va. – The Kent State volleyball dropped the opening two sets and came back for a 3-2 victory over Eastern Kentucky (21-25, 25-27, 25-20, 25-14, 15-8) Friday night in its first match of the Thunder Invitational at the Cam Henderson Center on the campus of Marshall University. 
Senior Aleksandra Nowak tallied 48 assists to take sole possession of fourth on Kent State's career assists list and now stands at 2,484 for her career. She entered the match tied with Katie Veatch (2006-09).
"Our girls made some plays to win that close third set, and that kind of opened the flood gates," said head coach Don Gromala.
For the second straight match, Kent State (2-5) had four players record double-digit kills. Sophomore Kelly Hutchison led the way with 13 kills, freshman Bianca Cifaldi had 12, and junior Liz Reikow and sophomore Bridget Wilhelm added 10 each.
The Golden Flashes lost the opening two sets as Eastern Kentucky's offense was hitting on all cylinders.
"We started a little flat like every tournament this season," Gromala said. "Eastern Kentucky ran a unique offense and it took us a while to adjust. But once we made those adjustments, our girls started making plays on defense."
The Golden Flashes held an 87-66 advantage in digs. Senior libero Hannah Herc anchored the defense with 31 digs and Nowak added 13. Reikow totaled six blocks as the Flashes had nine as a team.
After tying the match at two sets apiece, Kent State seized the momentum and opened the fifth set by taking the first six points. The Flashes' attack was unstoppable, hitting .625 for the set. Hutchison posted five kills in the final set.
Kent State returns to action early Saturday morning with a 10:30 a.m. match against Southern Illinois. The Golden Flashes are then scheduled to conclude the weekend against host Marshall at 7:30 p.m.
ST. LOUIS – In an extremely hard-fought match, the Miami University volleyball team came from behind to defeat Saint Louis, 3-2 (22-25, 25-21, 18-25, 25-19, 17-15) to open the Billiken Challenge on Friday. The RedHawks improve to 6-1 on the season, while the Billikens fall to 3-6.
A St. Louis native, junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley seemingly willed Miami to victory. She led the team with 19 kills, and made it her fifth double-double of the season with 19 assists.
Sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle also came up big for the RedHawks, finishing with 15 kills. She made only two errors on 26 total attempts for a .500 hitting percentage. Ingle also contributed five blocks (one solo and four assisted).
A service ace by freshman setter Krista Brakauskas and a kill from Riley helped Miami start with a 4-2 lead in set one. Saint Louis responded with an 8-2 run to take a 10-6 advantage and force a RedHawk timeout. Out of the break, Riley and Ingle each had two kills as part of a 7-3 run that tied the score at 13. Miami eventually took the advantage at 17-15 off a Riley service ace, but six straight points from the Billikens gave Saint Louis a 21-17 lead. Two kills by freshman outside hitter Maris Below and one from junior middle hitter Chelsea Visk cut the deficit to one once again, but SLU closed on a 4-1 run to earn a 25-22 win.
The Billikens opened a 6-3 lead to begin set two. A kill and service ace by Visk were part of a 5-1 run that put the RedHawks in front, 8-7. After SLU scored a point, six straight points by Miami put the Red and White in control at 14-8. Ingle and Below each recorded a pair of kills as the ‘Hawks eventually pushed the advantage to eight at 22-14. Saint Louis made a run to pull as close as three, but Miami came away with a 25-21 victory.
It didn’t start well for Miami in set three as it quickly fell behind, 2-9. Three kills from Riley and a block by Riley and Visk were part of a 12-5 run that pulled the RedHawks to within two at 12-14. Saint Louis was able to get the advantage back to seven at 20-13, but Miami fought back once again thanks to kills by Ingle, Riley and sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig off of Brakauskas assists. That helped the RedHawks pull to within four at 17-21. Unfortunately, Miami could not get any closer as the Billikens pulled away to take a 25-18 win.
 Tied at seven in set four, Miami took control with an 11-5 run that gave it an 18-12 lead. Riley was the star of that run, coming up with three important kills. The Billikens answered back with a 6-2 run of their own to pull within two at 18-20 and force a RedHawk timeout. Out of the break, Visk and senior outside hitter Madison Dodd teamed up for a block that got the Miami offense going again. Dodd put down a kill, while Ingle and Below combined for a block to help the ‘Hawks finish on a 5-1 run to win set four, 25-19, and send the match to a decisive fifth set.
Service aces from Brakauskas and Below helped Miami take a 5-2 advantage in set five early. The Billikens fought back to tie the score at six. An attack error by Saint Louis and a kill from Reiswig gave Miami an 8-6 lead. The teams traded side outs over the next 10 points, with a kill from Ingle giving the RedHawks a 13-11 lead. Reiswig followed with another kill of her own to make it match point at 14-11. The Billikens did not give up as they scored the next three points to tie it at 14. A kill by Riley off of Brakauskas’ assist gave Miami yet another match point, but again Saint Louis answered back. Dodd recorded a kill to make it 16-15, and this time the RedHawks forced the Billikens to hit it out of bounds to finish off a 17-15 win.
Below finished with 10 kills, giving Miami three players with double-digits in that category. Brakauskas led the ‘Hawks with 27 assists, while junior libero Tori Clifford had 15 digs. Miami had eight service aces in the match, with Brakauskas finishing with a team-leading three.
The RedHawks continue play at the Billiken Challenge on Saturday when they take on Bradley at 11 a.m. (EDT) and Youngstown State at 5:30 p.m.
PORTLAND, OR – Toledo (5-4) saw its modest three-match win streak snapped on Friday evening with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-19, 25-16) setback to Pacific-12 Conference foe Oregon State (5-2).
The Beavers stifled the Rockets’ offense, limiting UT to a .046 attack percentage thanks to a 53-35 advantage in digs and an 8-3 cushion in blocks.
Senior OH Jordan Kielty topped Toledo offensively with nine kills and a .174 hitting mark. She was the only Rocket attacker to have more kills than attack errors.
Freshman libero Ellen Hays paced UT’s back-row defensive efforts with 11 digs, while junior MB Brooke Frazer tallied a team-high two blocks.
Junior MB Arica Nassar was the lone player in the match to reach double figures in kills, finishing with 11 kills and a .421 ATK%.
The Rockets’ best opportunity to win a set came in the second one when kills from senior RSH Becca Reidy, Frazer and an OSU attack error tied the score at 19-19. Reidy was blocked on the next point though and the Beavers reeled off the next five points to take a 2-0 lead.
UT was within a point near the midpoint of Set 3 at 11-10 but OSU scored five straight to take an insurmountable 16-10 advantage.
Toledo will conclude tournament play on Saturday with a 7:00 p.m. ET matchup vs. UC-Davis. The Aggies will meet Oregon State at 2:00 p.m. prior to meeting the Rockets.