The Eastern Michigan women’s volleyball team squared off against Purdue-Fort Wayne on Tuesday, Sept. 17. The Eagles came into the game with a 3-5 record, hoping to improve that in the last game of the Michigan Challenge. Purdue-Fort Wayne came into the game with a 3-8 record and had Eastern Michigan as the last game of their Dunn Hospitality Tournament. Purdue-Fort Wayne was 1-2 in their last three games coming into the match.
Eastern Michigan started slow in the first set of the match, dropping the first set with a score of 25-17. The Eagles looked sluggish defensively and the team suffered from missed defensive assignments and slow movement. Offensively, every time Eastern got momentum, they would miss the next defensive play and allow Purdue-Fort Wayne to score a point.
However, in the second set, Eastern started with a 4-0 run and won the set 25-15. The Eagles picked up their offensive play and instead of desperate digs and sluggish conversions, they greatly improved their offensive capabilities, finishing the second set with 17 kills to Purdue-Fort Wayne’s six kills.
EMU continued to dominate in the next set, outworking Purdue-Fort Wayne with an advantage of 16-5 in kills during the third set, as well as playing a cleaner game with only three attack errors. It was a strong defensive set as well for the Eagles, blocking Purdue-Fort Wayne three times and having zero ball handling errors.
The fourth and final set was a bit more of a struggle even though the numbers don’t reflect it. Eastern Michigan won the set 25-14. However, there were numerous long volleys but Eastern almost always came out on top with superior defense and strong spikes.
The Eagles will now start the Purdue Tournament, which features games against Murray State, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Purdue University. The Murray State and Texas A&M matches will both be on Sept. 20, while the Purdue match will be Sept. 21. All three of these games will be played in West Lafayette, Indianapolis.