Volleyball looks to rebound on the road against Buffalo, Akron
The volleyball team had its six-match winning streak snapped Saturday and is looking to start over on the road against Buffalo and Akron.
Central Michigan begins its five-match road trip at 7 p.m. Friday when it plays the Bulls, who have struggled this season and find themselves at the bottom of the Mid-American Conference East Division.
“Buffalo is a big blocking team and a lively serving team,” head coach Erik Olson said. “They have a lot of balls that hit the top of the net and are just out a lot, but if you get them on the right night, then that’s a scary night.”
Buffalo is second in the MAC in blocks with 2.30 per set and first in serving aces with 1.29 per set.
After the match against the Bulls, the Chippewas will get right back on the road for their 5 p.m. match on Saturday with Akron.
The Zips are 10-10 overall and 3-5 in the MAC, which gives them the No. 7 seed in the MAC Tournament as of now.
“Akron went to five (sets) at Northern (Illinois) last week and looked pretty good,” Olson said. “If they play aggressive, they could be a good ball club and are a team that can steal some wins.”
Akron is led by senior middle blocker Tina Dimitrijevs, who leads the MAC in hitting percentage (.375) and is tenth in kills (3.25 per set).
Following the loss to Bowling Green on Saturday, Olson said his team has been trending down in the past weeks, despite going 3-1. However, he feels the team has taken a step forward this week in practice.
“I don’t know if it was the championship game type atmosphere, but I think we lost that (one point at a time) process,” Olson said. “I think we’re in a pretty good place now … we’ve made a lot of strides with our team this week.”
CMU’s schedule doesn’t get any easier from here. Following this week, the team travels to Western Michigan, Northern Illinois and Eastern Michigan before ending the MAC season at home for three matches.
“We think every game in the MAC is pivotal, because you never know what each team will bring on a given night,” junior setter Kelly Maxwell said. “Every game is a must-win game, and finishing up in the East (division) on a good note will be good for us heading into the rest of the West (division).”
The standings at the halfway point have the Chippewas as the No. 3 seed behind the unbeaten Falcons and Ohio, both in the MAC East. The Huskies, Broncos and Eagles have the No. 4-6 seeds, with Ball State sitting in the final tournament spot.
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