Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Bowling Green 3, Buffalo 2
Ball State 3, Western Michigan 1
Miami 3, Akron 0
Toledo 3, Northern Illinois 2
BOWLING GREEN, Ohio—Thrilling is the only word that could be used to describe Friday night's volleyball match between Bowling Green and Buffalo at the Stroh Center. The Falcons and Bulls played a back-and-forth affair all night, with the Orange and Brown pulling off the 23-21 win in the fifth set for the victory. With the triumph, the Falcons improve to 7-9 on the season and 4-1 in Mid-American Conference play. Buffalo drops to 14-4 and 2-3 in the MAC with the loss.
Buffalo entered the match as the nation's second-leading defensive team, averaging more than three blocks per set. The Falcons countered that by spreading the ball around all night, as four BGSU players recorded double-digit kills. Three Falcons recorded double-doubles: Erica Fullenkamp (41 assists, 17 digs), Paige Penrod (12 kills, 18 digs), and Lindsey Butterfield (21 kills, 14 digs). Four Falcons also chipped in defensively with double-digit digs, as the Falcons outdug the Bulls 88-81.
Bowling Green jumped out to a fast start on Friday night, as Buffalo would call their first timeout of the match early on, with the Falcons leading 12-7. Out of the timeout, the Bulls would respond, as they would go on an 8-3 run to even it up at 15 apiece, forcing the Falcons into a timeout of their own. The Falcons would take their second timeout trailing 23-22. The set would remain close, perhaps a sign of things to come later in the match. Out of the timeout, a Butterfield kill would tie it up. After a kill by UB's Liz Scott, the Falcons would score two straight, forcing set point at 25-24. Out of a timeout by Buffalo, the Bulls would get a kill by Tahleia Bishop. An ensuing Buffalo kill and Bowling Green attack error would give Buffalo the 27-25 win in the set.
The Falcons would play much better in the second set, outhitting Buffalo .452 to .229. The Orange and Brown would take a 5-4 lead early in the set and never look back, going on to a dominating 25-16 win.
Both teams looked like new teams out of the halftime break, as Buffalo outplayed the Falcons in the third set. BGSU hit just .043 in the set, en route to a 25-17 setback.
Trailing two sets to one, the Falcons would need to respond. The Orange and Brown would dominate, as they never trailed in the fourth set victory. The largest lead came at the end of the set, as the Falcons scored the final six points to claim a 25-14 win to force a fifth set.
Although the match entered the fifth set, it was really just getting started. Both teams would show that they belong at, or near the top, of the MAC standings in the set. Neither team would be able to pull away throughout, but the Falcons would use a timeout trailing 9-7 midway through the set.
Out of the timeout, the Orange and Brown would take over—or so it appeared. The Falcons would score seven of the next eight points out of the timeout, taking a 14-10 lead, giving them four serves for match point.
Buffalo wouldn't quit, as they would score two consecutive points to force the Falcons into their second timeout of the set, with Bowling Green clinging to a 14-12 lead. Unfortunately, the timeout wouldn't slow down UB, as they scored the next two—making it four straight—to extend the match at 14 all.
With both teams out of timeouts, the match would come down to which team could make the best point-to-point adjustments on the fly. Over the next 14 points—seven of which would be scored by each team—there would be six ties and six lead changes, as both teams had multiple match-point serves. With the final set tied at 21, the Falcons would get a side out, thanks to a Butterfield kill. Laura Avila would serve with the Orange and Brown leading 22-21 in the fifth set. Her serve would go over, a Buffalo's attack would go long, and the Falcons would pull out a 23-21 victory in the fifth set.
Following the thrilling win tonight, the Falcons will take momentum into Saturday night's match with Akron. The Falcons and Zips will square off at 7:00 p.m inside the Stroh Center. BGSU (7-9, 4-1 MAC) has won five out of six matches overall, moving into a tie for first place in the MAC standings. Akron (6-10, 0-5 MAC) comes to Bowling Green following a three-set loss at Miami on Friday night.
MUNCIE, Ind. – After dropping the first set and trailing 19-14 in the second, the Ball State women’s volleyball team rallied to score a 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-14) victory over Western Michigan Friday night at Worthen Arena.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 16-4 overall and move into sole possession of first place in the Mid-American Conference West Division with a 4-1 league mark.
The Broncos fall to 10-8 (3-2 MAC) with the loss, while Saturday’s opponent Northern Illinois suffered a 3-2 setback at Toledo to drop to 11-8 (3-2 MAC). The Cardinals and the Huskies will square off at 7 p.m. Saturday at Worthen Arena in the final match of the 2013 Active Ankle Challenge.
“I thought game two was very important, as we had to do some real soul searching down 19-14,” said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. “Everything was going in Western’s favor, but we finally started competing and playing our normal game. Winning that second game was huge and shifted the momentum in our favor. I would like to thank the band and the great crowd tonight, as we were able to feed off their energy and battle our way back into the match.”
Trailing 19-14 in the second set, the Cardinals used a kill and ace from redshirt sophomore outside hitter Alex Fuelling (Decatur, Ind./Bellmont/Morehead State) to spark a 5-0 run which eventually evened the score. Fuelling would finish the match with 11 kills and 14 digs for ninth double-double of the season.
Redshirt sophomore middle Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hillard Bradley) led the Ball State attack with 15 kills, while adding a match-best six block assists. Benson also finished the contest with a .281 (15-6-32) attack percentage.
Senior middle Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) also collected double-digit kills in the contest, blasting 13 to go along with a match-best .522 (13-1-23) attack percentage. Marx has now smashed double-digit kills in seven of Ball State’s last nine matches.
Senior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) and sophomore setter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) combined to set the Ball State offense to a .241 (65-27-158) attack percentage, with Seidel setting most of the first two sets, and Spadafora closing out the second and leading the BSU rally in the final two games.
Senior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) led all players with a match-high 19 digs. Overall, the Cardinals defense limited the WMU attack to a .171 (49-25-140) rate of success and held an 11-8 advantage in total blocks.
Rachel Sheffer led the Broncos attack with 12 kills, while Stephenee Yancy added 11. WMU libero Lena Oliver racked up a team-best 15 digs to help Western Michigan out-dig Ball State 58-56.
With Ball State holding a 15-13 edge in the opening set after a five-point rally, Western Michigan made great use of a timeout by halting the Cardinals’ momentum with a five-point run of their own. Ball State would keep within one point, at 20-19, after kills from Marx and Seidel. However the Broncos scored the next four points and went on to win the frame 25-21.
Things looked bleak for the Cardinals as they were trailing 19-14 in the second frame, but Feulling’s kill and ace would spark the hosts as they battled back to even the score. With the score knotted at 21, back-to-back blocks from Benson helped BSU pull ahead 23-21.
The teams would then trade the final four points of the set, with senior opposite Lauren Grant (Eagan, Minn./Eastview/Cincinnati) smashing kill on both Ball State points to complete the comeback at 25-23.
Western Michigan looked poised to close out the third set, reaching frame-point at 24-21. However, a kill from Benson sparked a three-point Ball State rally to even the score at 24. A kill from Claire Gerwig gave the Broncos one more chance to win the set, but Marx answered with a kill to keep the Ball State alive. WMU then blasted the next two attacks long to allow the Cardinals to win the frame 27-25 and complete another late-set comeback.
Ball State closed out the match with a dominating 25-14 effort in the final frame. The Cardinals scored five of the first six points, before taking an 11-4 edge in a run capped by back-to-back Marx kills. WMU would battle back within three, at 13-10, only to see BSU answer with 12 of the final 16 points to close out the set and the match.
OXFORD, Ohio – The Miami University volleyball team used a balanced effort to get back on the winning track with a 3-0 (26-24, 25-13, 25-22) victory over Akron Friday evening. The RedHawks improve to 9-8 overall and 1-4 in the Mid-American Conference. The Zips fall to 6-10 overall and 0-5 in the MAC.
Miami had a total of 12 blocks in the three set match, while Akron finished with only four. Freshman middle hitter Paige Hill led the way with six blocks (one solo and five assisted), and also tied with junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley for the team lead with eight kills.
Tied at five in the first set, Akron went on a 7-3 run to take a 12-8 lead. A kill and a service ace by Hill, along with a block by freshman outside hitter Maris Below and sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle was part of 5-0 run for the RedHawks to take the advantage back. The teams traded the lead back-and-forth a couple of times until the score was tied at 19. The Zips scored three of the next four points to go in front, 22-20, but back-to-back kills from Riley and Below tied the score and forced an Akron timeout. Out of the break, Below had another kill, and then teamed up with Hill on a block to give Miami set point at 24-22. The Zips were able to fight it off with two straight points, but an Akron attack error followed by a kill from Ingle off of Krista Brakauskas’ assist gave the ‘Hawks a 26-24 win.
Three kills from Riley were part of an 11-2 opening run for Miami to begin set two. Ingle had a pair of kills, while Hill and sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig teamed up for a block as the RedHawks increased the advantage to 11 at 17-6. In front, 19-11, kills by Below and sophomore outside hitter Sarah Chaney were part of a 6-2 closing run that gave Miami a dominating 25-13 victory.
Tied at five in set three, a 9-4 run by the Red and White gave it control at 14-9. Akron fought back with a 6-2 run to pull within one at 15-16 and force a Miami timeout. Out of the break, senior outside hitter Madison Dodd put down a kill, while Chaney followed with two straight blocks to start the ‘Hawks on a 6-2 run that made it 22-17. The Zips got as close as two points at 22-24, but a block by Below and Hill finished off a 25-22 win and gave Miami a straight-set victory.
In addition to Riley and Hill’s eight kills, Ingle finished with seven kills, while Reiswig had six. Brakauskas led the way with 20 assists, while senior libero Madison Hardy had 11 digs. Miami hit .258 for the match, while holding Akron to a .121 hitting percentage.
The RedHawks continue their homestand on Saturday when they host Buffalo at 5 p.m.
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo (10-9, 3-2 MAC) extended its Mid-American Conference win streak to three matches with a come-from-behind 3-2 (17-25, 25-20, 21-25, 25-22, 15-5) victory over West Division co-leader Northern Illinois (11-8, 3-2 MAC). The triumph kept the Rockets within a game of West frontrunner Ball State (16-4, 4-1 MAC).
Senior OH Lauren Rafdal continued her strong start to league play by leading UT with 27 kills to become the ninth Rocket in school history to top the 1,000-kill mark. The Westfield, IN native now has 1,012 terminations and is averaging 5.00 kps in conference action this season.
Rafdal was joined in double figures by senior RSH Becca Reidy with a season-best 17 kills and senior OH Jordan Kielty with 13 kills.
UT was able to outdig the Huskies by an 83-72 margin thanks to a team-wide effort. Freshman libero Ellen Hays paced the Rockets in the back row with 24 digs and was followed by Kielty and senior S Adria Pryor with 14 digs apiece, Rafdal with 13 and Reidy with 12.
Senior MB Dakota Harkins tallied a team-high four blocks at the net with junior MB Brooke Frazer and Reidy contributing three rejections apiece. Frazer also was very efficient offensively with seven kills and a .545 ATK%.
Pryor quarterbacked the Rocket attack and collected a season-high 63 assists to help UT post a .245 attack percentage.
Senior MB Sarah Angelos topped the visitors with 16 kills and a .406 attack mark
Toledo had its back to the wall when the Huskies took a 2-1 lead in the match. The Huskies then surged to a quick 6-2 lead in Set 4, but UT quickly rallied to take a 10-8 advantage following back-to-back kills from Harkins and Kielty. After the teams traded points for a stretch, the Rockets put together a 6-1 run to assume a 23-18 cushion. NIU rallied to within 23-22 but kills from Harkins and Rafdal evened the match at 2-2.
Toledo carried that momentum right into the fifth set by taking a 6-2 lead before the Huskies took their first timeout. An NIU attack error and Reidy kill put UT ahead 8-2 and the Rockets never looked back. Toledo hit .381 in the set and limited the Huskies to a -.036 mark.
UT will look to continue its winning ways when it hosts Western Michigan (10-8, 3-2 MAC) tomorrow at 5:00 p.m. The Broncos dropped a 3-1 (21-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-14) decision at Ball State this evening.