Volleyball shutout against rival Western Michigan
Plagued by errors, the Central Michigan volleyball team dropped its eighth-straight match against in-state rival Western Michigan 3-0 (19-25, 29-31, 22-25).
The loss marks the fourth-straight match where CMU has been shutout and fifth-straight Mid-American Conference loss.
In front of a spirited homecoming crowd of nearly 600, CMU was able to out-kill the WMU (12-7, 2-3 MAC) 42-40. However, 31 attack errors accompanied that statistic, something head coach Mike Gawlik attributes to the maturity of the team.
"I think there are some sets in there that we're taking swings on that are foolish," Gawlik said. "I think sometimes that young players get ahead of themselves. They want it so bad, they try to make something out of nothing and I think that's where we lost it tonight."
In addition to topping the Broncos in kills, the Chippewas also had the advantage in aces (6-3) and assists (40-36), but the errors offset the positives. After the game, Gawlik addressed the team on this and stressed this isn't a sustainable winning strategy.
"I was talking to the team, and it's just not a formula that you can win," Gawlik said. "You can not win being as high error as we are playing right now and I think it's something that as a team we have to mature and find was to manage points.
CMU finished with a hitting percentage of .083 while WMU recorded .237. Junior Kalina Smith led CMU offensively with 11 kills while freshman Savannah Thompson killed eight.
Now 3-14 on the season and 0-5 in the MAC, CMU has not won a match since September 8 when the Chippewas defeated St. Louis in the Sycamore invitational.
Homecoming Saturday marks the next chance CMU has to pick up its first conference victory, hosting Northern Illinois (5-15, 3-2 MAC) at 7 p.m. in McGuirk Arena.
Despite the hardships, sophomore Ara Wilson said the team needs to continue to fight one day at a time.
"We have our up days and our down days, we just need to have more of our up days," Wilson said. "We need to remember that we have to work through each and every day like its a new day."