The Eastern Michigan University women’s volleyball team returned to the Convocation Center Thursday night to host the Central Michigan Chippewas. Central Michigan (8-9, 2-3 Mid-Amercan Conference) swept EMU (11-9, 1-4 MAC) in three sets (25-22, 25-20, 25-21). Eastern has lost four of their last five matches.
“We couldn’t find our rhythm all night, whether it be serving or attacking or blocking,” EMU head coach Kim Berrington said. “We would do a couple good things, and then we would make some silly mistakes.”
After having 12 kills against the Northern Illinois Huskies and 17 against the Western Michigan Broncos, senior outside hitter Erin Short had only seven kills. The Eagles had only a .122 attack percentage as a team.
Senior outside hitter Paige Roback and sophomore outside hitter Stacey Perinar also had seven kills. Senior setter Jill Briner had 15 assists and freshman middle blocker Devon Murray had six kills. Sophomore libero Corynne Smith led the defense with 19 digs, Roback also had eight digs. Smith leads the Eagles in digs this season with 370 digs and 5.00 average digs per set.
For the Chippewas, senior outside hitter Katie Schuette had 12 kills and 12 digs. Central Michigan junior outside hitter Kaitlyn McIntyre had 11 kills and 17 digs.
Eastern was able to keep the score close in the first set. With the score tied at 22, Central was able to score three straight kills to win the set, 25-22. Roback and Short each had three kills in the first set. Briner and sophomore setter Alyssa Davis each had seven assists in the first set.
Central Michigan held the lead for the entirety of the second set. Schuette had seven kills for the Chippewas in the second set. Despite Short, Briner, and junior middle blocker Megan Crawshaw each scoring a pair of kills, the Eagles hit just a .079 attack percentage as a team in the second set. Central Michigan won the second set 25-20.
Eastern opened a 3-0 lead early in the third set before a 10-3 run by the Chippewas to take the lead 10-6. The Eagles were able to tie the set at 13 before Central Michigan was able to open their lead again, 17-14. EMU went on a 4-1 run to close Central Michigan’s lead to 19-18. The Chippewas ended the match on a 7-2 run to win the set 25-21. The Eagles hit -.028 on offense in the third set.
Eastern’s record continues to fall, as they are now 11-9 on the season and 1-4 in MAC play. EMU currently sits last in the MAC west division standings. Central Michigan advances its record closer to .500 at 8-9 and 2-3 in MAC play.
After winning seven of their last eight non-conference games, the Eagles are 1-4 to open the MAC schedule, losing to the Ball State University Cardinals at home and losses on the road against the Northern Illinois Huskies and the Western Michigan Broncos. Eastern’s only Mid-American conference win this season came at home in a 3-1 victory over the Toledo Rockets.
Follow Robert Jones on Twitter: @RobertJonesEcho
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