Volleyball splits weekend series
Despite a rough start to the season, Central Michigan University’s volleyball team was able to take a win this weekend.
The Chippewas defeated Toldeo University on Fridat, but were lost to Ball State University Saturday. The Chippewas now sit at 7-9 overall and 2-2 in the Mid-American Conference.
After the victory over UT, the women were a win away from becoming 8-8 and reaching .500 for the first time this season.
“(BSU) was just a better team than Toledo,” said CMU Head Coach Erik Olson. “Sometimes you play a team that is struggling and then you play a team that is pretty good. That’s what happened this weekend.”
The Cardinals took Saturday’s match in four sets.
“We didn’t execute as well as we wanted to,” said senior outside hitter Kaitlyn McIntyre. “We knew Toledo was struggling coming in, so we knew we could get away with somethings even when we didn’t play well. We couldn’t do that against Ball State.”
BSU jumped out to a 15-10 lead and ended the first set on a 10-5 run to win 25-15. The women had to overcome a 16-10 deficit to win the second set 26-24 and tie the match at 1-1.
Ball State won the final two sets 25-21 and 25-18 respectively.
“Ball State passed better and played better defense than we did,” Olson said. “We played good defense and we even out blocked them, but we just couldn’t get it done.”
The Chippewas defense tallied 12 blocks to BSU’s eight, but Olson said playing on the road remains a struggle for his team.
“Ball State is always good at home, they have a great winning percentage there,” he said. “Their arena is just so much bigger than most of the places we play in. “
McIntyre led the way for the Chippewas with 16 kills and 15 digs. Freshman Jordan Bueter ended the match with 11 kills and freshman setter Kylie Copple had 40 assists.
CMU made quick work of the Toledo on Friday, defeating them in three straight sets, handing the Rockets their fifth-straight loss.
Despite 10 serving errors in the match, the Chippewas were able to hold off the scrappy Rockets. In the first set, CMU broke a 14 all tie with an 8-0 run to pull out a close 25-23 win.
The Chippewas ended the second set on an 11-5 run and won 25-19. In the third set, the women started fast and pulled away winning 25-20.
McIntyre finished the match with a team-high 16 kills, followed by 11 kills from Jordan Bueter.
CMU coach Erik Olson made sure his team did not overlook Rockets despite their recent struggles.
“I thought we passed well and executed well,” he said. “We had a plan coming in, and we stuck to it. Our defense was great and it has been all season.”
With the 2-2 start in the conference, Olson said his team needs to find a way to be more consistent in conference play.
“We just have to execute better,” Olson said. “And that will come through practice and working hard. We have some tough teams coming up this week, and we have to be ready.”