Volleyball learns to execute in four-set win over Akron


Junior Setter Kathia Sanchez hits the ball at the game against Akron on Oct. 23, 2015 in McGuirk Arena. The Chippewas won 3-1. 

The Central Michigan volleyball team went into intermission tied with a team who had lost seven matches in-a-row.

From then on, the Chippewas decided to execute.

CMU pulled off a 3-1 victory over Akron on Friday night to improve to 10-12 (5-4 Mid-American Conference). The Chippewas are above .500 for the first time in conference play this season.

Associate Head Coach Theresa Beeckman knew the challenge the Zips would bring to McGuirk Arena, and her team was ready to accept it.

“(Akron's) work ethic was outstanding on defense," Beeckman said. "We knew it was going to be hard to get some kills. We had to work hard (in sets two and four). I was really impressed with how the team fought through those things.”

The Chippewas took set one 25-17. Sophomore outside hitter Jordan Bueter tallied seven kills for CMU and Kalle Mulford added three kills in place of the injured senior middle blocker Angie White. The set included back-to-back aces by sophomore outside hitter Taylor Robertson.

Set two provided a challenge for CMU. After a kill by sophomore outside hitter Jessica Meichtry tied it at 8, the Zips went on a 7-1 run to pull ahead. The set was the opposite of set one, with Akron going into intermission with a 25-17 set win, and Bueter recording only one kill.

Beeckman said she was not mad about dropping the second set because it would allow her team to be more focused. It showed in set three.

The Chippewas never trailed in the third set and won 25-12. CMU was led by sophomore middle blocker Paige Carey, who had two aces and two blocks to help ease the loss of White.

Set four proved to be difficult for CMU. Down 17-14, Bueter had a message for her team.

“I think when we see (the score like that) we kind of all look at each other and say, ‘let’s go,’ I think that’s kind of the final push for us," she said.

CMU pushed to tie it at 21. Bueter added a kill to break the tie and an ace by junior setter Kathia Sanchez advanced the lead to 23-21. Bueter and Meichtry each recorded their 13th kills of the game to seal the victory.

“(Sanchez) put me in really good situations where I could just bang on (the ball)," Bueter said of the end of the fourth set. "The sets were phenomenal.”

Bueter added she did not believe that anything changed after the first set even though she only recorded six kills after.

“I think playing with each other and just having fun with it is the best game plan.”

While Bueter and Meichtry each had 13 kills, Robertson added 11. Mulford tallied seven kills and Sanchez recorded 45 assists. Bueter and freshman libero Jamison Wolffis had 14 digs each.

Akron (7-15,1-8 MAC) were led by Anna Wenger's 13 kills. The Zips have now lost eight consecutive matches.

Meichtry reiterated the execution her team needed to go out and get a win.

“We just went out there and we were more focused and executed," she said. "That’s what we did tonight.”

Beeckman said the situational games in practice have helped the team to pulling out close wins.

 “They’re doing a good job of knowing how to win," she said.

Friday night was also Breast Cancer Awareness night at McGuirk Arena. Players wore pink bows, socks and pads and some even colored their hair pink.

 “The locker room is full of glitter, pink glitter to be exact," Bueter said. "I know we wanted to represent well because someone on our team (had a family member who had it). For us, we wanted to go all out and get that win especially wearing pink.” 

Beeckman echoed her outside hitter's statement.

“The stats are astronomical," she said. "Anything that we can do to help that cause helps to do a little extra. We’re a part of something bigger and that’s awesome.”

CMU returns to McGuirk Arena on Saturday to take on Buffalo. The match begins at 7 p.m.


About Evan Sasiela

Evan Sasiela is the University Editor at Central Michigan Life and a senior at Central Michigan ...

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