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Volleyball hopes to carry momentum into Thursday’s meeting with EMU

The volleyball team is looking to keep its momentum going this week after its four-set win over rival Western Michigan.

Central Michigan will host rival Eastern Michigan at 7 p.m. on Thursday at McGuirk Arena before hitting the road to play Kent State at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

“We really clicked Saturday night (against the Broncos),” senior outside hitter Lindsey Dulude said. “That will definitely carry over to this weekend, especially Thursday.”

The Eagles saw the same opponents the Chippewas did last weekend. EMU lost to the Broncos in five sets, before beating the Huskies in a three-set sweep; a role reversal of CMU, who dropped a four-set match with NIU before beating WMU.

“Both teams weren’t as good when they played Eastern (Michigan),” head coach Erik Olson said. “I wish we had that against us (last week). It would’ve been a little easier.”

The Eagles’ offense was led by senior outside hitter Rachel Iaquaniello, who had back-to-back double-double performances last weekend. Iaquaniello recorded 26 kills and 14 digs against the Broncos before having 14 kills and 11 digs against the Huskies.

Iaquaniello; she’s a puzzle, and, in our minds, she is very similar to (Lindsey) Dulude,” Olson said. “She’s good, and she’s what they’ve built their whole team around.”

Defensively, freshman libero Sierra Reed also had a strong opening weekend of MAC play. Reed recorded 20 digs in each match, giving her an average of five per game.

“Defensively, they lost (Haley) Stein, who was amazing,” Olson said. “However, to compensate for that, they are probably playing better defense as a team.”

The Golden Flashes (4-10, 1-1 MAC) will take on the Chippewas on Saturday, and they’ve struggled thus far this season. In their 10 losses, they have been swept eight times, including five of their last six matches.

Saturday’s match will be the first conference competition on the road this season for CMU (7-6, 1-1 MAC) at The Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center in Kent, Ohio.

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