Volleyball wins opening matches at Rose

The volleyball team received some timely production off the bench in Saturday’s 3-0 sweep of Toledo and Friday’s 3-2 win against Ball State at Rose Arena.

Sophomore setter Catherine Ludwig entered Friday’s game with her team down two sets. After her weekend performance, Coach Erik Olson said the setter position, which Ludwig and junior setter Stephanie Budde were platooning, is Ludwig’s to defend.

“It is not easy to sit on the bench as long as she has and then come in and be productive,” Olson said. “But she has stayed tuned in even when she is not playing, and we don’t win without a great second setter.”

Ludwig said she is embracing the chance to hold down the spot.

“I want to be out there playing, so I am going to work as hard as I can,” Ludwig said. “I want to hold my spot. I want to lead this team.”

The win over Toledo on Saturday was the first Mid-American Conference victory for the Chippewas that did not go five sets. Junior outside hitter Lauren Krupsky led the floor with 15 kills.

Krupsky also had a career-high 19 kills in the win over Ball State on Friday. She said her 34-kill performance over the weekend was due in part to the home crowd.

“It is such a great atmosphere to play in here in Rose,” Krupsky said. “We have our fans from Merrill Hall and everyone just makes it so much more fun to play here.”

True freshmen Lindsey Dulude and Daniel Gotham had double-digit kills in their first home Mid-American Conference series. Gotham hit for 13 kills and had a hand in seven blocks in the two matches. Dulude had 11 kills and 15 digs on the weekend.

The two wins bring Central’s record to 10-6 overall and 3-1 in the MAC. Western Michigan also picked up a pair of wins over the weekend, which keeps it at 4-0 in the conference.

Central has a chance to make up ground in the MAC West when it heads to Northern Illinois on Friday and Western Michigan on Saturday.