Volleyball to host EMU Thursday night
Central Michigan University’s volleyball team is on the hunt for a Mid-American Conference championship.
The women started the season 0-6, but have won five of its last six games and are currently on a four game winning streak heading into MAC play.
“We had deficiencies with our play, and we certainly worked on those pretty early, and that allowed us to train at a higher level,” CMU coach Erik Olson said. “Our start to the season allowed us to give us an idea of where we’re at. Overall I didn’t think our competitive temperature was high enough, and that came from every player on the court for us.”“It’s not how I liked to train always, but it was what this team needed to do. The team has certainly turned the corner for sure.”
Conference play starts Thursday for the Chippewas as they host in-state rival Eastern Michigan University.
The Eagles come into the match with a solid 8-5 record, but have lost three of its final four games of non-conference action.Eastern Michigan University is led by junior outside hitter Stacey Perinar who leads the team with 164 kills and is second in digs with 143.
Senior setter Jill Briner enters the match averaging 35 assists per match and senior Natalie Folk is the team leader in aces with 15.
CMU and Eastern have split their last four matches between the two teams with each team winning at home and on the road.
“We do a lot of bouncing back and forth with Eastern,” Olson said. “Eastern certainly has it’s own style, and they always have. It’s one of those things where it’s different jerseys, but the same style. I think we’re playing pretty well, and they are playing pretty well, so I think it will be a good match.”
CMU’s junior defensive specialist Kristen Reenders said she is looking forward to the start of conference play.
“This week we start out with a new record,” Reenders said. “We are starting out 0-0 and it’s a new season really. We are going in strong this year, but I think the competition is going to be a lot higher, but we just have to keep turning it up.”
Reenders said the team has to maintain its focus on Eastern Michigan and not look ahead to other opponents in the MAC.
“We have to come out strong and keep it steady the whole way through, and take it one match at a time,” she said. “We have some good things going and we just have to keep working hard. It doesn’t matter who’s on the other side of the net, it just depends on what we are doing as a team. “
Olson said that the key to the match would depend on how the team works together.“We will need a team effort,” he said. “We are very focused on one opponent right now, so we just have to go out and play our match.”