Volleyball earns five-set victory over Eastern
Head Coach Mike Gawlik described his team’s five-set victory over Eastern Michigan on Friday night as an “exciting, up and down rollercoaster of a match.”
After taking the first match against the Eagles 25-22, the Central Michigan volleyball team fell short in set two, falling 25-15.
“I thought we got away from what made us successful in set one,” Gawlik said about set two. “I didn’t like our look and I didn’t like the way we were presenting ourselves. I just felt like we had this look of panic.”
Between sets two and three, Gawlik empowered his team to come back in the next sets to “change their fate.” The Chippewas rallied in set three, but fell 25-22. They responded in the last two sets, defeating the Eagles 25-17 and 15-8.
Gawlik highlighted sets four and five as a “top-notch response” to EMU’s strong defense.
“They dig a lot of balls and they force you into being impatient within rallies,” Gawlik said about EMU. “We have to be patient and mature in those moments and kind of wait for the right opportunity and yet keep swinging.”
Outside hitter Jordan Bueter led CMU with 16 kills and a team-high .233 hitting percentage. She highlighted her fellow outside hitters Taylor Robertson and Laura Wilson, who each added 13 kills.
“I just love playing next to them,” Beuter said. “They both bring great energy. There was one time (Robertson) had a jump kill and she jumped probably higher than my body.”
Robertson finished with the next highest hitting percentage, at .200.
Middle blocker Paige Carey added eight kills and led the Chippewas in blocks, tallying seven. Freshman libero Megan Kern contributed 18 of CMU’s 54 digs.
CMU claimed its first Mid-American Conference victory over Western Michigan on Sunday. With Thursday’s win, the Chippewas (8-9, 2-3 MAC) are now ranked number four in the MAC West behind Ball State (7-11, 3-1 MAC).
“I think we’re getting in a groove now,” Beuter said. “I don’t necessarily like 5 set games, that’s not our plan originally. But I think it’s a step. I think we have many more steps to take, but as a whole we’re definitely moving in the right direction,”
Comparing his team’s confidence to a house of cards, Gawlik said the Chippewas’ momentum has a tendency to crash easily after being built up early on in matches.
The Chippewas need to “find their consistency” and carry their momentum into Saturday when they hit the road to play Kent State at 6 p.m. at the Memorial Athletic Convocation Center.