Volleyball falls in four to Miami (Ohio)
Offensive struggles continued for Central Michigan volleyball on Saturday, as Miami (OH) survived a late push from the Chippewas to win 3-1 in Oxford, Ohio.
CMU falls to 9-14 on the season, while the RedHawks improve to 5-16. Both teams are 3-8 in Mid-American Conference play.
“Well I’m frustrated because we had three different sets that we lost, where we won the race to 20 (points) and didn’t finish,” said head coach Mike Gawlik. “Maybe in the first set, we won the race to 18 or 19 (points), and we got closed out on a 6-0 run. I think we played 80% of a good set, but after 20, after 18, after 19, we have to play a lot better, and we have to hold our composure a lot better in those moments.”
The Chippewas have lost three straight matches and eight of their last 10.
How it happened
The RedHawks had no answer for senior outside hitter Savannah Thompson in the first set. Her fourth kill put CMU ahead 12-9. Tied at 14, Thompson added a sixth kill, putting the Chippewas up by one.
However, Miami kept fighting, with help from the crowd, and eventually took the lead back. The RedHawks kept their foot on the pedal and locked up set one 25-19.
Thompson came out swinging in the second to give the Chippewas a 5-3 lead. With its leader in rhythm, CMU poured it on the RedHawks, pushing the lead to five. However, Miami came to play, tying the set at 17.
From then on, it was a battle. The Chippewas held a three-point advantage late but couldn’t hang on as the Redhawks won the stanza 29-27.
The beginning points of the third set went back and forth. However, CMU found its footing first and took a 12-7 lead. The RedHawks tried to keep pace, but senior middle blocker Lisbeth Rosario-Martinez asserted herself on the block, effectively silencing Miami’s attack.
Junior outside hitter Anna Erickson recorded back-to-back kills, pushing the Chippewas’ lead to nine. The RedHawks scored late, but Erickson shut the door as CMU won set three 25-15.
Miami regained its momentum in the fourth, establishing a 10-7 lead. The RedHawks maintained control early, but then Thompson found a home for thunderous swing, causing the CMU bench to erupt.
Although the Chippewas tied things at 15, Miami managed to cling onto a slim advantage. Thompson kept pushing and buried her 25th kill of the match, giving CMU a 21-19 lead. The Chippewas couldn't hold on as Miami secured a 3-1 match victory.
Thompson recorded a career-high 25 kills in the match with a .423 hitting percentage and 10 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Austyn DeWeese provided a spark off the bench adding five kills.
Sophomore setter Kamryn Olson paced the Chippewa offense with 30 assists. Senior setter Grace Butler added 23 assists.
Redshirt junior Lacey Juengel led the way defensively for CMU with 17 digs. Rosario-Martinez added seven blocks.
The Chippewas recorded 14 total blocks, four more than Miami. However, The RedHawks 12 fewer service errors.
The Chippewas return to McGuirk Arena on Friday, Oct. 29, to face Akron at 6 p.m.