Volleyball needs win to secure playoff spot

With four matches remaining in the regular season, the Eastern Michigan University women’s volleyball team knows they need to win now in order to earn the final playoff spot in the Mid-American Conference West Division.

“The last four matches we have could all be major turning points in the standings,” said senior outside hitter Rachel Iaquaniello. “Since it’s the second time around the west side, we know our opponents’ tendencies and we’re going to try to exploit their weaknesses more effectively. We really, really, really want to go to the MAC tournament.”

Coming off a tough loss to Western Michigan University on Oct. 27, the Eagles will need to regroup against the Central Michigan University Chippewas.

“The Western game was not us at all, and we are just going to play our game against CMU,” Iaquaniello said. “We are going to go back to focusing on us and sharing information. We are at home and it’s a major match for us, so we want to come out really aggressively and take that match from the start.”

The Eagles lost their only other match against CMU back in September. The Chippewas have a few different players who can put points on the board, and Iaquaniello knows that.

“Normally I would say that their middles always have really good hitting percentages, but their outsides can get on fire as well,” she said. “We’ve heard some rumors about who has and hasn’t been playing, and so there is a little bit of uncertainty there.”

CMU is in the middle of a five-match losing streak, but Iaquaniello said that won’t even factor into the team’s thinking.

“We aren’t going in to the match thinking about that at all,” she said. “What we remember is that we want revenge for the match we lost in Mount Pleasant, how desperately we want to go to the tournament and how we need to defend our home at the convo. We might be able to get an emotional advantage because of where they’re at, but we know [CMU] and we know they’re going to fight hard to break that streak.”

The Chippewas come to the Convocation Center on Nov. 1. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

“We are really excited to have our last four matches at home. Everyone come to support us as we fight for EMU,” Iaquaniello said.


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