Eastern Michigan Tops Toledo In Five-Set Thriller

Updated 11/22/2013

MAC Volleyball Tournament Central
MAC Volleyball Tournament Bracket

Eastern Michigan 3, Toledo 2
GENEVA, Ohio (EMUEagles.com)
– The Eastern Michigan University volleyball moved on in the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament Friday night, Nov. 22, after taking a four set match with the No. 2 seeded University of Toledo. The Eagles fell in the opening set, 14-25, before knotting things up at one match apiece with a 25-19 second set victory.  Eastern then used extra sets at the SPIRE Institute defeating Toledo, 27-25, in the third set of the match to go up 2-1, but the Rockets then pulled out a 30-28 fourth set win, setting things up for a fifth set. Eastern then topped Toledo 15-11 in the final frame to take the four set victory. It was the first time since the 2010 season that EMU moved on past the first round in the MAC Tournament.

The Eagles were led by Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) who set a career-high with 21 kills, while posting a .462 attack percentage. Jill Briner (Oak Park, Ill.-Oak Park and River Forest (Northeastern)) posted 10 kills and career-best 57 assists in the Eagles four set win. Stacey Perinar (Channahon, Ill.-Minooka Community) posted 17 kills, while Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) and Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) posted 11 and seven kills, respectively. Despite being out-hit .192 to .188, the Eagles took down the second seed in the 2013 conference tournament.
Defensively, Corynne Smith (Norwalk, Ohio-St. Paul) picked up 22 digs. Her 22 digs moved her to 654 on the season, giving her the second-most in EMU history for one season. Crawshaw and Katie Krasowski (Oak Lawn, Ill.-Marist) each posted five block assists, while Roback and Short contributed four apiece. Briner also posted three block assists.
Eastern struggled offensively in the opening frame, hitting -.024, in the 14-25 set loss. EMU had just six kills in the set, three of which came off the hand of Roback. Conversely, Jordan Kielty posted six kills, while Lauren Rafdal and Becca Reidy each contributed four. Ellen Hays helped the Rockets cause by picking up 10 digs in the opening set.
Set two was a different story for EMU as it took the set, 25-19. The Green and White hit .200, with 14 kills in the set, en route to a 25-19 frame win. Short led the way with four kills, while Briner and Roback each had a trio. However, Crawshaw and Perinar each added two of their own, while holding Toledo to just an .083 attack percentage. Rafdal led the Rockets in the frame with five kills.
Set three was strong offensively for the Eagles, hitting .340 as a team in the 27-25 set victory. Short was stellar going 7-for-11 in attack attempts, while Briner and Perinar each posted four kills of their own. Briner was also able to add 18 assists in the set. Despite only holding Toledo to a .279 attack percentage, the Green and White used its strong offensive play to take a 2-1 set lead.
Perinar and Short were the offensive catalysts in the fourth set, but EMU was unable to hold off the Rockets in the 28-30 set loss. Perinar went 6-for-13 in attack attempts, while making a pair of errors, while Short posted five kills. Three other Eagles added a pair of kills, while Crawshaw posted three of her own. Briner added a set-high 17 assists, but the Rockets used a .244 attack percentage and six kills from Rafdal to knot things up at two sets apiece.
The Eagles took the fifth and final frame, 15-11, using 4-for-7 offensive performances from Perinar and Short. The duo hit .571 on its own, while the team hit .208. EMU held the Rockets to a -.091 attack percentage, with just three kills in the set.
The Green and White advance to the semifinal round of the tournament where they will faceoff with the winner of the No. 3 Ball State University and No. 6 Western Michigan University match later tonight. The Eagles will square off with their opponent Saturday, Nov. 23, for a 5 p.m. matchup at the SPIRE Institute.