Volleyball rolls on first day of Chippewa Invitational

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

In front of a raucous home crowd, Central Michigan volleyball opened the Chippewa Invitational in style after beating North Dakota and Butler handily on Friday in McGuirk Arena.

The Chippewas are now 3-2.

Match One

From the first serve, the Chippewas attacked North Dakota to establish a 5-4 lead. The Fighting Hawks managed to keep pace with the CMU attack, tying the score at 10 and elevating the palpable tension in the McGuirk Arena. 

With their backs against the wall, the Chippewas rattled off five-straight points. ND mounted a comeback and drew within two of the Chippewas. However, after briefly struggling to break through the 15-point mark, CMU regained control of the net and secured the first set 25-18.

The Chippewas sustained their attack on the Fighting Hawks to begin the second set. After going up 10-5, and an UND timeout, CMU quickly pushed the lead to 14-5. The Fighting Hawks responded with three-consecutive points, but senior outside hitter Savannah Thompson and senior middle blocker Lisbeth Rosario-Martinez further overwhelmed UND, pushing the lead back to nine. 

The Fighting Hawks began to find their footing as set-point approached. However, the increase in effort came too late as Thompson hammered a ball through a crowd of ND defenders, locking up the second set in favor of CMU 25-19.

As the teams took the court for set three, UND found themselves in front of the Chippewas. Looking to turn their 6-3 lead into a bigger margin, the Fighting Hawks tried to sustain the pressure. 

But as the Chippewas began to find cracks in the UND defense, the tides turned in favor of the home team. After tying the score at seven, CMU jumped in front and never looked back, winning the final set 25-12 and sweeping the Fighting Hawks 3-0.

Match Two

Fresh off a dominant win earlier in the day, Butler came to play, causing a battle at the net as both teams looked for an edge in the contest. Neither team could establish a substantial lead, as Butler reached 15-points first. From there Butler maintained a narrow margin on their way to a 25-22 victory in set one.

Hoping to bounce back from a close defeat, CMU looked to ratchet up the pressure in the second set. The Chippewas recorded the first kill, and Butler responded. This continued to a 5-5 tie, and then CMU found their stride at one point pushing the lead to five-points. 

Butler managed to retake the lead, but the Bulldogs to come up short after a late Chippewa rally. CMU secured the second set 25-23.

With the match knotted at one, the Chippewa momentum continued into the third set. CMU rattled off five-points and ultimately opened up a nine-point advantage. CMU kept their foot on the gas as set-point neared, allowing them to withstand a run from another Butler. With the Chippewas stuck at 24, a massive swing from senior Middle Blocker Maddie Whitfield locked up the third set for CMU, 25-19.

Staring defeat in the eyes Butler respond and took an early lead. CMU tied it up at seven, and from then on it was a race to a two-point advantage. Butler located shots and took a 10-7 lead, however, the Chippewas kept coming and took back control of the set, winning 25-21. CMU won the match 3-1.

What’s Next

CMU will wrap up the Chippewa Invitational against Youngstown State on Saturday, Sept. 4 at 3:30 p.m.