Volleyball falls to EMU, loses five match win streak
Playing its final regular season home game at McGuirk Arena for 2017, Central Michigan looked to improve its winning streak to six-straight matches Thursday night, Nov. 9.
Eastern Michigan had other plans.
After leading 2-0, CMU volleyball fell to EMU, 3-2, ending its winning streak.
The Chippewas now sit at 15-12 overall, 7-8 in Mid-American Conference play. Eastern Michigan improves to 14-17, 6-9 in MAC play.
“Hats off to Eastern Michigan,” said head coach Mike Gawlik. “When their back was against the wall they found a way to keep clawing and keep pressure on us.”
Set one proved to be all CMU, with the Eagles never leading despite three tie scores in the 25-19 set.
Jordan Bueter registered five kills, five digs and an ace in the opening set. Senior Taylor Roberston added two kills, three digs and two blocks.
Set two saw the Eagles continue to struggle, hitting only .083 percent, while failing to lead in the set that went to CMU, 25-20.
“We were executing our game plan and getting a lot of people involved early on,” Gawlik said. “We capitalized on any opportunity Eastern gave us.”
Bueter continued her strong play with five kills and four digs in set two. Freshman Kalina Smith also contributed five kills while adding a dig of her own.
Set three opened with EMU finding momentum early, opening leads as large as three on multiple occasions, including a 15-12 lead that forced at CMU timeout.
The Chippewas came out of time timeout unable to find the same momentum in the previous two sets. Gawlik took his second timeout of the set trailing 20-16.
The Eagles continued to keep momentum, taking the third set 25-20.
EMU continued its hot play into set four, leading as high as three points on multiple occasions for the second straight set. Despite multiple comeback attempts, including a four-point rally to tie the set at 24, EMU would pull away late, taking set four 27-25.
Set five proved even early, but CMU carried an 8-5 lead during the short break for teams to change sides.
As the dust settled on a competitive fifth set that featured six lead changes and 14 tied scores, the Eagles emerged victorious,19-17.
“Losing in five (sets) stinks, it’s a gut punch,” Gawlik said. “We have to get over that fast. We have Ohio lingering on Saturday with MAC Tournament implications. We have to very quickly, maybe not immediately, move on and prepare for a good Ohio squad on the road.
Bueter finished with a team-high 21 kills while adding 17 digs and two aces. Even with an impressive stat line, Bueter feels like she could’ve done more.
“I couldn’t dig a line ball for the life of me,” Bueter said. “(The stat sheet) looks alrightish. Probably could’ve served harder, (had) more digs.”
CMU finishes its regular season Saturday, Nov. 11 with a matchup with Ohio University in Athens, Ohio to keep its hopes of a MAC tournament appearance alive.
“It’s the last game of the regular season, so it’ll be pretty intense,” Robertson said. “We have to give it all we got because we never know when our last game will be. We have to treat it like this is our last game.”