Volleyball lose to NIU, WMU

The CMU volleyball team lost consecutive matches for the second time this season.

The back-to-back losses, the first since Aug. 28, may prove costly since they were to Mid-American Conference opponents Western Michigan and Northern Illinois.

“We had a lot of kids thinking too much instead of just getting out there and doing it,” said coach Erik Olson. “In conference play, those little adjustments for each team are very important and we didn’t make those adjustments.”

CMU lost Saturday to rival WMU 3-1. After dropping the first set to the Broncos, Central rallied to win the second set, but could not close out another in the match.

The defense had a tough time defending WMU senior Michelle Moore, who hit for 19 kills off 44 attempts.

“In both games, we came out to a really slow start and we had to try to come back from that,” said freshman outside hitter Lindsey Dulude. “We need to be able to focus from the beginning and not after the other team has already taken control of the match.”

Senior middle blocker Kaitlyn Hurt led the team with 14 kills. The Chippewas had three athletes with double-digit kills, including sophomore outside hitter Lauren Krupsky, who had 13 kills and four service aces.

“The other team just came out with higher intensity than we did,” Krupsky said. “Once we realized that we needed to step it up, we are already behind and we really can’t do that in the MAC.”

Krupsky hit a career-high 25 kills in the losing effort to NIU.

Conference race

The 3-2 loss to the Huskies was the first loss for Central in the fifth set this season.

“We need to continue working on our sideout attack efficiency,” Olson said. “We need to keep serving tough and we really need to play with more passion.”

The losses dropped CMU to 3-3 in the conference and moves the team three games behind WMU in the MAC West.

Central has a week’s rest before heading to Ohio to take on Miami and Bowling Green.

The Chippewas play WMU on Nov. 13 and NIU on Nov. 14 at Rose Arena to finish conference play.