Volleyball drops MAC opener in five sets
In its first Mid-American Conference match of the season, the Central Michigan volleyball team fell to Ball State in five sets Friday in Muncie.
After losing the first two sets, the Chippewas evened the match, winning sets three and four to force a fifth match. The Cardinals took the tie-breaker 15-11. CMU is now 0-1 in the MAC and 6-7 overall.
Head coach Mike Gawlik said his team came out “ready to fight,” but couldn’t keep the rhythm in the fifth set.
“I really liked our resiliency and I really liked our fight,” Gawlik said. “We could have been in a position to win and although I thought we were aggressive, Ball State just made more plays on the stretch.”
Gawlik highlighted outside hitter Jordan Bueter and freshman libero Megan Kern as defensive leaders in Friday’s match. Kern recorded 21 digs, while Bueter tallied 12 and led the Chippewas with 24 kills.
Laura Wilson added 12 kills and Paige Carey had 10. Senior setter Kathia Sanchez led the team in assists, recording 53. CMU finished with a .239 hitting percentage.
“It’s unfortunate that we lost,” Gawlik said. “We’ve definitely identified things we need to get better at for sure, but we’re on our way to Toledo and now we need to focus on this next match and hopefully come home with a win this weekend.”
The Chippewas head to Toledo to play the Rockets Saturday at 5 p.m. Toledo (7-6 overall) dropped its first MAC match 3-2 to Eastern Michigan on Friday.