CMU volleyball swept in second matchup against NIU

Freshman outside hitter Natalia Rejment hits the ball during CMU's match against Miami (Ohio) Saturday, Oct. 22 in McGuirk Arena.

After defeating Northern Illinois in four sets the night before, Central Michigan volleyball couldn’t keep the momentum going into night two as it was swept 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-22) on Saturday. 

The Chippewas move to 16-10 overall and 9-5 in conference play. They sit in fifth place in the Mid-American Conference. 

“We came into the match on short rest, and we were put back on our heels pretty quickly in the match, and never really regained control,” said head coach Mike Gawlik. “I feel like, Northern did a really great job, I thought of responding to their backs against the wall, and it being a must-win situation. Some of the things that we've come to rely on for our program to be successful and our team to be successful, I just felt were at times nonexistent today.”

The Chippewas had their worst blocking match of the season with only two blocks while NIU hit a .366 hitting percentage. That is the best a team has hit against CMU this season. The Chippewas came into the night first in the MAC in total blocks.

“Our blocking was not very connected today between our outside blockers and our middle blockers and our right-side blockers,” Gawlik said. “I didn't feel like they were blocking in unison very well today. I thought we were maybe a shade late... Those are things I think are defensive core elements, who we are and what makes us special just have to be at the forefront of our training this week, to put us in a better position.”

Freshman Natalia Rejment led the Chippewas as she secured a double-double with 10 kills and 11 digs.

Senior Anna Erickson had another double-digit kill game, putting up 10 kills and one block. 

The Huskies jumped out to an 18-11 lead in the first set following a four-point run. NIU continued to extend its lead throughout the set and secured a 25-17 win, to go up 1-0 in the match. 

After trading points to begin the second set, the Huskies went on a three-point run to get the 12-8 advantage. The Chippewas couldn’t find any momentum as NIU continued to put together scoring runs to go ahead 21-12. The Huskies ended the second set on a kill, 25-14 going up 2-0.

The Huskies got a 18-15 lead in the third set, forcing  a CMU timeout. Following the timeout, the Chippewas stayed in the set but were never able to get the edge to take the lead. On match point for NIU, the Chippewas put together a three-point run with back-to-back kills. But the comeback effort was cut short, as the Huskies completed the sweep, 25-22. 

CMU will look to bounce back when it returns to McGuirk Arena to face Western Michigan for senior weekend on Friday at 6 p.m.

“It'll be a real special weekend for our three seniors,” Gawlik said. “I think when you have a chance to play your rival in your home building it's a fun environment…  It's another opportunity for us to move the needle and get closer to our MAC tournament goal but we've got to make sure that we're going out there and putting our best form of volleyball out there to be able to compete against other teams.”