The volleyball team will face its first true Mid-American Conference road test at 7 p.m. Friday when it when it travels to Ball State.
The Cardinals are 29-2 at John E. Worthen Arena in the last three seasons, and Central Michigan hasn’t won there since 2008.
“(Ball State) brings a fantastic record at Worthen Arena,” head coach Erik Olson said. “They’re used to winning at home, so they have that going for them.”
The Chippewas come into the contest on a three-match winning streak, but they will be focusing on breaking a five-match losing streak to BSU.
“That gives us some motivation for sure,” senior defensive specialist Samantha Brawley said. “Their gym is a tough environment to play in, and the motivation to get to go back will help us play hard.”
If the losing streak wasn’t incentive enough, the Cardinals were picked to finish second in the MAC West preseason poll – one spot ahead of CMU.
“Yeah, it gives us (motivation),” Brawley said. “But we get motivated for every MAC team. It’s a crazy conference, and you never know what will happen on any night.”
The Chippewas continue their road trip at 7:30 p.m. Saturday when they travel to Toledo.
The Rockets haven’t gotten off to a fast start. They are 7-9 overall and 1-3 in MAC play, with all three losses coming in sweeps to Northern Illinois, Western Michigan and the Cardinals.
“Toledo is very aggressive, and despite being ranked last in aces per set, they’re a pretty good serving team,” Olson said. “They are getting their opponent out of their system pretty well.”
Not only are the Rockets at the bottom of the conference in aces per set, they’re at the bottom half of every statistical category in the MAC.
Despite that, Olson still believes Toledo is a dangerous team.
“They’re not all that great with their defensive system yet,” Olson said. “But I think they can side out and that makes them a dangerous team and very capable.”