Volleyball continues winning ways with invitational win

EMU volleyball celebrates a point at the EMU vs. CMU volleyball game on October, 30 2014 at the Convocation Center

The Eastern Michigan women’s volleyball season continued on the road, as the Eagles competed in the IUPUI Jaguars Tournament in Indianapolis from Sept. 4-5.

The Eagles faced another triple header with matchups against West Virginia, IUPUI, and UNC Charlotte. After winning the invitational the Eagles continue their hot start, boasting a record of 5-1.

As the tournament began, EMU competed against Big 12 Conference, West Virginia, in the first round match-up; pulling a win in 4 sets (25-20, 23-25, 25-13, 25-20).

This will mark the second time the Eagles has earned a victory against a Big 12 school, as Eastern defeated Baylor University back on Sept. 4, 2004.

“The team has only had one win over a Big 12 Team and I feel our first match against West Virginia was going to set the tone for the tournament.

“West Virginia was a very athletic team that we were able to handle due to our balance of ball control and offensive strategies,” said Coach Kim Olson.

After a big win over West Virginia, Eastern continued the tournament on Saturday, Sept. 5, defeating both IUPUI and UNC Charlotte in each match-up (25-17, 25-23, 25-21;25-22, 25-23,25-22), going undefeated in the tournament.

“The team came into the Hampton Inn Invitation hungry after getting a taste of sharing the tournament title from the previous weekend in Cincinnati.

“The team had intentions to win this tournament, but mostly to continue to get better in our execution as we embrace the rookies playing side by side with our seniors,” said Olson.

Senior outside hitter Stacey Perinar was crowned MVP of the 2015 Hampton Inn Invitational after the Eagles’ back to back wins on Saturday; earning a total of 38 kills and 5 blocks.

Outside hitters, junior Devon Murray and freshman Jordan Smith both earned a spot in the All-Tournament team over the weekend.

Murray marked a total of over 15 kills and 6 blocks during the tournament, while Smith total over 24 kills in the tournament, hitting a season high of 15 kills in the game against the UNC Charlotte 49er’s.

“During the tournament, I thought my performance was pretty good,” said Smith. “The reason I think I excelled was because I started to hit high hands and just play how I know how to play. I was able to stay calm and focus on the court.”

“In the upcoming tournament I have very high hope for us!” added Smith. “We are doing great things and if we keep it up hopefully we will be able to win again.”

The Eagles continue their road journey, as the team travels to Terra Haute, Ind., to participate in the Sycamore Classic tournament from Sept. 11-12. Eastern will face IPFW for the first match-up on Friday, Sept. 11, at 4pm.

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