Volleyball rebounds from first MAC loss, beats Akron in straight sets


The team comes together in preparation for the game Saturday Oct. 12 at McGuirk arena.

Following itsrst Mid-American Conference loss to Miami (Ohio), the Central Michigan volleyball team was looking to bounce back, with its first chance coming against Akron. 

The Chippewas (18-3, 8-1 MAC) defeated MAC East Division leader, Akron, 3-0, Friday in McGuirk Arena. The win started off a five-match home stand for CMU.

Mission accomplished.

”I was really proud the group today, because we had a tough one [Sunday] at Miami,” said coach Mike Gawlik. “We were in a position to win against Miami on Sunday and we kind of let it slip through our fingers and you always wonder how your team is gonna bounce back.”

CMU held Akron (14-5, 7-2) to .097 hitting percentage, while the Chippewas had a hitting percentage of .330.

The Chippewas were able to win the match differently than many of their victories have come so far this season. 

CMU had 45 digs, lower than its average in a victory. Five Chippewas had at least five kills, but no one reached double digits. CMU spread out its offense and earned the dominant victory. 

CMU won the first set, 25-16, and controlled it from the opening point. The second set was closer, but the Chippewas came away with a 25-18 win to take a 2-0 match lead.

By the time the third set began, CMU had complete control of the match. 

However, Akron challenged a ruling in the set. The Chippewas spiked the ball, careened off the net and bounced out of bounds off of an Akron player. The Zips challenged the ruling, claiming it never touched them, but the officials confirmed the call and awarded the point to CMU. 

After the review, Akron players and coaches kept the attention of the referees causing a further delay in play. Gawlik was unhappy with the way the sequence was handled and chirped to either get the match going again or make Akron call a timeout.

”We have the challenge system for a reason.” Gawlik said. “The challenge system is in place so that you can perhaps get a second opinion on a ball using technology. I think there was a lot of discussion after a decision had been made that was slowing the game down.”

The stoppage of play was what Gawlik was not pleased with.

"I think that’s why we have timeouts.” Gawlik said. “If you want to call timeout you can call timeouts; if you want to challenge, you can challenge, but it should be one or the other."

Additional notes

-The two setters, junior Grace Butler and sophomore Kendall Braate, played well against the Zips. Butler had 19 assists and Braate had 14 in the win.

-Sophomore outside hitter Savannah Thompson led the team with 9 kills, sophomore middle blocker Maddie Whitfield and junior middle blocker Lisbeth Rosario-Martinez each had 8. Junior outside hitter Kalina Smith had 7 kills, including the final kill to win the match.

Up next

The Chippewas welcome Buffalo (7-14, 3-6) for another conference match at 5 p.m. Saturday in McGuirk Arena.