Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Toledo 3, Western Michigan 2
Buffalo 3, Miami 0
Bowling Green 3, Akron 1
Ball State 3, Northern Illinois 0
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The western Michigan volleyball team took a held a 2-0 lead over the leaders in the Mid-American Conference West division, but the Broncos were unable to hold on in falling 3-2 (25-18, 25-14, 12-25, 23-25, 14-16) to the Toledo Rockets at University Arena on Friday. With the loss, the Broncos fall to 16-12 on the season, 9-6 in MAC play.
The Broncos had a strong offensive night, with senior Gillian Asque leading the way with a 15-kill performance, a mark that also including a .4-6 hitting percentage. Claire Gerwig was not far behind her, posting 14 kills and a .343 hitting percentage. Lexie Pawlik posted a double-double of 56 assists and 11 digs, while freshman Alysia Baznik notched one as well with 14 kills and 14 digs. Five Bronco players recorded double-digit digs, including Baznik, Pawlik, Lena Oliver, Caroline Rose, and Kaycee Acree.
The first set went about as well as possible for the Broncos, who used strong passing ability to produce a killer offensive barrage against the Rockets. WMU trailed 7-4 at one point in the first set, but bounced back and took the lead at 11-10 on a block from Asque and Rachel Sheffer. The teams traded points back and forth until Gerwig blasted one through the block to make it 16-15, and a Toledo attack error on the next point put the Broncos in control. Gerwig hammered home another kill out of the timeout, and the duo of Pawlik and Ave Stout blocked the Rockets' Jordan Kielty to cap the 5-0 run and give the Broncos a 19-15 edge. The run ended ultimately being a 10-1 foray, with Sheffer and Gerwig capping the run with kills to make it 24-18. Sheffer closed out the set with a down line shot for the kill, giving WMU a 25-18 set win.
WMU went further on the offensive in the second set, hitting .545 as a team and blowing by the Rockets to take a 2-0 advantage in the match. The Broncos never trailed in the set, opening on a 3-0 run that saw Asque rip two kills to seal the rally. Baznik later made it 5-2 with a kill, and the Broncos eventually took an 11-6 lead with a kill from Baznik that forced a Toledo timeout. The Rockets burned their second timeout of the set a few points later, after Stout capped a 4-0 Bronco run with a kill to make it a 16-9 edge for WMU. Pawlik took a full wind-up and swing for a kill to make it a 17-10 edge for the Broncos, and Stout posted kills on back-to-back points to make it a 20-11 edge. Asque forced set point with a high hands shot through the middle block to make it 24-14, and went on to wrap the set 25-14 with a kill two points later.
The Rockets took control of the rest of the match, though, starting with a .583 hitting performance in the third set that saw them win 25-12. The fourth set was back and forth all the way through, with the Broncos leading 21-20 at one point on a kill from Baznik. The Rockets scored three straight points to take a 23-21 lead, but Sheffer responded with a kill to make it 23-22. The Rockets' Becca Reidy ultimately forced set five with a kill, as Toledo took the fourth set 25-23.
Toledo came back from a large deficit in the fifth set to take the win, rallying after trailing by a score of 14-7. The Rockets scored the final nine points of the match, taking a 16-14 decision in the fifth set and the win.
BUFFALO, NY - The University at Buffalo volleyball team ended a seven-match losing streak on Friday night as the Bulls swept Miami (OH), 3-0, and kept their hopes alive for a bid into the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament heading into the final night of conference play. With the win, UB improved to 17-11 and 5-10 in the MAC. The five wins tie the most the Bulls have ever recorded in one conference season.
UB took the contest 25-19, 25-23, 25-22 as the Bulls outhit Miami, .244 to .087. UB led for the majority of night, including the first set, where it had the lead wire-to-wire. The Bulls opened the first set on a 6-1 run as a kill from sophomore Megan Lipski prompted a Miami timeout. The RedHawks pulled within two as UB led 14-12 in the set, but a 6-3 Bulls' run gave them a 20-15 advantage. Miami pulled within 22-19, but the Bulls scored the final three points of the set with the final one coming on an ace from senior Carissa McKenna.
The RedHawks got out to the early lead in the second set, scoring five of the first six points. However, the Bulls quickly went ahead by using a 7-2 run, which was capped off on back-to-back kills from senior Christine Fritsche. The Bulls opened up a four-point lead, but Miami came back late and took a 21-20 advantage. The Bulls were able to tie the set back up at 23-23 and a kill from Lipski followed by a dump from setter Dani Reinert ended the set in favor of the Bulls, 25-23.
UB scored the first four points of the third set and seemed to dominate, but seven service errors kept the RedHawks in the match. Miami led just once in the set at 12-11, but a 4-0 run gave UB a 15-12 lead, which it would hold on to for good. The RedHawks pulled within two late at 23-21 and continued to trail 24-22 when a kill from sophomore Tahleia Bishop ended the set and the match.
"I thought tonight was a great team win for us," said head coach Todd Kress. "Our setters distributed the ball well and our hitters finished. We will enjoy this for the night, but know that we have a very important evening tomorrow against BG."
Bishop led the way with 13 kills, while Lipski added 10 kills and just two errors on 29 attempts. Fritsche added seven kills, while sophomore Amber Hatchett finished with six. Reinert led the way with 26 assists, while Taylor Pritchett added 12.
Defensively, senior Kelly Svoboda had another 7.0-dig per set evening as she finished with a match-high 21 digs. Reinert completed the double-double with 10 digs, while Lipski added nine. The Bulls had 8.0 total blocks, led by four from Hatchett and McKenna.
UB closes out MAC play tomorrow when it hosts Bowling Green at 7:30 pm. The Bulls need to defeat the Falcons and have Kent State defeat Eastern Michigan and Ohio defeat Central Michigan to make the upcoming MAC Tournament.
AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron (8-18, 2-13 MAC) volleyball team fell to Mid-American Conference opponent Bowling Green State University (14-13, 10-5 MAC) by 3-1 on Friday night at the James A. Rhodes Arena.
Akron started off the match well, as the squad took the first set, 26-24, and remained close in the second, 25-23, despite the loss. The Zips would suffer setbacks in the final two sets by scores of 25-17 and 25-20.
The Zips had three players – Alex Cocklin, Julie Shallman and Kelsey Wilson – reach double digits in kills. Shallman led the way with 16 kills, while Wilson followed up with 14 kills and a .423 kill percentage. Cocklin finished the game with 13 kills and 12 total digs.
Senior libero Jill Paluch posted a strong match with 24 total digs and one service ace. Tori Lanzilotti and Cocklin tied for second on the team with 12 digs each. Cocklin was the lone player on Akron to record a double-double with kills and digs.
Akron's blockers had a good deal of success against the Bowling Green. The Zips bested the Falcons, 24-12, in block assists. Shallman ended the night with a game-high eight block assists, while Alex Wiederholdt ranked second in the match with seven block assists.
UA will look ahead to Saturday, as the team is set to wrap up the 2013 regular season with another MAC matchup scheduled for 5 p.m., against Miami (Ohio).
DEKALB, Ill. – The Northern Illinois University volleyball team suffered a tough loss Friday night in Victor E. Court, falling to the Ball State Cardinals, 3-0.
The defeat ends NIU’s (17-12, 9-6 MAC) chances of claiming a share of the MAC West Division, as the BSU (23-7, 11-4 MAC) silenced a Huskie offense that had been hot as of late. Conversely, the Huskies allowed the Cardinals to hit .307 against them, which is the second-highest attack percentage against the NIU defense all season.
“Tonight was a good reminder of how important it is to stay consistent and play hard in our league, especially in our division,” said NIU head coach Ray Gooden. “Ball State really brought it tonight against us and the unfortunate thing is that we played hard, but we were just a step behind in all phases. It’s the first time we’ve lost in awhile and I hope it is a good reminder for us to stay on track.”
The Huskies got off to a good start in the match, building an 8-4 lead on BSU early in the first set. However, the Cardinals got back into the set with an extended 8-2 run – including five consecutive points and one juncture – to move ahead, 12-10. NIU tied it back up with a Mackenzie Roddy kill preceding an ace from Kayla Zeno. At 13-13, though, BSU broke away courtesy of an 8-3 run that gave the Cardinals a 21-16 edge. Kills from Jenna Radtke and Mary Grace Kelly, along with a Cardinal mishap, got the Huskies back to within two at 21-19, only to have the visitors finish the set on a 4-0 run to claim a 25-19 win in the opening stanza.
Neither side was able to gain an early advantage in the second set, as both sides hit over .500 in the first 17 points. After Sarah Angelos gave the Huskies a 9-8 lead, BSU again went on an extended run, this time with a 10-1 streak that put NIU in an 18-10 deficit. At that point, the Cardinals were able to coast to a 25-17 set two win and put the Huskies down 2-0 at the intermission.
Facing an uphill climb, the NIU offense got a slight jolt to start the third set with a 4-0 run to make it a 4-2 advantage. The Huskies kept the Cardinals at bay until, yet again, BSU took momentum away from NIU with a big run, as they turned a 7-5 Huskie lead into a 15-9 Cardinal edge. Refusing to fall easily, NIU fought back and tied the set at 17-17, thanks in small part to two spikes each from Angelos and Roddy. Three-straight points from the Cardinals gave them the lead at 20-17, but a pair of kills from Radtke helped launch the Huskies back to within 22-21 and give NIU a chance to turn the tide. Yet, three consecutive kills from BSU’s Lauren Grant ended the Huskie hopes and gave the Cardinals the 25-21 third set triumph.
Roddy led NIU with 10 kills and 10 digs on the night. Meanwhile, Angelos chipped in eight kills and the freshman duo of Radtke and Kelly each had six. Defensively, Justine Schepler compiled 10 digs and Alexis Gonzalez recorded nine.
The Huskies close out their regular season tomorrow night at 6 p.m. when they host to Toledo Rockets – who clinched the MAC West Division title tonight – on Senior Night. Prior to the match, Angelos, Tori Halbur, Schepler and Zeno will be honored for their contributions to the program.