Volleyball heads on the road to face Akron and Buffalo
Following a four game home-stretch, the Central Michigan volleyball team heads back on the road this weekend still in search of their first Mid-American Conference victory of the season at Akron (10-9, 2-6 MAC) and Buffalo (12-8, 4-4 MAC).
Well over a month since its last win against Indiana State on September 8, CMU (3-17, 0-8 MAC) has lost 11-straight games.
After having played and lost against two of the best teams in the MAC East division in Miami and Bowling Green, head coach Mike Gawlik hopes to see the spurts of solid performances to translate to more consistent play against Akron and Buffalo.
"Overall I think we're looking to build upon what I felt were some good things last weekend," Gawlik said. "We were playing some of the top teams in the MAC last week and fell a couple points shy and were in position in a couple sets that we lost."
Game 1: Akron 7 p.m. Friday
Having recently lost to Northern Illinois and Western Michigan, Akron enters Friday on a small two-game losing streak.
Strong at home, the Zips are 6-3 on their court with losses to MAC West leaders Miami and Bowling Green and a Power Five conference opponent, Maryland. In addition, Akron is one of the most efficient serving teams in the conference, boasting a MAC leading 1.58 aces per set.
While Gawlik acknowledged the talent of Akron, he emphasize that the outcome relies solely on CMU's ability to consistently execute and reduce mistakes.
"I think Akron has been a team that has surprised people throughout the year," Gawlik said. "Our biggest focus is how we execute on our side, limiting our errors and taking advantage of opportunities when we have them."
Akron is one of the most efficient serving teams in the conference, boasting a MAC leading 1.58 aces per set.
Game 2: Buffalo 7 p.m. Saturday
Opposite of Akron, Buffalo defeated both Western Michigan and Northern Illinois last weekend and are riding a two-game win streak into Saturday's matchup with CMU.
Buffalo has dominated the matchup in the past four years, holding a 3-1 record in matches against CMU.
The Bulls currently sit near the top of the conference in fourth for hitting percentage .222, and allow the least number of digs in the MAC.
Gawlik sees a lot of his team in Buffalo, finding similarities in their defense and overall physicality but stressed that to beat Buffalo, CMU has to pour it on offensively.
"Buffalo is good too," Gawlik said. "They have physicallity that matches ours, our ability to defend and their ability to defend is one of the things that has held both teams back from winning some more matches but we've got to put it on them from an offensive standpoint."