Volleyball extends winning streak to five
On Tuesday night at the Convocation Center, the Eastern Michigan University women’s volleyball team swept the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne Mastadons (25-21, 25-20, 25-16) and are now on a five-game winning streak, having won 15 straight sets.
“It feels really good,” EMU head coach Kim Berrington said. “We had a lot of sets earlier in the season where we would be up 22-18 and lose, so it feels good to sustain those leads and finish strong.”
Sophomore outside hitter Stacey Perinar led the Eagles offense with ten kills and a .692 hitting percentage while making only one error in 13 attack attempts.
“Stacey did a great job of being patient, letting the block form and deciding where she wanted to hit,” Berrington said. “She hit lines, crosses, middle forwards and used the whole court.”
The second leading player on offense was senior outside hitter and co-captain Paige Roback with eight kills.
Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Jones had an all-around match as she notched a .308 hitting percentage and connected six kills on 13 attempts, only making two errors.
Most of the setting responsibilities fell on junior Jill Briner and she came through with 16 assists, while sophomore Alyssa Davis chipped in with nine.
On defense, Jones had seven blocks, including the only solo EMU had all game and six block assists.
Junior middle blocker Megan Crawshaw and Roback contributed with three block assists each, while Roback led the team with ten digs.
As a team, EMU hit .270 compared to IPFW’s .127.
For IPFW, outside hitters junior Emily Spencer and Jaydn’ Pegues each had double-figure kills in the loss. Spencer had a match-high of 12 kills, while Pegues had 11.
Junior setter Madison Spence had 36 assists and senior defensive specialist Jen Milligan’s 16 digs were both match-highs for the Mastodons.
The first set was close, but the Eagles never let the Mastodons come close to the lead as they won the first set, 25-21.
The Eagles scored the first point in the second set and never looked back as they took the set, 25-20.
In the third set, the Eagles once again won the first point and cruised to another set win, 25-16 and took the match in three sets. EMU never trailed at any given point in the match.
On Friday Sept. 20, EMU will look to increase its winning streak to eight as the Eagles travel to East Lansing, Mich. for the Spartan Invitational hosted by the No. 14-ranked Michigan State Spartans at Jenison Field House.
The Eagles’ first game will be against the nationally ranked Spartans at 7 p.m. Friday night. Then on Saturday Sept. 21, EMU will play a doubleheader to wrap up the Invitational as the team will take on the University of Cincinnati Bearcats at 10 a.m. and the Duquesne University Dukes at 5 p.m.
“It will be a good test for us,” Berrington said. “It will be a difficult test against Michigan State on a Big Ten floor at night. I am sure [State] remembers the last time we played them and won on their floor. So, they know that they are not treating this as a trap game.”
Briner said the team needs to focus and stay composed against MSU.
“We are going to do what we did last time and that is play as a team, work hard and just play Eagle volleyball,” Briner said. “We are not 6’5” like all of those girls and all we have to do is worry about what we need to do. We are going to make them play our game and beat them at it.”
Follow Eugene Evans on Twitter @easternechogeno.