Aggressive offense leads volleyball to win, season sweep over Western Michigan
After dropping the first set, the Central Michigan volleyball team took the first point of the second set and never looked back.
The Chippewas (19-4, 9-2 Mid-American Conference) defeated Western Michigan (12-11, 3-8) in four sets, 3-1. CMU's win solidified a sweep of the rival Broncos for the season.
After getting out to an early lead, Central Michigan allowed the WMU to come back and win the first set, 25-22, thanks in large part to a .500 hitting percentage for the team.
”I was really pleased with our offensive effort from start to finish,” said coach Mike Gawlik. “I really liked that we were able to lock down defensively in sets two and three especially, I thought our defensive effort really answered the call.”
The Chippewas earned the first point of the second set and never trailed again. In fact, there were no ties or lead changes after the first set. CMU controlled the game winning the final three sets by scores of 25-14, 25-19 and 25-22.
Junior outside hitter Kalina Smith led the team with 19 kills, including the final kill. She added nine digs and two service aces.
Freshman outside hitter Anna Erickson had 10 kills, the only other Chippewa with double digit kills for the night, to go along with two digs, an assist and a .500 hitting percentage.
Both outside hitters had their performances highlighted by aggressiveness and ability to take chances to earn points.
Senior libero Megan Kern led the Chippewas with 18 digs and a handful of others made offensive contributions to get the win.
“I was pleased with a lot of people tonight,” Gawlik said. “I think you could’ve picked really just about anybody on our roster tonight offensively who really kind of stepped up and had a big night for us.”
More Bench Excitement
As been the case in every game this season, the Chippewa bench provided the team with plenty of energy and the crowd with added entertainment.
The rival Broncos were not looking to be outdone. Throughout the various stoppages of play, the two benches went back and forth attempting to outdo each other.
Following the win, Smith said that no one can beat the CMU bench.
”There’s no competition,” Smith said. “There’s no bench in the NCAA that is better than ours.”
The Chippewas will be at home again when they take on Northern Illinois (8-16, 5-5 MAC) at 5:30 p.m. Saturday in McGuirk Arena.
The Huskies currently sit third in the MAC West Division and are riding a two-game win streak.
CMU opened conference play this season on Sept. 27 with a 3-1 win over the Huskies.