CMU volleyball swept by Ohio, ends MAC tournament bid

Central Michigan University volleyball celebrates making a point during the game against Ohio University on Friday, Nov. 10 in McGurik Arena. Rebecca Particka | CM-Life

Looking to secure a spot in the Mid-American Conference tournament, Central Michigan volleyball hosted the Ohio Bobcats in a two-series matchup Friday and Saturday. 

The Chippewas were unable to generate enough momentum, and dropped both matches in three sets, respectively. 

“We’re working to win a few more games and perform in crunch time a little bit better,” head coach Mike Gawlik said. “I don’t want (it) to get lost in the shuffle that we are a really good group of people that work hard every day. ... When we fall short, we fall short together, and today we fell short as a team.”

CMU moves to 8-9 in MAC play, moving them to seventh in the MAC standings behind Bowling Green. The top six teams advance to the MAC tournament. 

"I wish this weekend we would have gotten better to get all these guys an opportunity to be in the tournament, but we’re not playing in games this time of year that matter to us if we don’t get hot.  

"I think we did some really nice thing throughout the year, and I’m bummed. Bummed about the weekend.” Gawlik said

Match one

Sprawling out on the court in set three, sophomore outside hitter Natalia Rejment stuck out her foot saving an almost dropped ball.

It wasn't enough; CMU fell to the Bobcats (25-17, 25-21, and 25-21).  

“We got to play a lot better,” Gawlik said on Friday “I didn’t feel like we played very well in a lot of phases tonight. I thought our serving which has been a real weapon for us, wasn't there.. I thought we put some good balls in play, but we never were able to get them as off-rhythm as we wanted to.”

The Bobcats went on an early 7-2 run, to lead by five. An attack error from Ohio led to an Ammeraal service ace to cut the score to 13-10. The Bobcats went on a 5-1 run to extend their lead to 19-12, forcing a Chippewas' timeout. 

CMU refused to go down without a fight, with back-to-back kills from junior opposite hitter Krystina Kasson and sophomore outside hitter Maddy Gebhardt. It wasn’t enough as the Bobcats took set one with a final score of 25-17. 

Unphased by the set one loss, the Chippewas took an early 4-1 lead in set two, aided by sophomore outside hitter Maddy Gebhardt’s 29th ace of the season. Quick to come back Ohio went on a 5-2 run to tie the game at six.

It was a back-and-forth battle, with ties and lead changes, until back-to-back points from Ohio gave it a two point lead with a score of 23-21 and forced a CMU timeout. The Bobcats went on a 4-0 run to secure set two with a final score of 25-21. 

Tied at 11 in set three, Ohio went on a 4-0 run to take a 14-11 lead. As the Chippewas sat in do-or-die territory three kills in a row from Kasson, junior hitter Linnea Willer and redshirt sophomore outside hitter Abby Olin tied it back up at 14. Once again, both teams battled through ties and lead changes. 

A CMU error and a block on Lauren Schlock's attempted kill gave the Bobcats a 19-17 lead. Following a Chippewas time a block from Willer combined with two Ohio errors gave CMU the 20-19 lead. 

The Bobcats went on a 4-0 run to make the score 24-20. Despite Schrock getting her 10th kill of the match, Ohio secured the sweep with a final score of 25-21.  

Match Two 

In do-or-die territory in set three. Ammeraal opened the set with a service ace to give the Chippewas the early lead.

Continuing to struggle with momentum from Friday, CMU fell in three sets again to Ohio (25-18, 25-19, and 25-15).

“I didn’t think we really had any momentum ever,” Gawlik said Saturday. “If I’m being honest it was not the weekend we wanted. We were obviously playing well leading into the weekend, I thought we had a good week of prep and getting ready. 

"I want to be clear I don’t think it's for a lack of wanting it or playing hard, I just think that we didn’t perform as well as we wanted to in some big moments this weekend.”

Tied at four in set one, Ohio would record back-to-back points to secure its biggest lead of the game with a score of 6-4. Taking advantage of a service error, the Chippewas were able to create momentum, allowing a block from Gebhardt to tie the game back at seven. The Bobcats quickly came back with a 4-0 run to take back their lead with a score of 11-7, forcing a CMU timeout. 

Keeping the momentum on its side, Ohio went on a 4-2 run extending its lead to 16-11.Brandon sprawling out on the court to save a near-dropped ball leading followed up by a kill from Willer to cut the Bobcat's lead to three.It wasn’t enough and Ohio took set one 25-18. 

Tied at five in set two, the Bobcats would take the lead with back-to-back kills from Caroline Clippard to lead 7-5. Two Ohio errors tied the game back at eight and led to a service ace from Rejment, followed up by a kill from graduate student Devon Bright to give CMU its first lead of the set, 10-8. 

The Bobcats quickly came back with a 3-1 run to tie the game back up at eleven. Keeping the momentum on its side, Ohio broke the tie, aided by an error from CMU followed up by a service An attack of their (Bobcats) own would lead back-to-back kills from Willer and Bright to give the Chippewas their lead back with a score of 14-13. 

An 8-3 run took back the Bobcats lead, making the score 21-17 and forcing a CMU timeout. Ohio continued its success and secured set two with a 5-2 run, making the final score 25-19. 

The Chippewas refused to go down without a fight, and opened set three with a service ace from Ammeraal. Flipping the momentum, the Bobcats took an early 6-2 lead aided by back-to-back kills from Anna Kharchynska and forcing a CMU timeout. Finding holes on the Chippewas side, Ohio was able to extend its lead 11-5. Despite a 3-1 run, CMU was unable to keep the momentum on its side, and allowed the Bobcats to extend the lead to 17-9. Three errors in a row from Ohio cut the lead to 20-15. Ohio secured the match with a final score of 25-15. 

The Chippewas play their last home match at 6 p.m. Wednesday against Eastern Michigan.