Unfortunately, the Eastern Michigan University women’s volleyball team could not bump, set or spike their way to a victory at the two-day tournament in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The EMU Eagles stepped out on the floor of Cliff Keen Arena Sept. 14-15 in the hopes of defeating the University of Michigan, Western Kentucky University and Duke University.
In the opening match Friday morning, the Eagles lost to the Michigan Wolverines in three straight sets (25-13, 25-20, 25-18).
In the first set, the Eagles tied the game at eleven, but Michigan took off on a lead and eventually closed the set with a kill. Michigan took advantage early on in the third set, with a 7-1 lead, and kept at least five points ahead of EMU for the rest of the match.
The Eagles had a total of 26 kills out of 89 attempts, compared to the Wolverines 54 kills out of 103 total attempts, and each team had a total of four successful blocks. Michigan is currently leading the all-time series against EMU 30-15.
Later that day, the Eagles had a chance to claim a victory against the Duke Blue Devils. EMU won the first set, but the Blue Devils took the last three sets for a win (14-25, 25-23, 25-21, 27-25).
The fourth set was so close that it was forced into extra points, with Duke eventually topping EMU 27-25. In the final set, EMU sophomore Megan Crawshaw went for an errorless three out of three hits.
EMU senior Rachel Iaquaniello led her team with 15 kills in the match and was one of the top performers out of both teams.
Iaquaniello was only one point behind the Blue Devils’ leading hitter Emily Skylar. EMU teammates Kristen Baker and Crawshaw both had 13 kills while Kim, Hildreth marked a career high of 46 assists in that match.
On the last day of the tournament, the EMU Eagles faced off with the WKU Hilltoppers. WKU took the first set and was up 22-10 when EMU junior Erin Short seized an opportunity to get a kill, assisted by Hildreth. WKU closed the second set with a win, but lost the third set to the Eagles. Although EMU was revving up a comeback, WKU took control and finished the match with a win (25-21, 25-11, 20-25, 25-15).
Once again, Iaquaniello and Baker ended the match with at least 10 kills. EMU hitter Kelsey Jones went for a perfect hitting percentage, but only had one productive kill. Hildreth also had another high number of assists.
The Eagles hope to defeat the Western Michigan University Broncos this Friday, Sept. 21 starting 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center. This will be the first Mid-American Conference game for both teams.