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Saturday's MAC Volleyball Results

September 30, 2012
INDIANA SPORTS PAGE



Western Michigan def. Ball State, 3-1

KALAMAZOO, Mich. - The Western Michigan women's volleyball team hit better than .330 as a team for the second straight match, and the Broncos capped a weekend sweep with a 3-1 (25-11, 25-21, 20-25, 25-19) win over Mid-American Conference foe Ball State.  With the win, the Broncos improve to 10-6, 3-1 in the MAC.
 
The Broncos hit .336 as a unit against the Cardinals one night after combining for a .386 average against the Toledo Rockets on Friday, with three players reaching triple digits in kills.  Jessica Brown and Richelle Ranney each tied the match-high with 13 kills, while Ali Gossen recorded 10 kills.  Lena Oliver had a match-high 23 digs in the match, leading a Broncos' defense that out-blocked BSU 7.0 to 4.0 and out-dug them 54-43.
 
The Broncos started the match with an impressive offensive display in the first set, taking the 2-1 lead on a kill from Ranney and never looking back.  The Broncos took a 7-2 lead when Brown and Terin Norris combined for a block, and Norris capped the 8-2 run with a kill that forced a Ball State timeout.  The Broncos' lead reached double-digits when Carlee Berland notched a kill to make the score 20-10, and Berland would cap the set with a kill to make it 25-11.
 
The Broncos would get off to a similar lead in the second set, opening on an 11-5 run that was capped by a pair of service aces from Norris.  The lead swelled to seven points when Caroline Rose recorded a service ace of her own to make it 15-8, and the Broncos were the first to reach 20 points in the set when Ranney notched a kill to take a 20-14 lead.  Ball State pulled to within 24-21, but Stephenee Yancy ripped a kill to close the set at 25-21.
 
After dropping the third set to the Cardinals, the Broncos bounced back and closed out the home win with a strong offensive set.  The teams traded points early on, but the Broncos sparked a 4-0 run when Yancy recorded a kill to make it 8-6.  Gossen would go down line for a kill on the next point, Kaycee Acree would notch a back row kill to make it 11-7, and Oliver's service ace would force the Cardinals into calling a timeout.  
 
Ball State would inch closer to the Broncos for the remainder of hte set, but Ranney and Yancy combined for a block to give WMU an 18-15 lead, and Ranney recorded another kill to take the 19-15 lead and force a second Cardinal timeout.  Brown went off the block for the kill to make it 24-18, and ripped one through the block for match point two plays later.
 
Central Michigan def. Kent State, 3-0
KENT, Ohio - Central Michigan showed off its balance and depth inearning its second straight sweep Saturday night, taking down Kent State, 25-11, 25-20, 26-24.
 
The Chippewas (9-6) improved to 3-1 in Mid-American Conference play, marking their best start in conference play since starting 3-1 in 2009. The Golden Flashes (4-12) dropped to 0-4 in MAC play.
 
The Chippewas made quick work of the first set, jumping out to an early 7-1 lead that featured kills by freshman Angie White and sophomore Kaitlyn McIntyre to force the Golden Flashes into a timeout. A double block by junior Danielle Gotham and McIntyre gave CMU a 10-3 advantage and another kill by White pushed the lead to double digits, 16-6.
 
White continued to dominate the floor, coming up with a solo block to keep the lead at 10, 18-8, and eventually teamed with senior Val DeWeerd to close the set with a double block, 25-11. The freshman finished with six kills and two blocks in the first set.
 
The Maroon and Gold were slowed to start the second set, falling behind before an ace by McIntyre tied the match at 7-7 and eventually a kill by DeWeerd gave CMU a 10-8 lead. The Chippewas continued to hold a slim advantage and pushed its lead to 16-14 on a kill by freshman Kalle Mulford and later to four, 21-17, on a kill from Dulude. Sophomore Hallie Enderle gave CMU set point, 24-19, with a kill from the left side and KSU was unable to return the ball on the next point to give CMU the set, 25-19.
 
The McIntyre show was on display in set three as the sophomore continued to show why she is one of the best outside hitters in the MAC. McIntyre scoredfour of CMU's first seven points as the Chippewas jumped out to an early 7-5 lead. The Golden Flashes continued to battle however, tying the match at 12 and eventually took the lead, 21-20, to force a CMU timeout.
 
A double block from junior Kelly Maxwell and White tied the match at 21 and after a KSU point, again Maxwell tied the match with a kill, forcing the Golden Flashes to call a timeout. McIntyre then scored the Chippewas' next four points, including an ace to that just dropped in front of the back line to give CMU the set and the match, 26-24.
 
McIntyre finished set three with eight kills and led the Chippewas with 13 on the night. White gave CMU two players in double digits as she finished with 10 kills and five blocks, while Dulude slammed home nine.
 
Maxwell dished out a match-high 39 assists, while Coates had a match-high 11 digs on the defensive side of the net.
 
The Chippewas offense was in sync all night, finishing the evening with 46 kills and a .348 hitting percentage. CMU also recorded six aces for the second-straight match.
 
CMU will continue play on the road next Friday at Ball State before closing its current road trip at Toledo Saturday.
 
Bowling Green def. Buffalo, 3-1
Buffalo, N.Y. – The Bowling Green State University volleyball team set a number of school records and posted 23.0 blocks as the Falcons improved to 4-0 in Mid-American Conference play with a 25-21, 25-13, 23-25, 25-22 victory over Buffalo Saturday night.
 
Bowling Green’s 23.0 total blocks broke the school record of 21.0 in a four-set match, set against Virginia Tech in 1992. The total was just one shy of the overall school record of 24.0 set in a five-set match against Cincinnati in 1990.
 
As well, the Falcons had 40 block assists, shattering the school record of 36 set against Kansas in 1993. Leah Shaw, the defending MAC Defensive Player of the Week, led the way with 12 blocks. In fact, her 11 block assists tied the school record for most block assists in a four-set match. Shaw set a career-high with seven blocks a week ago and then upped that total Saturday night. She is averaging a remarkable 2.20 blocks per set over the past three matches and the 12 blocks are the most since Kendra Halm had 14 in 2008.
 
The win was the fourth in a row for the Falcons but the team actually dropped a set for the first time in conference play after winning the first two. BGSU, though, bounced back to close out the match in the fourth.
 
Bowling Green held Buffalo to an .044 attack percentage and outdug the Bulls 69-65. Three Falcons had at least 10 kills and Ashley Dunn posted a career-best 27 digs, just three shy of Chrissy Gothke’s four-set school record of 30 set in 2003.
 
“Tonight was another great road win for us because it was a tough environment to play in and Buffalo played well and never gave up,” BGSU Head Coach Danijela Tomic said. “This match was a reversal of last night’s match because our defense was extremely good and our offense struggled. However, it is a sign of a mature team when we are not doing well in one aspect of the game that we can make up for it by doing well in another.”
 
The Falcons battled back from a 4-0 deficit in the opening set to tie the score at 8-8. With the score still tied at 11-11, Bowling Green used a 7-1 run to take control. Buffalo chipped away at the lead and got within two at 22-20 but back-to-back attack errors helped the Falcons pull out a 25-21 win.
 
The second set was tied 9-9 but Bowling Green closed on a 16-4 run to win easily. The Falcons finally lost a set for the first time in two weeks as Buffalo closed the third by scoring five of the final seven points to earn the victory and push the match to a fourth frame.
 
Buffalo jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth, but the Falcons steadied themselves and scored five straight midway through the stanza to build a 17-14 lead. The Bulls answered with three straight points but Bowling Green never trailed again and got a Danielle Tonyan kill to close out the 25-22 win.
 
With the loss, Buffalo falls to 7-9 overall and 1-3 in MAC play. Bowling Green improves to 8-7 overall and remains the only undefeated team in the MAC at 4-0. The Falcons will be home to face 0-4 Miami Thursday night at 7 p.m. before hosting 3-1 Western Michigan Saturday at 7 p.m.
 
Akron def. Miami, 3-1
AKRON, Ohio – The University of Akron volleyball team locked up its 700th victory in the history of the program in a pivotal five set thriller over Miami (Ohio) Saturday evening in front of the hometown crowd.
 
UA bounced back from being shut out the night before, and the match was nothing short of a nail-biter from start to finish. The Zips capitalized on career nights from Tina Dimitrijevs and Paiton Twitty and fielded three players with double-doubles to improve their record to 9-7 and 2-2 in the Mid-American Conference.
 
Dimitrijevs exploded for a career-high 25 kills with only three miscues for a match-high .524 hitting percentage to set the tone for Akron offensively. The rest of the team followed in suit, with Twitty capturing a new career mark of her own with 14 kills, and Alex Cocklin chipping in 11.
 
The senior-freshman tandem of Morgan Kuhn and Ashley Holder was integral to Akron's game plan all night, as the duo was able to place the ball perfectly to enable the middles to convert points consistently. The two setters each finished with assists-digs double-doubles, Holder doubling her previous record with 18 assists and 13 digs, and Kuhn with 41 and 11.
 
The road to UA's milestone victory started to twist and turn around the third set. After forfeiting a six point lead and coming up empty handed in the first set, and nearly making the same mistake in the second set, Akron entered the third period with the match tied 1-1.
 
Although Akron stayed in line with Miami in the early going of the third, it would see its last advantage at the 11-10 mark before the RedHawks were able to distance themselves and lead by as many as six before securing the victory. The Zips were held to a .068 hitting percentage during that set, their lowest of the match.
 
The turning point of the match was near the end of the fourth set, which could have gone in either team's favor with the score locked at 19. Miami scored on the next play to go up by one at 20-19 and Akron called a timeout.
 
Cocklin came through in the clutch to get the ball rolling, scoring right after the break to tie it up again at 20-all. Akron recovered from a bad set with a Twitty kill, and forced Miami into a hitting error to go back up at 22-21 and make the RedHawks stop and adjust. The Zips scored three points on the next three plays, highlighted by two of Dimitrijevs' kills, to win the fourth set and gain the edge they would need to dominate the fifth.
 
There was no question who the final set belonged to after Akron charged ahead with five unanswered points to start things off. Five of UA's 15 points in the period came off the hands of Dimitrijevs, who Miami could not find an answer for. Mary Delich and Alex Wiederholt came up with big plays in key situations as well to ensure that Akron came out on the right side of the contest.
 
Not to be discounted, a big reason for the success of the Zips' offense against Miami was the stand-up effort shown by the defense. Almost everyone on Akron's roster was a defensive specialist on Saturday, as five different players finished with 10 or more digs, with Jill Paluch leading the way at 16.
 
With the victory, Akron has already surpassed its win total in conference play from last season in just the second weekend of MAC action.
 
Next up on Akron's slate is a trip to Ohio on Friday, Oct. 5 for a 7 p.m. match, followed by a showdown with rival Kent State on Saturday, Oct. 6. That 7 p.m. match will be the team's first shot this season at earning points towards the PNC Wagon Wheel Challenge.
 
Ohio def. Eastern Michigan, 3-0
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball won its third match in a row on Saturday evening, sweeping Eastern Michigan, 25-20, 25-17, 25-23. It was the third-straight win for the Bobcats, who have also won their last nine sets.
 
Ohio improved to 8-8 on the season and moved to 3-1 in Mid-American Conference play. The Bobcats have not lost to EMU since 2001.
 
Kelly Lamberti notched her second double-double of the weekend with 14 kills and 14 digs. Classmate Chelsea Bilger matched her season-high with 14 kills and added seven digs. Serena Warner and Faith Robins each notched six kills with the senior tallying five blocks and the sophomore adding four.
 
Abby Gilleland had 42 assists, her most in a three-set match this season. She has now surpassed the 40-assist mark in three matches (Illinois, Dayton). Meredith Ashy surpassed 20 digs for the fifth time this season and second time in a row, leading Ohio with 21. Mollie Geske was also strong on the back line with her fourth double-digit dig contest of the year with 12.
 
Lexie Hartnett led Ohio on the night with seven blocks, a season-high as Ohio racked up 11.0 total team blocks for the second match in a row. The Bobcats lead the MAC in blocking with an average of 2.66 per set and rank 30th in the nation.
 
“The biggest key to the game for us was being able to score well against them (49 kills, .222),” Head Coach Ryan Theis said. “Then on the back end we had 11 blocks against their attackers and limited them to a sub-.100 hitting percentage.”
 
“We have been focused for the entire match, and I think that was something we had not been doing,” Chelsea Bilger said. “I think that has led to us playing more consistently and accurately during these past three matches.”
 
Ohio trailed EMU in the first set 7-3 when Mollie Geske stepped to the service line. The sophomore ignited a rally that saw nine-straight points go the way of the Bobcats as they took the lead 12-7. Still in front 18-14, two kills by Lamberti and a dual block from Hartnett and Robins pushed the lead to seven and forced an EMU timeout.
 
The Eagles sliced the gap to three at 21-18 but the ‘Cats staved off the rally and took the set, 25-20 on Bilger’s fifth kill of the set. Lamberti notched eight kills in the first frame and Hartnett racked up four blocks.
 
Ohio scored six of the first eight points and nine of the first 12 in the second set to take a six-point lead and force an EMU timeout. Eventually, a kill by Warner would up the cushion to nine at 17-8 as the Eagles used their second and final timeout of the set.
 
A three-point run that featured an ace by Warner and the first kill of the game for Karin Bull pushed the lead to double figures at 21-10. The visitors would get as close as seven points, but eventually fall after Warner’s second kill of the set won it for the ‘Cats, 25-17.
 
Ohio jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the third set before the Eagles rattled off four in a row to take a lead. The teams would trade points until the Green and White scored three in order thanks to the strong play of Robins, to take a 16-13 lead and force an EMU timeout.
 
The Eagles would not quit and eventually took a 19-17 lead on an ace to force Ohio to use one of its timeout. The ‘Cats used another timeout after tying the set and then seeing the visitors notch back-to-back points. Down 22-20, Bilger and Warner tied the score and the duo combined on a block for a one-point lead.
 
An ace from Ashy put Ohio point away from winning the match and after an EMU timeout, Bilger tacked on her fifth kill of the set for a 25-22 win and a sweep of their MAC West foe.
 
Ohio stays at home next weekend for matches with Akron and Buffalo on Friday and Saturday. The two contests are both scheduled for 7 p.m. starts.

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