The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team hosted two games, beginning a four game home-stand as the team gears up for the final six matches of the regular season. The Eagles were defeated by both the University of Buffalo by a score of 3-2 and the University of Akron by a score of 3-1, on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24, respectively.
Comeback against Buffalo spoiled in fifth set
The Eagles (12-11, 4-6 Mid-American Conference) were defeated by the Buffalo Bulls (4-17, 3-6 MAC) on Friday, Oct. 23, in a five set affair that saw the home side go two sets down, but come back and force a fifth set.
Buffalo won the first two sets by a score of the evening by scores of 26-24 and 25-16. But after the slow start, the Eagles attempted to comeback and won the third and fourth set by scored of 26-24 and 25-18. Eastern Michigan went into the fifth set with momentum on its side, but momentum wasn’t enough to push the Eagles through, dropping the fifth set 15-13.
“I think we had to make a few changes, and adapt to what the other team was doing,” Eagles coach Kimi Olson said following the loss. “At one point we had six seniors on the court at once, and they really stepped up. In the fifth game they out-powered us.”
Despite the loss, there was cause for celebration as senior Stacey Perinar recorded her 1,000th kill of her career against Buffalo.
“Stacey has been our go-to, she’s carried the biggest load of everyone on the team, and she’s been a big player for us,” Olson said. “When it comes to passing, she’s in there to defend, and she’s out lead point scorer, she’s done a ton for us.”
Perinar lead the Eagles with 23 kills; Kelsy Jones and Dori Harrison had 9 a-piece. Senior libero Corynne Smith finished with 31 digs on the night.
Zips come to town and down the Eagles
The next evening, the Akron Zips (8-15, 2-8 MAC) came into the Convocation Center looking to hand the Eagles its second consecutive loss, and the Zips left Michigan with a 3-1 decision, accomplishing what it came to Ypsilanti to do.
Akron won the first set by a score of 25-20 before the Eagles won the second set by a score of 25-20.
The Zips took over the match past that point, winning sets three and four by scores of 25-19 and 25-21. The Eagles tried to battle back, but couldn’t find enough firepower to get back into the match, handing Eastern Michigan a big blow when it comes to MAC standings.
Devon Murray made her return back from an ankle injury on Saturday and lead the Eagles in kills with 11. Casey Haut and Perinar registered 10 and eight kills respectively. Smith once again led the team in digs, with 23.
Eastern Michigan volleyball continues its four game home-stand, and will host Northern Illinois University on Oct. 30. The Eagles will once again have a quick turn-around, when in-state rivals Western Michigan University travels to Ypsilanti on Halloween night.
Currently, Eastern Michigan and Akron are tied for the eighth and final spot in the MAC Tournament with six games remaining on the season.