Volleyball picks up first conference win against Western Michigan


Members of the CMU volleyball team gather together before the start of a match on Sunday, Oct. 2, 2016 in McGuirk Arena.

Senior setter Kathia Sanchez's heart was racing during the fifth and final set against Western Michigan on Sunday. 

After trailing 5-2 in set five, the Central Michigan volleyball team rebounded and the Las Piedras, Puerto Rico native sealed the win with a game-winning kill, giving CMU a 15-13 win in the set and a 3-2 win.

Sanchez finished the match with 41 assists. 

"I wanted to win so bad," Sanchez said. "We need to have a good week of practice to keep this momentum so we can win more games."

CMU trailed WMU in the entire fifth set before finishing on a 4-0 run to close out the match.

"I said this was going to be our set," said head coach Mike Gawlik. "It really doesn't matter that we got blown out 25-9, we need to re-focus. At the end of the day, we'd be going five sets."

Prior to Sunday, CMU had lost seven consecutive sets, but the Chippewas were able to claim their first Mid-American Conference victory of the season at McGuirk Arena. 

CMU (7-9, 1-3 MAC) battled back after dropping the first set to WMU 25-19, winning the next two sets before the Broncos won set four to force a fifth set. 

"Obviously, it was an exciting match," said head coach Mike Gawlik. "We hung in there in set five, and even though we were chasing points a lot in set five, I thought we were right in striking distance the majority of that set."

Sunday's win was also the Chippewas first win at home after losing its home opener on Friday to Northern Illinois.  

"Its going to bring momentum, definitely," said freshman middle blocker Jayla Wesley. "It allows us to see where we are as good volleyball players as a whole. We can only build up from here."

CMU returns to the court Thursday against Eastern Michigan. The match is scheduled for 7 p.m. at McGuirk Arena.