Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Toledo 3, Central Michigan 2
Ball State 3, Eastern Michigan 0
Ohio 3, Buffalo 1
Kent State 3, Akron 2
Western Michigan 3, Bowling Green 1
Northern Illinois 3, Miami 1
TOLEDO, OH – Toledo clinched a berth in the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament with a 3-2 (22-25, 25-22, 20-25, 25-21, 15-11) Senior Day victory at Savage Arena on Saturday afternoon. The triumph also capped off a perfect conference home season as the Rockets won all eight league home contests.
Senior OH Lauren Rafdal paced Toledo with 17 kills and also collected a career-high 19 digs, while senior MB Dakota Harkins posted a team-high .310 attack percentage with 13 kills. Harkins capped off the match with a kill to secure a victory for herself and fellow classmates Jordan Kielty, Adria Pryor, Rafdal and Becca Reidy.
Freshman libero Ellen Hays led the Rockets in digs with 24, including several that led to key points for the Rockets. Harkins and junior MB Brooke Frazer each tallied a team-high five blocks.
Junior OH Kaitlyn McIntyre topped Central Michigan offensively with 17 kills, while senior libero Jenna Coates garnered a team-high 21 digs.
Both squads turned in strong defensive performances as UT posted a .121 attack percentage and CMU notched a .132 mark. The Chippewas recorded 17 blocks compared to the Rockets’ 11 rejections, while Toledo held the upper hand in digs by a slim 77-75 margin.
UT trailed just once in the final set as it utilized its momentum gained from winning Set 4. The Rockets took an early 4-1 lead only to see the Chippewa reel off four points in a row to take a 5-4 advantage. Toledo quickly regrouped following a timeout though and regained the lead at 6-5 on Frazer's kill. The Rockets were able to extend their cushion to 12-7 following a pair of McIntyre attack errors.
CMU wouldn’t go away quietly though and went on a three-point run to cut UT’s lead to 12-10. Kills from Harkins and Rafdal ended the rally though and another Harkins’ kill led to an on-court celebration.
Toledo (16-10, 9-3 MAC) will be on the road for its final four conference matches beginning with a showdown at MAC West leader Ball State (22-5, 10-2 MAC) on Thursday, Nov. 7 at 7:00 p.m.
MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State women’s volleyball team celebrated senior night with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-19, 25-16) sweep of Mid-American Conference West Division foe Eastern Michigan Saturday night at Worthen Arena.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 22-5 on the season and remain atop the league standings with a 10-2 MAC mark. MAC East Division leader Ohio also improved to 10-2 in conference action with a 3-1 win over Buffalo tonight.
Defense was the name of the game Saturday, as Ball State averaged 29.3 digs per set compared to 27 digs per set for Eastern Michigan (14-13/4-8 MAC). Four Cardinals finished the match with double-digit digs, while two Eagles tallied over 20 digs.
In her final Saturday match at Worthen Arena, senior outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) paced all players with 11 kills, while tying a season-high with 22 digs for her sixth double-double of the season.
With the 11 kills, Baker raised her career kill total to 803 to move into a tie for 19th on Ball State’s all-time career kills list. Her 22 digs raised her career total to 963, leaving her 37 shy of becoming the 15th player in program history to tally 1,000 career digs.
Senior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) guided the Ball State offense to a .230 (45-11-148) hitting effort for the match, handing out 36 assists and collecting 13 digs for her ninth double-double of the season. She also tied for match-high honors with five total blocks.
Senior middle Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) also tallied five blocks (two solo and three assists) for the Cardinals, while blasting eight kills and hitting .333 (8-1-21). She also tied a career-high with four digs.
Senior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) tied for match-high honors with 25 digs, raising her career total to 1,842. The effort also marked the 30th time she has collected 20-or-more digs in a match.
Rounding out Ball State’s senior class was opposite Lauren Grant (Eagan, Minn./Eastview/Cincinnati) with four kills and a dig.
Also making strong contributions on offense for Ball State were redshirt sophomore middle Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) and sophomore setter/outside hitter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) with nine kills apices. Benson finished the match hitting .429 (9-0-21), while Spadafora connected for a .280 (9-2-25) rate of success.
Freshman defensive specialist Nikki Box (Yorktown, Ind./Yorktown) added 11 digs and her first career kill in the victory.
Erin Short led the Eastern Michigan offense with seven kills, while setter Jill Briner tied for match-high honors with 25 digs. Overall, the Ball State defense limited the Eagles to a .039 (31-25-152) efficiency mark on offense.
Benson got the match started for the Cardinals with a kill, while back-to-back blasts from Spadafora helped BSU pull ahead 5-1. Eastern Michigan would battle back within one point, at 10-9, only to see kills from Baker and Benson help Ball State rattle off three straight to force an EMU timeout at 13-9.
Eastern Michigan scored the next three points out of the break, only to have Ball State answer with the match’s third consecutive three-point run sparked by a back row kill from Box who blasted the ball through three EMU blockers. The Cardinals controlled play from there, winning the frame 25-17 on a Briner setting error.
With the score of the second set tied at 2-2, a kill from Spadafora and a strong service run from sophomore defensive specialist Kati Vasalakis (Yorktown, Ind./Yorktown) helped Ball State pull ahead 9-2. Ball State held an 11-point advantage at the 16-5 mark, only to see the Eagles battle back within three at 18-15.
Eastern Michigan would get no closer, however, as kills from Spadafora and Baker stopped the EMU run and extended BSU’s lead back to five at 20-15. Ball State would go on to win the set 25-19 on a kill from Benson.
Ball State trailed for the first time all weekend after EMU scored the first point in the third set, but back-to-back Eagles errors followed, giving BSU a 2-1 edge. Ball State proceeded to pull ahead 7-3 from there. EMU would remain within three points, at the 18-15 mark, only to see the Cardinals score seven of the match’s final eight points, winning he set 25-16 on a kill from Baker.
The Ball State women’s volleyball team closes out the home portion of its 2013 schedule Thursday, with a 7 p.m. showdown versus Toledo. The Rockets enter the match in second place in the MAC West Division with a 9-3 league mark, including a 3-1 win over the Cardinals Oct. 3.
ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University volleyball team (20-4, 10-2) fought through a pair of extra session sets to knock off Buffalo (16-9, 4-8) Saturday evening inside the Convocation Center.
With the win, Ohio reached the 20-win plateau and the 10-win conference mark for a school-record 12th-straight season.
Ohio hit its season average (.267) on the night and limited Buffalo to .165, marking the 11th time in 12 MAC contests that the ‘Cats have held their opponent under .200 from the floor. Ohio also out-blocked (12-11) a solid Bulls blocking unit and knocked down 63 kills to Buffalo’s 55.
Junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) returned to action with her team-leading 13th double-double of the season, tallying 15 kills and 15 digs on the night while hitting .333. Redshirt junior Liis Kullerkann (Keila, Estonia) also bolstered the Ohio attack with 12 kills and hit a solid .364 on the night.
From the middle blocker position, graduate student Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) notched a match-high nine total blocks and added 11 kills, while sophomore Karin Bull also reached double figures with 10 kills.
On the back row, freshman defensive specialist Brooke Coleman tallied a career-best 22 digs from the right side, while sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) added 17 digs for the ‘Cats.
Sophomore setter Abby Gilleland recorded a match-high 53 assists – her career-best in a four-set match – and added 13 digs and five kills to notch her seventh double-double of 2013.
Ohio came out strong in the opening two sets, as Ohio won each by a 25-15 margin. The ‘Cats went up by four (10-6) on a Lamberti kill early in the first frame, then extended that edge to 10 (18-8) after putting together a 6-0 run. In set two, Ohio was holding a one-point lead (11-10), before the Green & White rattled off an 8-2 run to build a seven-point edge (19-12).
Buffalo roared back in set three, as the two teams battled back and forth to draw even after 34 points (17-17). From there, Buffalo used a 5-1 run to go up four (22-18), but Ohio answered back with four of the next six to knot the score at 24-24. The ‘Cats then staved off four set points from the Bulls, before Buffalo finally broke through to take the long third set, 30-28.
The fourth set mirrored the third, as the teams played to a 16-16 tie. Ohio again went down by as many as three (19-16), but the ‘Cats raced back with three straight to tie it at 19. Buffalo set up two set points at 24-22, but a kill from Pinson and a Buffalo attack error kept Ohio alive in the frame.
Buffalo again set up set point at 25-24, but Ohio notched two kills and a service ace on the final three points to win the set (27-25) and claim the match victory.
The final point ace from Mallory Salis (Oak Lawn, Ill.) was one of three by the freshman outside hitter/libero on the night.
With the victory, Ohio improved to 31-2 all-time against the Bulls.
Ohio now hits the road for its final MAC away swing of the season. The ‘Cats battle Bowling Green (12-12, 8-4) on Friday (Nov. 8) at 7 p.m. before heading to Oxford for a matchup with Miami (10-14, 2-10) Saturday at 5 p.m.
KENT, Ohio – The Kent State volleyball team earned a hard-fought victory over Buffalo, 3-2 (25-22, 26-24, 14-25, 17-25, 15-11) in a Mid-American Conference matchup Friday evening at the M.A.C. Center. The Golden Flashes (11-13, 5-6) won the first two sets and prevented the comeback by taking the fifth and deciding set.
"Our girls grinded one out tonight," said head coach Don Gromala. "They out-performed us in every stat but we found a way to get the victory. Tonight, we went back to taking care of those critical points in those close sets. It's a tough time of the year and this was a very critical match for us as a program to get to the MAC Tournament."
Junior Lauren Engleman posted a career-high 13 kills to lead Kent State on offense. The Flashes featured a balanced attack throughout the match, as Liz Reikow (11), Bridget Wilhelm (11), Kelly Hutchison (10) and Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola (10) joined her with double-digit kills.
The match opened with two highly-competitive sets, and the Flashes found a way to come out on top in both. A total of 23 ties and 11 lead changes occurred in those two sets. After Kent State won the opening set, Buffalo was in position to even the match with a 24-23 lead. Reikow had different ideas, however. The 6'6" middle blocker tied the score with a kills, teamed with Engleman on a block and finished it off with a kill to go up 2-0.
Coming out of the intermission, Buffalo looked like a different team. The Bulls led pretty much wire-to-wire in both sets and seemed to steal momentum from its host, winning sets 3 and 4 by 11 and 8 points, respectively.
The Flashes caught fire when it mattered most, totaling 10 kills and a .409 attack percentage in winning the fifth set. Engleman, Aderemi-Ibitola and Hutchison delivered three kills apiece in that deciding set.
"We came out really well in set 5, and that was the difference," Gromala said. "I think it shows a lot about their determination and just their focus on what they want to accomplish."
Senior Aleksandra Nowak recorded a match-best 44 assists to lead the Kent State offense. Junior Kaylee Koller led the defense with 13 digs and Hutchison added 10 for her third double-double of the year.
Kent State is back in action Saturday night when it hosts rival Akron at the M.A.C. Center. The match begins at 7 p.m. with the winner receiving a half-point towards this year's PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge. The Flashes earned a thrilling 3-2 victory in the first meeting of the year between the schools.
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan volleyball team snapped a modest two-match losing streak with an impressive performance against the defending Mid-American Conference Tournament champion, as the Broncos defeated the Bowling Green State Falcons 3-1 (25-19, 19-25, 25-14, 25-17) at University Arena on Saturday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 14-11 overall, 7-5 in MAC play.
Junior setter Lexie Pawlik recorded her seventh double-double of the season, notching 40 assists and 10 digs to lead a Bronco offense that .248 for the match but .320 or better in two of four sets. Baznik's 10 digs also made her one of five Broncos to breach double-digits in the category, joining Caroline Rose (11), Lena Oliver (11), Alysia Baznik (10), and Kaycee Acree (10). Baznik recorded her ninth double-double of the season, posting 11 kills to go with her 10 digs. Ave Stout added 11 kills on an 11-3-25 hitting line for a .320 attack percentage, while Gillian Asque added nine kills, a .267 hitting percentage, and five blocks.
The Broncos came out guns blazing in the first set, hitting .324 from the floor and taking the early, definitive edge on the Falcons. Pawlik snapped a 4-4 tie with a tip to the back line for the kill, a play that would give the Broncos the lead for good in the first set. A series of errors by Bowling Green expanded the Broncos' lead to 14-10 at one point, and Claire Gerwig boosted the lead to five points with a roller shot to make it 17-12. Stout and Rachel Sheffer made the Broncos the first to 20 points in the set with a block of Paige Penrod to make it 20-14, and Baznik forced a BGSU timeout with a kill to make it 21-15. Asque notched a kill on the slide play to force set point at 24-19, and ripped another shot two points later to give the Broncos a 25-19 set win.
After the Falcons took the second set by a score of 25-19, the Broncos returned to work with a sterling third to take the 2-1 match lead. WMU never trailed in the third set, opening on a 6-2 run that was opened on a block from Pawlik and Stout, and capped with another tandem block, this one from Stout and Gerwig. Stout launched a kill through the blockers on the left side to take an 8-4 lead and force a BGSU timeout, and Asque made the Broncos the first to 15 with a kill to make it 15-10. The Broncos closed the set on a 10-4 run from there, expanding their lead to nine points with a kill from sheffer to make it 20-11 and one from Stout to make it 21-12. Asque and Baznik combined for a block to make it a 10-point edge, and the deficit reached its zenith on the next point when Sheffer and Asque blocked a Jelena Sunjic shot to make it 24-13. Asque finished the set off for the Broncos with a kill, giving them a 25-14 set win.
WMU took a 10-5 lead to open the fourth set, with Stout opening the proceedings with a kill and the pair of Acree and Baznik each recording service aces to extend the run. The Falcons pulled even with the Broncos midway through the set as Gerwig committed an attack error to make it 11-11, and the score was tied as late as 14-14, but a Bowling Green attack error gave the Broncos the opening they needed to finish the match. Baznik and Asque recorded kills on back-to-back points to give the Broncos a 19-16 lead, and the lead expanded to four points when Gerwig hit a roller to the center of the floor, finding the soft spot in the Falcon D for the kill to make it 21-17. Stout notched a kill to make it 23-17, and Baznik ended the match when her attack caromed off a back row defender into the stands to close the set at 25-17.
DeKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University volleyball team completed their homestand on a high note Saturday at Victor E. Court, taking a hard-fought 3-1 win over the Miami (Ohio) RedHawks.
NIU (15-11, 7-5 MAC) trailed in many statistical categories against Miami (10-14, 2-10 MAC). However, some well-timed hitting and a few RedHawk errors proved to be the difference for the Huskies.
“Tonight, we were again reminded of how tough it is to play in our league,” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. “With records, you throw them away. Miami’s a good team and they do a lot of good things. We had to earn a lot of points to be successful. I thought we did well in the first set having control and being aggressors. We slipped off after that, but it was good for our team to be able to play good, consistent volleyball towards the end.”
NIU got out of the gates fast with kills from Sarah Angelos, Mary Grace Kelly, Alexis Gonzalez and Mackenzie Roddy to claim a 6-2 lead, forcing an early Miami timeout. The Huskies would stretch that lead to 9-4 before the RedHawks embarked on a 7-2 rally to knot the opening set at 11-11. Yet, NIU denied Miami the lead and moved back ahead, 16-13, following from RedHawk miscues and an Angelos kill from an overpass. The Huskies continued to take advantage of sloppy Miami passing, as Roddy and Jenna Radtke would also get kills off overpasses, making the tally 19-15 NIU. Despite a late threat from Miami, the Huskies closed out the set with a 25-19 win.
In the second, Miami hung with the Huskies and, with the match tied at 7-7, outscored NIU, 6-2, to move ahead, 13-9, and force a timeout. NIU retaliated with a 4-0 run to knot the set at 13-13 behind timely defense and solid serving from T’ara Austin. Yet, Miami used a 4-0 run of their own to reclaim the lead at 17-13. That counter helped the RedHawks set the tone for the remainder of the set, as they coasted to a 25-17 victory and a 1-1 halftime deadlock.
Coming out of the break, both sides went back and forth all the way up to a 17-17 tie. The Huskies broke that tie with a Roddy kill, but Miami got the next three points to move ahead 21-18 and take all the momentum. However, beginning with an Emily Paschke kill, the Huskies ran off five-straight points to move ahead 23-21. After Miami got to within 23-22 and 24-23, Kelly ended the set with a kill that just landed inside the line to give NIU a close 25-23 third set win.
The RedHawks continued to keep things tight with the Huskies in the fourth set, as each side traded jabs in what became a 13-13 tie. Back-to-back Miami points gave the visitors a 15-13 edge, only to have Kelly and Roddy score kills on the next two points to tie the set back up at 15-15. After neither side could break away, a Paschke kill and a Miami error gave the Huskies a 21-19 lead and plenty of momentum. The RedHawks, though, used three consecutive points to slide back ahead by a 22-21 margin and force a Huskie timeout. Following the quick breather, NIU finally brought Miami down, as they scored four of the final five points – including the set winner from Kelly – to eke out another 25-23 set win.
Kelly paced the Huskie offense with 16 kills on the night, while Roddy and Angelos contributed 15 and 12, respectively, in the win. Additionally, Paschke finished with seven kills and a team-high .538 attack percentage. Justine Schepler led the Huskies with 23 digs on defense.
The Huskies take their final road trip of the 2013 regular season next weekend, as they head to the Great Lakes State to battle Central Michigan and Eastern Michigan. The trip begins in Mt. Pleasant Friday with a 6:30 p.m. CT tilt with the Chippewas, followed by a Saturday 6 p.m. CT contest against the Eagles.