Volleyball to host Buffalo, Akron

After playing 16 of its first 18 games on the road, the volleyball team hosts Buffalo and Akron this weekend at Rose Arena.

The team plays Buffalo at 7 tonight and Akron at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“We are excited to play at home,” said freshman outside hitter Lindsey Dulude. “We are going to come out with passion and hopefully be a lot of fun to watch.”

CMU’s 4-4 Mid-American Conference record puts it third in the West division, and only two games out of first place.

Central goes into the matches with the most aggressive serves in the conference. The team boasts four of the top ten athletes in the MAC in kills per game, including junior outside hitter Lauren Krupsky with .40 and Dulude with .33.

Buffalo sits at 4-4 in the MAC, tied for third in the MAC East.

“Buffalo has combined a couple of different MAC styles of volleyball and created something that really works for them,” said senior middle blocker Kaitlyn Hurt.

The Bulls are coming off an upset against MAC West division leader Western Michigan. The loss was the second consecutive five-set loss for the Broncos.

“Buffalo is one of the most improved teams in the Mid-American Conference this year,” said coach Erik Olson. “They have improved their serve receive, and the blocking is much more effective.”

The Zips

Akron is 2-6 in the MAC and has the 10th-ranked offense and the ninth-ranked defense. The Zips defeated Western Michigan last weekend, giving the Broncos their first MAC loss of the season.

“Akron has a good mix of younger players and ones that have been their for a couple of years,” Olson said. “They have struggled in the MAC this year, but I have seen them play good ball.”

CMU swept Buffalo and Akron in straight sets when the teams met last season.

The matches are the beginning of the final stretch for Central, with six of their last eight games at home.

“Hopefully, we will be four up after our first four home matches,” Dulude said. “We will take it point by point and, if we do what we are capable of, we should be able to reach our goals.”