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Volleyball splits weekend series

Head Volleyball Coach Erik Olson motivates his team during their 3-1 over Eastern Michigan University on Sept. 25 in McGuirk Arena.

After another disappointing end to a promising weekend, Central Michigan University’s volleyball team remains in the middle of the pack in the Mid-American Conference.

The Chippewas finished the weekend 1-1, sweeping Akron on Friday, and falling to University of Buffalo 3-1.

The women now stand 9-13 overall and 4-6 in the MAC.

Coach Erik Olson said he was frustrated with the way his team’s play against UB.

“Our players have got to find a way to get it done,” Olson said. “We gave them the tools, we gave them the knowledge to do it, but they have to go out there and get it done on the court.”

Senior Kaitlyn McIntyre returned to the lineup for the Chippewas against Akron after missing both matches last weekend with an injury.

McIntyre’s return to the court helped the women take down the Zips in three straight sets. She finished the match with 13 kills, six digs and a season-high hitting percentage of .619.

“Offensively (McIntyre) was fantastic,” Olson said. “For the most part she was a very good passer as well.”

The All-MAC player said that she was excited to be back in the lineup after a week of rehabilitation and treatment.

“(Last) weekend helped me get back to good health, and I’m feeling good, said McIntyre.”

Against the Zips, the women began the match with a 10-4 lead in the first set, and cruised to the victory from that point on. 

“We had a nice match against Akron,” Olson said. “We took care of the ball real well. I think when we take care of the ball we hit at a very high clip.”

Two days later, Buffalo jumped out to a commanding 8-0 lead in the first set, and never looked back taking the match in four sets.

“Obviously we didn’t like how we started,” McIntyre said. “We felt like we gave them a little hope, and it came back and bit us in the butt. We wish we would have started with more fire.”

Junior Angelique White pointed to the Buffalo's methodical start as the main reason for the Chippewas poor performance against UB.

The women won the first set of against Akron 25-16, but loss by the same score to Buffalo in that matches first set.

“The slow start was the difference between yesterday and today,” White said. “We didn’t start off as strong as we did yesterday.”

UB was strong at the net out blocking the Chippewas 15-9. Olson said the Bison’s defense caused his team some problems throughout the match that were not there against Akron.

“The block was a little bit more of a factor against Buffalo,” he said. “We didn’t pass as well tonight. That put us in a come from behind situation.”

McIntyre finished the weekend with 30 kills including 17 against Buffalo. No other player finished with double-digit kills in either match for the Chippewas.

“We had multiple hitters that just weren’t really executing the way we needed them to execute,” Olson said.

CMU’s freshman setter Kylie Copple tallied 66 assists on the weekend, and defensive specialist Kristen Reenders added 34 digs on the defensive end.

White, who tallied 17 kills on the weekend still believes the team has time to turn things around and get back on track.

“I wouldn’t say we’re feeling pressure at all,” she said. “We need to stay consistent throughout the entire match. We need to come out strong and remain strong every point from point one to point 25. From set one to set two, three, four whatever it takes to win.”