Volleyball posts season-high hitting percentage; tops Oakland in home opener 3-1
McGuirk Arena opened its doors for the first time this school year Thursday with a Central Michigan volleyball 3-1 win over Oakland University.
The Chippewas (4-3) earned the victory against the Golden Grizzles (3-4) behind a strong offensive performance, with a season-high hitting percentage of .371.
“It felt great to go out and hit above .300,” outside hitter Kaitlyn McIntyre said. “We have to keep that up and keep the offense going.”
The offense was led by McIntyre, who had 18 kills, while senior outside hitter Lindsey Dulude was right behind her with 14.
Freshman middle blocker Angelique White continued her strong start to the season with 10 kills in the match. Senior outside hitter Val DeWeerd also had nine kills.
“(White’s) upside is incredible and is on track to be as good, if not better than, (Kaitlyn) Schultz,” head coach Erik Olson said.
The offensive effort was directed by junior setter Kelly Maxwell, who led the team with 49 assists. Passing was a key issue this past weekend for Olson when CMU went 1-2 in the adidas/Michigan Challenge against Michigan, Arkansas and the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
“The difference between tonight and last weekend was our passing,” Olson said. “We did a lot of work with our transition in practice yesterday and probably the toughest of our seniors’ careers.”
As a team, the Chippewas collected 53 digs on the night. They were led once again by junior libero Jenna Coates with 14. She is averaging 5.20 digs per set.
“I assume Oakland was trying to keep the ball away from her because her dig total was actually down,” Olson said. “It wasn’t that she was missing digs; (she) just didn’t have many opportunities, but when she did, she dug it.”
CMU is back in action this weekend when it travels to Raleigh, N.C. to play in the Courtyard Midtown Classic, hosted by North Carolina State.
The Chippewas open play at 4:00 p.m. Friday against Campbell.
“We’ll start breaking down film tomorrow morning,” Olson said. “NC State has done a tremendous job the past two seasons and is probably the most improved team in the ACC.”
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