Volleyball dominates Bradley in season opener

The Chippewas volleyball team fell to Miami 3-2 March 27 in McGuirk Arena.

Physicality was the name of the game on Friday as Central Michigan Volleyball picked up a dominant 3-1 win against Bradley in Peoria, Ill.

The Chippewas are 1-0 on the season. Bradley falls to 0-1.

“I thought we played really well,” said head coach Mike Gawlik. “Our defensive effort in particular kind of set the tone for the match early on. Out of the gate, I thought we played really well defensively, just grinded out some points. We’re playing in our first match that we’ve played in front of people, what feels like in a long time, certainly with students and anybody but just family and friends, so you got kind of a rowdy environment and I thought we stepped up to that.”

How it happened

Bradley jumped out to an early lead over the Chippewas in the first set. After tying the score at 10, CMU pulled away amassing as much as a six-point lead. With the Chippewas looking at set-point, Bradley called a timeout looking to turn the tide of the set, but CMU ultimately claimed the first set 25-18.

The battle that began in the first continued through the first points of the second set, as the Chippewas found themselves ahead by two at the midway point. However, CMU couldn’t hold onto the lead as the Braves rallied back to tie the score at 20. Bradley applied pressure to the Chippewas defense to win the second set 25-22.

After dropping the second set, the Chippewas battled their way to an early seven-point lead in the third, forcing a Braves time-out. Bradley managed to whittle the Chippewa lead to four, but were unable to stop the CMU offensive onslaught to secure the third set 25-21.

Even though Bradley grabbed the first point of the fourth set, CMU played on a higher level to take a quick four-point lead. Bradley attempted to slow the Chippewas offensive attack with a time-out, but the snowball rushed quicker down the hill as CMU gradually increased their lead to 11-points. After two quick points from Bradley, the Chippewas shut the door on the match, taking set three 25-15.

Key Performers

Senior outside hitter Savannah Thompson led in kills with 16 and added 23 digs. Freshman Aly Gurtiza led the Chippewas with 29 digs. Sophomore setter Kamryn Olson led in assists with 26. 

Key Stats

The Chippewas narrowly won the assist battle 54-49. Bradley committed 29 attack errors, 11 more than CMU.

What’s Next

CMU will face-off against DePaul University on Saturday, Aug. 28, at 11 a.m. before finishing up their trip to Peoria, Illinois against Southeast Missouri State at 5:30 p.m.