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Volleyball defeated in five sets despite explosive start


Freshman middle blocker Jayla Wesley battles to push the ball over the net on Oct. 29, 2016 in McGuirk Arena.

Midway through the third set of Central Michigan volleyball's match against Ball State on Saturday, the Chippewas' dominant early performance had given them a 17-14 lead and were winning the match 2-0. Then the implosion began.

The Cardinals went on a 11-4 run to win set three, set four and defeat CMU 15-10 in the final set for the 3-2 victory.

Head coach Mike Gawlik said his team simply let up off the gas.

"I thought we took our foot off (of) the gas pedal a little bit with our execution," Gawlik said. "It's a game of momentum. You can't let that momentum slip away from you." 

Despite the loss, Gawlik is finding positives in the Chippewas' performance.

"I don't think for a second we stopped fighting," Gawlik said. "At the end of the day, that's really what I asked of the group going into the final five matches of our season."

CMU (9-15, 3-9) opened up the match with an impressive .520 kill percentage, killing a total of 15 balls. Junior Jordan Bueter finished the night with 22 kills.

"Moving forward, we obviously know its in us," Bueter said. "Sets one and two are what we wanted tonight, so I think we are moving in a positive direction but definitely consistency needs to be there as well."

The lone senior Kathia Sanchez recorded a triple-double on the evening with 13 kills, 29 assists and 16 digs. 

"She a little bit of the spark that kept us alive in set three and four," Gawlik said. "It's probably the first triple-double we've had in a while and certainly this season. 

CMU travels to Western Michigan and Northern Illinois for the final weekend road trip of the season next Friday and Saturday.