Volleyball falls to 1-2 in MAC after loss to Western

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

Looking to leave the first blemish on Western Michigan’s Mid-American Conference record, Central Michigan volleyball traveled to Kalamazoo on Friday, Oct. 1. 

Although they had to fight for their lives, the Broncos won in straight sets.

The Chippewas fall to 7-8 on the season and 1-2 in conference play. The Broncos improve to 11-4 on the season and 4-0 in conference play.

“We have to find a way to close (out) close sets, and I think that takes playing well at the right times,” said head coach Mike Gawlik. “We didn’t play a poor match from start to finish, I just thought in big moments, we didn’t step up to them and take advantage of the opportunity that was out there.”

How it happened

With the first set tied at seven, the Broncos harnessed the crowd's energy and strung together a five-point run to take a 12-7 lead. Looking to provide a spark, freshman outside hitter Linnea Willer responded with a big kill that ignited CMU’s offense. Slowly but surely, the Chippewas cut into WMU's lead as they tied the set at 21, but it wasn’t enough as the Broncos locked up the first set 25-22.

The Broncos took control of the second set early on, as they were the first to reach 15. Down 18-13, senior middle blocker Lisabeth Rosario-Martinez stepped up for CMU, recording a huge kill to stop the WMU run. The Chippewas notched another quick point, but the Broncos responded with a four-point run. CMU strung together four points of its own, but WMU rolled to a 25-21 victory in set two.

Hoping to avoid the sweep, CMU began the third set on fire putting the Broncos behind 11-7. The Chippewas continued to apply pressure as freshman opposite Krystina Kasson struck pay dirt on a swing, increasing the CMU lead to six. The Broncos' high-powered offense didn't stay down for long and eventually knotted the set at 21. The Chippewas struggled to break through 21, and WMU took advantage to secure set three 25-23.

Key Performers

The Chippewas offense was led by Kasson and senior outside hitter Savannah Thompson finishing tied with eight kills. Thompson also added 17 digs and two assists. 

Sophomore setter Kamryn Olson led the Chippewas in helpers with 18 assists. Senior setter Grace Butler added 14 assists and nine digs.

Freshman libero Aly Gurtiza led the way defensively for CMU, finishing with 22 digs.

Key Stats

The Broncos finished the match with 136 total attacks, 11 more than CMU. However, WMU finished with three more attacking errors than the Chippewas.

What’s Next

In hostile territory, CMU will look to snap the Broncos' five-game win streak on Saturday, Oct. 2, at 3 p.m.