​Volleyball looks to second half of MAC schedule after road split


Angie White cheers after a point during the game against Kent State on Oct. 3, 2015. 

After the program hit a crossroads 10 days ago, the Central Michigan volleyball team seems to be on the right track.

The Chippewas swept Bowling Green on Friday night to complete the first half of the Mid-American Conference schedule. Despite a 3-2 loss to Miami (Ohio) on Thursday, CMU maintains a 4-4 conference record and is 9-12 overall.

CMU is 3-1 since Head Coach Erik Olson was placed on a leave of absence on Oct. 6 and are looking to gear up for a second-half run in MAC play.

“Overall, we were consistent throughout the match,” said Assistant Coach Adam Rollman of Friday. “We just came back (after trailing in sets two and three) and were steady throughout the entire match.”

CMU used a sideout percentage of 80 percent to down Bowling Green, 25-20 in set one. After trailing early in sets two and three, the Chippewas rebounded to win set two 25-23 and set three 25-20.

The Chippewas were led by sophomore outside hitter Jordan Bueter, who led the team with nine kills and 14 digs. Freshman libero Jamie Wolffis tallied 11 digs after recording a career-high 25 digs Thursday against the RedHawks.

Rollman said the duo’s leadership is vital for success in the second half.

“They’re two people that we are always looking to share the lead,” he said. “They’ve been stepping up and doing a great job.”

With the 4-4 conference record, CMU is now tied with Ball State for fourth place in the MAC West.

“Four-and-four is not terrible, but we still (believe) we can produce more,” Rollman said. “Going into the second half, we are going to get the same looks at all the West teams. I think that’s only going to benefit us and we are going to be able to come back even stronger in the second half.”

Rollman is optimistic for an exciting second half for his team.

“You always want to be playing your best volleyball going into the last part of the season and I think we are in that transition,” he said.

Olson said on Sept. 19 that a .500 record in the MAC regular season is needed “to even have a chance” for the MAC Tournament in November. Rollman echoed Olson’s statement.

“We have to look at where we are with standings and everything,” he said. “We did a great job tonight of taking care of business. If we keep that up, we are going to be great.”

The Chippewas have responded to the adversity surrounding their head coach by winning three of four since his absence. Rollman said they have come together as a team.

“It’s business as normal as far as doing their routine and doing things as a team,” he said. “We’re just continuing to build as a team throughout the season.”

The second half of MAC play will provide a challenge for the Chippewas. Rollman said the team has the opportunity to create some separation from the bottom teams in the division with home games against Akron and Buffalo. 

He also warned the potential dangers with Northern Illinois and Western Michigan coming to Mount Pleasant.

The Chippewas lost to NIU to open up MAC play, but defeated the rival Broncos Sept. 26 for their first win in Kalamazoo since 2006. Following NIU and WMU, they host Eastern Michigan in home finale and then travel to Ohio, the best team in the MAC. 

They close the regular season out with road matches at Ball State and last-place Toledo.

Rollman said the schedule will get tougher and the Chippewas have to be ready.

“Teams are only going to get better throughout the MAC,” he said. “We’ve got to be prepared for that as (some of) those teams are toward the top part of the conference.”


About Evan Sasiela

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

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