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Volleyball drops sixth-straight match at Eastern Michigan

It was the same old story for the volleyball team as it traveled to Eastern Michigan Thursday and left with its sixth-straight loss by sweep.

Central Michigan needed just one win to clinch a spot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament, but it needs to win a single set before putting together a full match.

The Chippewas have now lost 11-straight sets and have been swept in three-straight matches. They were in first place of the MAC West Division when the match losing streak began, and they are now sitting in fifth place.

“We’ve been training very well, but we’re not applying it during matches,” head coach Erik Olson said. “We’re capable of executing at a higher level.”

In the first set CMU trailed 17-19, but the Eagles scored five-straight points to get within set point. The Chippewas scored back-to-back points but weren’t able to complete the comeback and lost 25-19.

CMU had a 21-19 lead in the second set, but EMU came back and won set two in extra points 27-25, taking a 2-0 lead into the break.

The Chippewas never led in the third set as the Eagles completed the sweep 25-19.

“We needed to distribute the ball better,” Olson said. “We were too one-dimensional in each phase of the game.”

Olson said after the losses last weekend against Western Michigan and Northern Illinois, he wanted to get the middle blockers more involved in the offense.

CMU was successful in doing that with junior middle blocker Danielle Gotham leading the team in kills with 11, while freshman middle blocker Angie White had eight kills.

“They’ve played much better and I’m glad Gotham got a chance, because she’s played well the last week and a half,” Olson said. “I think they can play even better yet.”

Junior setter Kelly Maxwell got her numbers back up as she had 46 assists (15.3 assists per set).

“She’s playing sick right now and doing the best she can,” Olson said. “She’s playing super hard and her game can get better as the whole team plays better.”

The Chippewas were led defensively by junior libero Jenna Coates who had 17 digs (5.7 digs per set).

CMU will come back home for a match with current MAC leader Ohio at 7 p.m. Saturday, the first of a three-match home stand to end the MAC regular season.

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