Maintaining the offensive: Chippewa volleyball sweeps Buffalo to close series

The volleyball team broke its losing streak with a 3-2 win over Northern Illinois, Feb. 4 at McGuirk Arena.

Chippewa volleyball head coach Mike Gawlik established the importance of maintaining the role of the aggressor after his team slowed down with a lead against Buffalo on Thursday, which led to a dropped set in their 3-1 victory.

When CMU returned to Alumni Arena the next day, the team aimed to put its foot on the gas and keep it there. The Chippewas earned a 3-0 sweep of the Bulls on Friday and earn the weekend sweep.

"For the most part we played a clean set," Gawlik said. "There's going to be ebbs and flows to any match, but there's some runs, so to say, but I thought we eliminated the big runs against them."

Gawlik said his team sometimes struggles in giving up runs, causing the Chippewas to fall into large deficits. Gawlik said he felt as though the team persevered and avoided falling into a similar deficit as Thursday.

"We were a lot more accountable to some of our block line with adjustments that we made from a night ago and basically turned the tides of the game," Gawlik said. "We got out-blocked 10-4 (Thursday) and we out-blocked them 10-3 (Friday), I felt like that was a swing in our favor. That was one of the things we wanted to make sure we did."

Impact moments

The Chippewas (5-5) and the Bulls (0-10) returned to the court with strong energy, and each team brought strong attacks to the first set. Buffalo grabbed a slight lead in the first half of the set, but the Chippewas turned the tides for the second half, taking the opening set 25-22.

Having established the lead, the Chippewas wasted no time in continuing their aggression in attacks. CMU took an early lead over the Bulls in the second set, only falling behind for a single point. The Chippewas went on to secure the second set at 25-23.

Now in a 2-0 lead, similar to Thursday's match, the Chippewas proved that they weren't looking to make the same mistake two days in a row. CMU kept the foot on the gas and maintained a steady lead over Buffalo for the entire third set, closing the series with an 11-point lead at 25-14. 

Impact players

Senior middle blocker Lisbeth Rosario-Martinez had a strong game all around, attaining 10 kills, seven blocks, two service aces and maintained a hitting percentage of .769.

Junior outside hitter Savannah Thompson had 12 digs to go along with 10 kills.

Freshman setter Kamryn Olson had 14 assists to go along with seven kills and a .750 hitting percentage.

Junior defensive specialist Kendall Braate had two service aces.

Senior setter Grace Butler led with 18 assists.

Up next

The Chippewas will return to McGuirk Arena on Feb. 25 at 2 p.m. to face off against Akron (3-6). The last time the two teams met, CMU swept the Zips 3-0 in McGuirk Arena.