The Eastern Michigan University Eagles’ women’s volleyball team welcomed rival Central Michigan University into the Convocation Center on Thursday night. Entering the game, the Eagles were 10-10 (2-2 in the MAC) on the year, and had recently won two of their last three games with victories over Toledo and Northern Illinois. Central Michigan came in with a 9-7 record, but were just 2-3 when playing on the road.
In the first set, the crowd was thrilled when Jordan Smith dug the ball out, diving on the ground, leading to a 2-1 lead for the Eagles. At 12-12, Eastern Michigan regained the lead on a Cassie Haut spike. Three plays later, the Chippewas were forced to call timeout, with the momentum swinging towards Eastern’s side. Mallory Rajewski gave the Eagles a 19-15 advantage, surprising the Central front line with a quick hit. Eastern went on to win the set 26-24.
Trailing 9-8 in the second set, Samantha Falco, spiked the ball to even the score up. The Chips then went on a 6-2 run before the Eagles answered back with a 8-5 spurt of their own. The run was not long enough as Megan Kern and Central went on to win the set 25-21. The Eagles answered in the third set, beginning with a Kelly Ferguson block. It was back-and-forth throughout, but Eastern would eventually pull through, 25-23, taking a 2-1 lead in the match.
Sets four and five weren’t as kind to the Eagles. A late mistake led to a 25-22 fourth set victory of Central Michigan. Eastern couldn’t keep up with the Chips in a quick fifth set. After trailing 4-2, Central Michigan went on a 6-0 run and never looked back, taking down the Eagles 15-11 to clinch the match.
Franki Strefling led the team with 19 kills with Alyssa LaFace scored 21 total digs. While the digs were even at 85-85, the difference came with Central’s advantage in assists, 71-59, and blocks, 13-10. It was a tough lose for the Eagles, as they fall under the .500-mark on the year at 10-11, and 2-3 in-conference.
Eastern Michigan will look forward to a home match against the Ohio Bobcats on Saturday, October 7 at 5:00 p.m. at the Convocation Center. They will also host three of their next five matches, with home games against Akron and Buffalo, preceded by road matches at Bowling Green and Miami (OH).