Coming off their first win in five matches, the Eastern Michigan University women’s volleyball team faces off against the Central Michigan Chippewas on Thursday in Mount Pleasant. CMU won their last match; a 3-1 victory against Western Michigan on Saturday.
The Eagles dominated in their match against Northern Illinois on Saturday, and in order to beat CMU they will need to establish an early lead and hold on to it, just like they did against NIU. In the team’s victory on Saturday, they got out to an early lead in two of the three sets and in both of those sets, the score was tied only briefly and once the team took control of the lead again, they never looked back.
Playing smart volleyball is another thing the Eagles will need to do against CMU.
Senior outside hitter Rachel Iaquaniello said, “Central is always big and aggressive, and so we are going to be focused on making them play our game instead of waiting for the points to come to us. They get fired up really easily, and so we need to outwork them and take their strengths away early to extinguish some of their flames.”
Another key to beating the Chippewas is for Iaquaniello to continue her successes this year. She had 14 kills against NIU on Saturday and has 284 for the 2012 season, leading the team so far. Senior middle blocker Kristen Baker will also need to continue her excellent 2012 campaign. She had seven kills against NIU, which brought her season total to 173.
It will also need to be a team effort against CMU on Thursday.
“I don’t think it’s ever one or two people in particular … the Mid-American Conference is always so competitive that we need everyone to be on at the same time,” Iaquaniello said. “Against Central, I honestly think we need all of our big guns in the front row to stay aggressive and smart, and if we can be more disciplined blocking and digging then them then we are probably in a good place.”
CMU has a good team and will be providing a challenge for the Eagles.
“Last weekend, Central’s sophomore outside hitter [Kaitlyn McIntyre] and junior libero [Jenna Coates] had really good matches … and I think they play well pretty consistently,” Iaquaniello said. “Their middles are always fast and aggressive too. It should be an exciting match.”
The match is set to start at 7 p.m.