Volleyball falls to 1-3 in MAC after loss to WMU

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

Although they gave Western Michigan fits early in the match, Central Michigan volleyball couldn’t maintain that pressure, ultimately losing 3-1 to the Broncos on Saturday, Oct. 2 in Kalamazoo.

The Chippewas are currently 7-9, 1-3 in conference play. WMU is 12-4 and 5-0 in the MAC.

“We just gotta be a little bit better, and I think if we win set two, it feels like a far different match,” said head coach Mike Gawlik. “But we got to do what it takes to steal those final points in sets.”

How it happened

After allowing WMU an early lead in the first set, the Chippewas worked their way back to tie it at 15. Once the Broncos reached 21, their offense ran out of horsepower. The Chippewas saw their opportunity and capitalized, rattling off five straight points to take a 24-21 lead. The Broncos tried to rally, but a clutch swing from senior outside hitter Savannah Thompson sealed their fate as CMU secured set one 25-22.

Motivated from dropping set one, the Broncos jumped out to a 10-6 lead in the second set. WMU maintained its lead throughout most of the second stanza, but the Chippewas kept it interesting, tying the game at 21, 23 and 24. An attack error by the Broncos gave CMU a 25-24 lead. However, they couldn’t secure a set-point, as WMU registered three straight points to lock up the second set 27-25.

Firmly in control, the Broncos opened the third set with a 6-2 lead. Looking to turn the momentum in their favor, the Chippewas clung to WMU’s heels, and following a powerful kill from junior outside hitter Anna Erickson, the Broncos’ lead fell to one point. Backed into a corner, WMU came out firing and pushed its lead to 13-points as they grabbed set three 25-13.

As the fourth set began, neither team managed to pull away from the other, resulting in a 10-10 tie. However, that’s when the Broncos began to pull away. After gradually increasing its lead to three, WMU dropped a point to the Chippewas. The Broncos then went on a four-point run, pushing the lead to six and forcing a CMU timeout. The Chippewas continued fighting, but WMU ultimately took home set four 25-20.

Key Performers

Thompson was everywhere for the Chippewas today, tallying 16 kills and 26 digs, both team-highs. Senior middle blocker Lisabeth Rosario-Martinez added 13 kills while maintaining a .429 hitting percentage.

Sophomore setter Kamryn Olson led the Chippewas in assists with 26. Senior setter Grace Butler added 22 assists.

CMU freshman libero Aly Gurtiza recorded 23 digs in the match.

Key Stats

The Chippewas won the digs battle by eight. However, The Broncos finished with eight attack errors to CMU’s 24.

What’s Next

The Chippewas will travel to Kent, Ohio, to face Kent State on Friday, Oct. 8, at 3 p.m.