The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team sent its seniors for their final home game Saturday, and the end result was a 3-2 loss to Western Michigan.
Symbolic of their season, the Eagles (5-27, 4-12 Mid-American Conference) went down 2-0 (18-25, 18-25) but rallied to tie the game (25-19, 25-23) before falling 15-8 in the fifth set.
“I think it was only fitting that we had our best game last,” coach Kim Berrington said. “I told them to play all out for these two (seniors).”
It was the final time seniors Kim Jarzynka and Victoria Randolph will play on the friendly confines of the Convocation Center. They went 48-82 and had their best season (20-17) as sophomores in 2007.
However, the season isn’t done for the Eagles. They’ll be the No. 12 seed in the conference tournament and will face No. 5 Central Michigan at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Mount Pleasant.
CMU (15-11, 8-8) and EMU split the season series, but the Eagles won 3-0 the last time the teams met on Oct. 29. That game was in Mount Pleasant.
The winner will face No. 4 Northern Illinois at 11 a.m. Friday at the Seagate Center in Toledo, Ohio.
Top-seeded Ohio, which went 15-1 in the MAC during the regular season, is on the same side of the bracket as the Eagles. WMU (21-10, 13-3) is No. 2.
Jarzynka, an English major from Pittsburgh, finished third in school history in digs (1,475) and seventh in sets played (422).
She has been a versatile player, playing whichever position she’s been needed, but she missed several games this season because of a nagging knee injury.
Randolph, a special education major from Cincinnati, finished fifth attack attempts (3,239) and 12th in digs (1,039).
She has been played a significant role in the offense, alongside freshman Rachael Iaquanello.
Randolph missed the first 14 games because of a broken hand, and the team went 1-13 while she was out with injury.
“They have been dependable every night,” Berrington said of the seniors. “These two ladies have grown up and become leaders of women. I’m sure they’ll be successful in whatever they do.”
The Eagles have two juniors in Joi McKenzie and Jennifer Swartz, five sophomores and six freshmen, five of whom have seen playing time.