Volleyball travels to Eastern Michigan Thursday before three-game home stand

Times are tough for women’s volleyball as it will be traveling to Eastern Michigan Thursday before heading home to play Ohio on Saturday.

Central Michigan is currently on a five-match losing streak during which it has lost 10 of its last 12 sets – including eight-straight sets.

With the Mid-American Conference Tournament just two weeks away, the team knows it needs to win in the closing weeks.

“It’s important, but we’re not going in with the mentality that we need a win,” junior middle blocker Danielle Gotham said. “We know it’s an important match, and we just need to put the things together.”

The Chippewas have to travel to Ypsilanti for a 7 p.m. match on Thursday with the Eagles before they settle in at home for their final three matches.

CMU defeated EMU earlier this season in a sweep during which each set was decided by the minimum two points.

“When I walked out of the gym that night, we won 3-0, and I thought we could’ve lost that match in five,” head coach Erik Olson said.

A lot has changed around the league since that match. The Eagles are holding on to the final spot in the MAC Tournament (No. 8 seed), just one game behind the Chippewas and Ball State.

“We’ve both gone through our struggles,” Olson said. “We’re two even opponents, and we’re going to need to play our best ball.”

CMU will return to McGuirk Arena for a 7 p.m. matchup with MAC leader Ohio Saturday. That match will mark the first of a three-match home streak to finish out the season.

“I think we’re all excited after this little stretch here on the road,” Gotham said. “It’s always nice to be at home.”

The Bobcats lead the conference in hitting percentage, opponent hitting percentage and blocks. They are also in the top five in assists, kills  and digs, lacking an apparent weakness.

“We know how to beat them,” Olson said. “The advantage is that we’re at home where we’ve played Ohio to five (sets) a few times.”

The Chippewas should have a good idea of where they sit in the MAC after this weekend.

As it stands right now, the Chippewas are the No. 6 seed – the same seed they were last season when they made their championship run.

“It’s not like we live and die by (the standings), but I think we all know where we are,” Gotham said. “We just know if we do what we can, we can be one of the best teams.”


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