CMU Volleyball sweeps Saint Louis Tournament
Coming off wins against Youngstown State and Saint Thomas on the opening day of the St. Louis Tournament, Central Michigan volleyball looked to stay fired up as they took on the Saint Louis Billikens.
The Chippewas finished the tournament on fire, as sweeping the Billikens in three sets (25-16, 25-18, 25-19) on Saturday.
After a 3-0 weekend, where it only dropped one set, CMU improved to 5-1 on the season.
Staying hot, Mallory Hernandez led the Chippewas with 14 kills and five blocks. Junior middle blocker Elly Medendorp dominated on defense with a career-high 10 blocks, while Maddie Whitfield added five blocks and six kills.
"Elly has worked really hard on her blocking," Gawlik said. "She really disrupted a lot of Saint Louis attacks and really set the tone at the net for us. Maddie Whitfield is one of our old ladies, she's a year five. When you're looking at the combination of Medendorp and Whitfield, one is getting 10 blocks and one is getting five, you really block down the middle of the court"
After a back and forth battle, the Chippewas fired up and controlled the first set, as they held the Billikens to sixteen points. Points were plentiful for the Chippewas, but it was a kill by freshman outside hitter Natalia Rejement that ended the first set, as CMU took a 25-16 victory.
The Chippewa defense overwhelmed Saint Louis in set two, as Medendorp came to life. She ended the set with six blocks. With the Billikens struggling to break through the CMU defense, Hernandez ended the set with a powerful swing, locking up a 25-18 win.
Hoping to close out the sweep, the Chippewas opened the scoring with a kill from junior setter Kamryn Olson. However, shortly after getting on the board, the Billikens took an 11-9 lead. After a CMU timeout, the Chippewas back up and tied the game at 11. Finally, the Chippewas took control going on a 3-0 scoring run to secure the sweep, 25-19.
"We came out of that timeout back on track," Gawlik said. "And even though we hit a little bit of a bump in the road, in that moment, in that four or five point stretch (we) were able to regain control of the match with our block and service pressure."
The Chippewas head to Fargo, North Dakota, for the North Dakota State tournament on Friday. Their first match will be against Northern Arizona at 1:30 p.m.