CMU volleyball rally falls short to Nicholls

Saline junior Maddie Whitfield (right) and LaSalle, Ill. freshman Kamryn Olson sky for a block against Akron, Thursday, Feb. 25.

Coming off a reverse sweep against Memphis, Central Michigan volleyball hoped to continue its  run against Nicholls on Saturday. 

However, the Chippewas' comeback efforts fell short, as the Colonels secured a 3-2 victory (25-22, 25-22, 26-24, 25-4, 17-15) on the final day of the Memphis Tiger Brawl. 

After a dominant performance on Friday, senior Mallory Hernandez led the team with 22 kills on 43 attacks, finishing the day hitting .302. Junior Kamryn Olson led the team in digs with 16, while adding 36 assists. Senior Maddie Whitfield finished with 10 kills and seven blocks. 

CMU falls to 2-1 on the season, after starting on a two-game win streak. 

The Chippewas opened the scoring in the first set with a service ace from Olson. CMU held onto the lead, but after struggling to break through the 15-point mark, Nicholls stormed ahead. In the end, the Colonels came out on top with a final score of 25-22.  

Looking to even the score, CMU tried to ratchet up the intensity in the second. However, after breaking a tie at 11, Nicholls pulled away from the Chippewas en route to a 25-22 win set two. 

Once again the score remained close throughout the third set. But this time the Chippewas came out victorious, 26-24, as Hernandez led the way with fourteen kills. 

With the first win of the day in hand, the Chippewas came out on fire. Riding a 15-0 lead at the midway point, CMU's defense overwhelmed the Colonels, as it grabbed a 25-4 victory to force a fifth set. 

Tied at two, the Chippewas had one last opportunity to end the weekend undefeated. But tied at 15, Nicholls secured back-to-back points to defeat CMU 3-2. 

The Chippewas travel to Saint Louis on Friday, Sept. 2, kicking off the tournament with Youngstown State at 11 a.m.