The volleyball team ended its season on a high note with a five-set victory Saturday against Ball State.
McGuirk Arena hosted senior night, where the Central Michigan seniors were honored prior to the match.
One honoree, senior Jocelyn VerVelde, recorded a season-high 11 digs, all of which occurred in the final two sets.
“I remember back to my senior night and sometimes a kid has a little extra fuel in the tank and Jocelyn has had a lot of fuel in the tank, and has these last couple games,” head coach Erik Olson said.
After a sloppy first few points, the Chippewas seemed to find their game again, pushing the first match to extra points but eventually falling to the Cardinals 31-29.
“This is about as close of a match we have had all season,” Olson said. “It was a well-played match by us; it was a very aggressive match played by us.”
Set two was the only set of the match not to go into extra points, yet it still captured the excitement of the other four games.
“This place was erupting on the huge points, it was just a great environment tonight,” Olson said. “I hope a lot of people fell in love with CMU volleyball this season.”
The team made a seven-point comeback early in the set and topped the Cardinals 23-25.
Set three, much like the entire match, was point-for-point, though CMU came out on top 29-27.
Ball State topped CMU 26-24 in the fourth set – the set VerVelde found her rhythm.
“I got the opportunity, and I seized it,” VerVelde said. “I’m proud of how I played; I’m proud of how the team played.”
Tied at 7-7 in the final set, the Chippewas and Cardinals switched benches, and CMU began their rally to victory, winning 17-15.
“Tonight was definitely for the seniors,” senior Lindsey Dulude said. “All seniors always want to go out on a win.”
Senior Val DeWeerd ended the night with 17 kills, while Dulude had a career-high 20 kills and 20 digs. Leading the offense was sophomore outside hitter, Kaitlyn McIntyre with 26 kills.
Kelly Maxwell was one assist shy of a school record, putting up a career-high 79 assists in addition to her 12 digs.
This night may give the Chippewas the spark they need to contend for yet another conference championship.
“Tonight is going to give us momentum,” McIntyre said. “Really, any win is going to give us momentum, but, at this point, that is really what we are going for.”
CMU will enter into the Mid-American Conference as the six seed, the same seed it held last year when it won the conference tournament, earning an appearance in the NCAA tournament.
The Chippewas will face No.3 Western Michigan their first game of the tournament, a team they split wins with this season.