The Eastern Michigan University women’s volleyball team won their final match of the regular season Nov. 10 at the Convocation Center. The Eagles celebrated Senior Night with a 3-2 win against the University of Toledo Rockets (29-27, 23-25, 17-25, 25-21, 15-11).
This win gave the Eagles a winning record for 2012. They improved to 18-14 (8-8 Mid-American Conference). With the loss, Toledo fell to 8-21 (2-14 MAC).
The Eagles scored their first point on a kill from senior middle blocker Kristen Baker. After that, Toledo went on a four point run, hoping to stay ahead. This was shut down when Baker and senior outside hitter Kaitlyn Vincek teamed up to block Toledo hitter Brooke Frazer from getting a kill.
The first set went back and forth with Toledo leading until the Eagles tied it at 19-19 with a kill from senior outside hitter Rachel Iaquaniello; forcing the Rockets to take a timeout. The rest of the set was pushed into extra points with the Eagles coming out on top and ending it with an Iaquaniello kill.
The second set stayed close with neither team gaining more than a three point lead until later. Even though the Eagles tied the game at 21-21 with a kill from sophomore middle blocker Megan Crawshaw, it wasn’t enough to stop the Rockets from winning the set by a score of 25-23.
Toledo took control of the third set when they took an early 10-6 lead. The Rockets held a .351 (18-5-37) attack percentage while EMU maintained just a .139 percentage (8-3-36). The set was all Rockets as they came out on top 25-17.
The two teams stayed within a point of each other the entire fourth set. When EMU went on a four point run, consisting of kills from Iaquaniello and junior outside hitter Paige Roback, Toledo stepped up and took four consecutive points only a couple of plays later.
The rest of the set continued to remain close until Iaquaniello led the Eagles to close it out with three kills and a Toledo attack error. The Eagles won the set 25-21.
The Eagles came out swinging in the fifth set on an Iaquaniello kill. She also assisted Crawshaw in blocking Toledo hitter Becca Reidy the first few points. Both teams lacked in starting plays and both combined for three consecutive service errors.
With only 15 points to score, the Eagles maintained the lead for the entire set. EMU was led by Iaquaniello and Roback with five kills each. The Eagles won their last home set of the season on a Roback kill. EMU won 15-11, taking the match.
Iaquaniello led both teams offensively and tied a career-high with 33 kills. She also tied the Convocation Center record for kills in a match. Freshmen Alyssa Davis and Sierra Reed led with 58 assists and 24 digs, respectively.
EMU President Susan Martin made an appearance and said the match was “incredible.” Martin said she believed it was a wonderful way for the seniors to finish their season.
Iaquaniello, Vincek and Baker were all given special attention when head coach Kim Berrington mentioned how “these three ladies dedicated their hearts and souls to Eagle volleyball.” Berrington also said that the team promises to “play their hearts out” at the upcoming MAC Tournament.
The Eagles head to Geneva, Ohio to compete in the MAC Volleyball Tournament Nov. 16-18. Their first match is Nov. 16 when they take on Bowling Green State University. EMU lost to them earlier in the season (2-3) but are hoping to beat them in the tournament.