Volleyball season ends, despite win over Ohio


CMU volleyball players celebrate during a match agains Ohio on Nov. 12, 2016 at McGuirk Arena.

Prior to Saturday's matchup against Ohio, knowledge of Western Michigan's win over Toledo earlier in the day was scarce among the Central Michigan volleyball team.

The Bronco's win meant that WMU had officially clinched the last spot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. It was a spot that CMU could've clinched with a win against Ohio and a Western Michigan loss.

"Some of the players knew and some didn't," said sophomore outside hitter Laura Wilson. "We didn't let that affect us. We didn't go around spreading it throughout the whole team. We just kind of kept it to ourselves."

Despite the fact the Chippewas would not go on to play in the postseason regardless of the outcome against Ohio, CMU played as if it was still a contender.  

"I just didn't want to make it a focal point," said head coach Mike Gawlik. "I honestly didn't feel like it made any difference. We needed to control what we can control."

CMU got off to a sluggish start, dropping the first two sets to Ohio, before winning the next three sets 25-23, 25-21 and 19-17. 

Leading the Chippewa offense was junior Jordan Bueter who finished the night with 20 kills and six aces.

Senior Kathia Sanchez picked up seven kills and 28 assists in her final outing as a Chippewa. As the lone senior, she was presented with her framed jersey in the pregame Senior Night festivities.

"We really wanted it," Sanchez said. "We were fighting for everything all the time. We really let our grit and gravel show on the court.

With the win, the Chippewas finish the year 11-17 overall and 5-11 in the conference. As satisfying as the win was for Gawlik, he stressed that their goal of making a MAC Tournament appearance was still left unfulfilled.

"I don't know that people that excel on an elite level are ever truly satisfied," he said. "While we ended on a high note, and I'm incredibly pleased with that, I think our goal was still left on the table."