Volleyball falls in N.C. invitational finale 3-1
In its final non-conference tournament of the season the Central Michigan volleyball team dropped the final match in four sets against host North Carolina State.
The Chippewas (6-4) won their first two matches of the Courtyard Midtown Invitational in Raleigh, N.C. against Campbell and Western Carolina, before taking on the host Wolfpack (8-1) in the tournament finale.
CMU took the first set 25-20 before N.C. State took the next three sets (25-22, 25-22 and 29-27).
“It was a great match,” head coach Erik Olson said. “(It was) a little streaky from both sides and I think that inevitably cost us.”
The Chippewas were lead in the match offensively behind the strength of three double-digit kill performances against the Wolfpack.
Sophomore outside hitter Kaitlyn McIntyre led the team with 17 kills, while senior outside hitter Lindsey Dulude had 14 kills and junior middle blocker Danielle Gotham had 12. Junior setter Kelly Maxwell had 55 assists.
“Gotham had a great weekend,” Olson said. “(McIntyre’s) arm was really good and Lindsey (Dulude) was aggressive.”
Defensively, junior libero Jenna Coates continued her strong start to the season with 25 digs in the match. Coates had 20 total digs between the first two matches and averaged 4.58 digs per set in the tournament.
“We played together, but just couldn’t put it together,” Coates said.
CMU won its first match of the tournament against the Camels (4-7) in a sweep. The team was led by freshman middle blocker Angelique White with eight kills, while Maxwell had 33 assists.
The Chippewas won match two of the tournament against the Catamounts (3-7) in four sets. They lost the first set with extra points (26-24), before taking the next three (25-18, 25-8 and 25-19) in route to the win.
Defense was the story in that match with 69 digs, led by Coates with 19 and Dulude with 18, along with 19 block assists led by White’s four. Offensively, McIntyre led the way with 16 kills, while Maxwell had 46 assists.
“They were a scrappy team,” Coates said. “Our blockers made good tips and we made good reads.”
The Chippewas return to McGuirk Arena at 7 p.m. Saturday against IPFW in their final match before starting the Mid-American Conference schedule.
“IPFW will be a great opponent,” Olson said. “We’re going to use the next few days and get healthy.”
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