Eastern Michigan's volleyball team saw its first season under coach Kimi Olson come to a conclusion after a loss to rival Western Michigan forced the Eagles out of the MAC Tournament for a second consecutive season while also posting a losing record for the first time in seven years.
The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team saw its season end on Thursday in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournament. The Eagles fought through five sets (25-15, 25-19, 27-25, 25-23 and 15-9) just to watch their season end in Athens, Ohio.
Eastern Michigan (14-16, 6-10 MAC) Stacey Perinar and Katie Krasowski led the team in kills on the night in its attempt to get past the first round of the tournament. Devon Murray, Krasowski and Perinar earned 20, 17 and 16 kills respectively in their last appearances for the Eagles.
The Eagles fought hard at the end of the regular season to even make the MAC Tournament, and continued that effort into the first round. EMU forced the Broncos into five sets, but the first set started out weak offensively for the Eagles.
Eastern Michigan only notched 15 points in the first game, starting out slow and never being able to come back while the Broncos ran away to take an early lead. The second set saw the opposite for the Eagles.
Freshman Jordan Smith tallied a game-high seven kills in the second set and Murray pulled six kills of her own. The Eagles tied the match up at one-a-piece. Mallory Rajewski was detrimental to the second set, earning 13 assists.
The third set saw the Broncos pick up where they left off in the first game despite a strong effort from the Eagles outside hitters. Western Michigan once again took the lead in the match before Eastern Michigan could tie the match up again in the fourth set.
Perinar and Murray led the Eagles offense like they have for the last two seasons, with six and five kills, respectively, through the fourth set. But despite the fourth game win, it wasn’t enough to lead the Eagles to a first round victory.
The Broncos took the fifth set by a score of 15-9, effectively ending the Eagles season with a losing record. The loss marks the second consecutive year that EMU volleyball has been eliminated in the first round of the MAC Tournament.
The 2015 season also saw the Eagles post a losing record for the first time since 2009. The current campaign was also the first for head coach Kimi Olson, who took over the team from former coach Kim Berrington.
The end of the season also marks the end of collegiate careers for Alyssa Davis, Dori Harrison, Stacey Perinar and Corynne Smith. Perinar led the Eagles in kills with 400, with the closest behind her being Cassie Haut with 221. Perinar also dug out 326 balls. Smith, the Eagles libero, earned 627 digs on the season as well as 115 assists.