Chippewas implement aggressive serving

The volleyball team has been the top team in the Mid-American Conference in aces per set the last three years.

Early indications suggest the Chippewas will be an aggressive serving team in the conference again.

Their 2.03 aces per set is second-highest for the team in the last 15 years. The closest team in the MAC this year is Ball State, with 1.58.

“Our philosophy is, I am not going to kill them if they miss,” said coach Erik Olson. “A lot of coaches give off the feeling of ‘don’t miss.’ Whereas, I am willing to take the errors along with the aggressive serves.”

Senior middle blocker Kaitlyn Hurt leads CMU with 13 aces.

“My serve is a floating jumper,” Hurt said. “I like to stare down a player of the defense and then try to serve it to someone who isn’t paying attention.”

Hurt was named the MAC West Player of the Week Tuesday after her performance over the weekend in Texas. Hurt had six aces in three matches.

“Kaitlyn Hurt probably has the toughest serve to return,” Olson said. “She has one particular serve that I won’t even let the other team see it until I know we need a point. I know it is going to be a guaranteed ace.”

Senior setter Stephanie Budde found her aggressive serve last season. She totaled three aces through her first two years, but had 29 in her junior year. She is tied for second on the team with junior outside hitter Lauren Krupsky with 12 aces.

“My serve is very fast, kind of like a bullet,” Budde said. “The speed it comes at makes it hard for the other players to make a decision. And the way it moves makes it difficult to return.”

Krupsky’s serve was aggressive and hard to return last season, but also struggled at finding its mark with 33 errors and a percentage of .787. Her percentage this year is .898.

“Our serve puts the other teams on their heels at all times,” Olson said. “A lot of times, they get stressed and focus on not getting aced rather than running their offense. It is a completely different mindset.”