Volleyball falls to Miami in five sets
With what started as a promising match, ended in a grueling defeat for Central Michigan’s volleyball team Thursday night.
Miami (Ohio) used a 13-6 run in the fifth set, to outlast the Chippewas 15-9, taking the match 3-2.
“We fought our tails off,” said CMU assistant Head Coach Theresa Beeckman. “They’re a good team. They’re legit.”
After CMU forced the decisive fifth set, Miami’s junior middle hitter Paige Hill put an end to CMU’s comeback dreams with a staggering kill right into the middle of the Chippewas defense.
CMU’s offense was non-existent in the final set as well, as the Chippewas registered just two kills.
“That was tough,” Beeckman said about the shortage of offense. “Their defense is solid. It just wasn’t in the cards.”
CMU was led by sophomore outside hitter Jordan Bueter, who finished with 16 kills. Sophomore Taylor Robertson added 14 kills, and junior setter Kathia Sanchez tallied 45 assists.
The lost snapped a two-game winning streak for CMU, and dropped the Chippewas to 8-12 overall, and 3-4 in the Mid-American Conference.
Junior outside hitter Maris Below had a team-high 14 kills, and Hill added 13 for the Redhawks.
CMU had hopes of being the first team this season to defeat Miami on its home court. The Redhawks’ fierce defense down the stretch wouldn't let that happen.
Miami improved to 13-7, and 5-2 in the MAC, extending its home record to 8-0.
Beeckman said Miami’s home court advantage was tough for the Chippewas to go up against.
“That’s not the easy place to play,” she said. “I get why they’re undefeated at home. It’s kind of a black hole of energy, it just kind of sucks the life out of you. It was really quiet, you could really hear a pin drop in there sometimes, and that doesn’t play to our favor.”
Facing a 2-1 match deficit, the Chippewas found their second-wind in the fourth set, staving off defeat to force their sixth fifth-set match of the season. CMU is now 4-2 in those matches.
CMU got off to a quick start, winning set one 25-20, in large part due to Bueter, who had nine kills in the opening game.
However, that fast start would come to a halt as the Redhawks answered by taking both the second set 25-15, and the third set 25-21, shutting down CMU’s offense in the process.
“We weren’t playing super sharp in little instances, and that bit us,” Beeckman said. “We needed to play just a little cleaner.”
Despite the loss the Chippewas competed, and they were also the first team to win a set on Miami's home floor.
“It says everything about their (CMU) character,” Beeckman said. “We’re going to learn a lot after we watch film. We’re going to get better from this loss. We’re very proud with how we fought.”
CMU is back on the court Friday against Bowling Green at 7 p.m. on ESPN 3.