Volleyball finishes Chippewa Invitational 1-2 with loss to Valparaiso


Senior outside hitter Taylor Robertson, left, and sophomore middle blocker Jayla Wesley, right, jump to stop the ball  at the CMU Volleyball game against Western Michigan on Nov. 4 in McGuirk Arena.

Following a first set victory, Valparaiso dominated the next three sets to hand the Central Michigan volleyball team their second loss in the Chippewa Invitational.

The Crusaders dropped the first set 25-23, but followed with three convincing victories in a row — 25-8, 25-11, 25-16.

The Chippewas finished the tournament 1-2 after splitting games yesterday with a 3-1 win over La Salle and getting swept 3-0 against DePaul.

Head coach Mike Gawlik said he felt like the team had a good fight to start that faded away as the afternoon moved along.

“We really took control of set one and did a great job of executing in every facet of the game," Gawlik said. "I think Valparaiso is very well coached and they woke up there sleeping giant so to say in sets two, three and four. They outperformed us is a no-brainier comment, but the maturity they won with is something we need to learn from."

In the first set, it was Savannah Thompson getting seven kills to lead the Chippewas to a two-point victory. Lyza Myers was right behind her with five kills and six total points. The Chippewas got the early 9-3 lead which they never let go of.

In the second set, however, Valpo came out playing with fire. They didn’t allow the Chippewas to score in double figures and led by more than 10 for nearly the entire time. It was more of the same in the third and fourth sets as Crusaders coasted to the match victory. CMU took a 3-2 lead early in fourth set, but it was its only lead of the final three sets. 

Kalina Smith led the Chippewas on the day with 10.5 points and was tied with Myers and Thompson who all had nine kills to lead the team. 

"I think we need to flush point-by-point," Myers said. "If we have a bad hit or bad serve we need to flush it and move onto the next point. The same goes for sets, we need to learn from it."

Kendall Braate, who added two kills for CMU, said the team has to play with a looser mentality.

"I think our team in general starts to feel panicked," Braate said. "At that point when you are down so far we just need to play our game. Be confident and aggressive because we aren't going to catch up playing panicked."

The Chippewas will resume action in the Sycamore Invitational with a double-header against Green Bay (10 a.m.) and Saint Louis (2 p.m.) on Sept. 7. They will take on Indiana State the following day at noon from Terre Haute, IN.