CMU volleyball sweeps Kent State with sixth straight win

Central Michigan volleyball team celebrates after scoring a point in the first match during the game against Bowling Green, Friday, Oct. 27, in McGuirk Arena. CMU won the first match with 25 points. (CM-Life | Jenna Spanola)

Taking two big swings at the end of set four, sophomore setter Claire Ammeraal and junior opposite/outside hitter Linnea Willer provided an offensive weapon duo for Central Michigan volleyball. 

After an attack error by Kent State, the Chippewas secured the weekend sweep against the Golden Flashes, 3-1 on Saturday. 

“I think we (did) some really nice things to respond from a little bit of a shaky start," head coach Mike Gawlik said. When Kent comes out and wins the first set, I really liked what we were able to put together down the stretch.” 

The first set was back and forth with Kent State narrowly defeating CMU 25-23 in the closest set of the match. 

The Chippewas came back in set two racking up 18 kills, the most kills recorded in a set for Central Michigan.  

Sophomore outside hitter Maddy Gebhardt took big swings for the Chippewas with two kills late in the second set to help take the victory, 25-21. 

“We have a phrase in our gym that we don’t need everything from somebody, but we do need something from everybody, and I think we really kind of answered that call today,” Gawlik said. 

Junior outside hitter Lauren Schrock tied her career high with 19 kills against the Golden Flashes. 

“Answer the call when your number is chosen, put a big swing in play and do your best for the group, Gawlik said. "Kind of pass the ball, so that other people can find success with the next thing.” 

While Schrock led the team in kills, Gebhardt had 12 kills and junior opposite hitter Krystina Kasson had nine. 

CMU was able to put pressure on the Golden Flashes back court serving up eight service aces. 

Sophomore outside hitter Natalia Rejment led the team with three aces. 

“We put up some really good balls that got our blocking going," Gawlik said. "You know we blocked 10 balls, and that’s a product of creating opportunity for our serving. I thought that was a big adjustment that we made that put us in a better position to kind of replicate what we had yesterday of really taking control of the match from the service line.” 

The Chippewas added to service pressure with their defensive pressure as senior middle blocker Elly Medendorp, Kasson and Ammeraal all had four block assists a piece contributing to 10 total blocks. 

“That’s something we’ve been really working on, and when you got multiple people that are contributing to your block effort, you’re able to stop a lot of teams,” Gawlik said. 

Central Michigan took set three 25-19 and set four 25-15 to secure a sixth straight win improving to 8-7 in the Mid-American Conference and 14-13 overall. 

CMU will close out its last home series at 6 p.m. on Friday against Ohio. 

“Every win we get puts us in a better position ...,” Gawlik said. "We feel right now that we’re in control of our own destiny, so that’s really where we’re concerning our effort.”