The Eastern Michigan volleyball team has a busy schedule coming up with five home matches. This situation will be good for the Eagles, as it is later in the season and they want to keep improving and dominate at the end.
“We’re excited,” sophomore outside hitter Erin Short said. “It’s another chance to beat out the East teams. Everyone’s talking about how we’re still in this, and we still have a chance to win.”
With home court advantage, the Eagles look to add five more victories to their already impressive 17-6 record.
All of the matches are Mid-American Conference games, and the Eagles are looking to take advantage of that and improve on their 5-3 conference record. Each team can only lose eight conference matches before they are eliminated from the tournament, so in order to remain in the running the Eagles need to play well and keep their four game winning streak going.
The end of the season promises to be an exciting one. The first of the matches is Friday, October 21st at the Convocation Center beginning at 7 p.m. The Eagles will host the Bulls of Buffalo. The Bulls are 9-13 on the season and 2-6 in conference play with a four game losing streak. The Bulls have an average of 12.34 kills per set and a hitting percentage of .180. The Eagles have the upper hand in both areas with an average of 13.1 kills per set as well as a .202 attack percentage.
The Eagles’ Dig Pink match is Saturday, October 22nd at 7 p.m. The Dig Pink Game is in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, and all of the proceeds from the event go toward Breast Cancer Research. If fans wear pink to the volleyball game, they get free admission. There will also be this year’s Dig Pink shirt on sale for $10.
“It’s nice to get new people in the gym to see us play. But most importantly, it is nice to come together for a cause; a cause that affects almost every family in some way.”
For both Short and junior outside hitter Rachel Iaquaniello, this cause hits home. Short has an aunt who won the battle against breast cancer and a grandmother who died from it. Iaquaniello has an aunt currently fighting breast cancer and a grandmother who died from it. These matches give her a sense of accomplishment.
“It’s great to know that we’re fighting for something that goes beyond the court,” Iaquaniello said.
The Eagles will take on the Zips of Akron in this year’s Dig Pink Match; the Zips are 4-17 for the season and 1-7 in Conference play. The Zips are averaging 11.38 kills per set and 13.77 digs per set. The Eagles, on the other hand, are dominating each of these categories with an average of 13.1 kills per set and 18.0 digs per set.
On October 28th, the Eagles take on the Northern Illinois Huskies. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m. The Huskies are 17-5 overall and 6-2 in conference play. The Eagles defeated the Huskies earlier in the season 3-1. We will see if the Eagles can pull off another victory.
The fourth home game is against rival Western Michigan. The Broncos are 16-5 overall and 6-2 in conference play. The Eagles lost to the Broncos earlier in the season 1-3, so they are looking to change that with a win at home on October 29th at 7 p.m.
The final home game is against another rival Central Michigan. The Eagles are looking for a victory against the Chippewas after a close loss of 2-3 earlier in the season. The Eagles also want to end the home season on a good note. The final home game is set for November 3rd at 7 p.m.
According to Erin Short, in order to win these next five home matches, the Eagles are going to have to make sure they stick to the fundamentals. They will have to put their speed to work and make sure that they are getting high, hard hits. They will also have to stick to what the team refers to as ‘Eagle Defense;’ going after every ball, outdoing each of their opponents and giving their maximum effort.