The Eastern Michigan women’s volleyball team suffered a loss to Ball State on Friday, Nov. 15. It was a crucial loss as the Eagles were looking for a spot in the 2019 MAC Tournament.
Eastern Michigan was on the road in Muncie, Indiana, the home of the Cardinals, and EMU left Worthen Arena with a 3-1 loss.
The Eagles were able to win the first set of the match before falling short in the next three sets. Senior Cassie Haut led the Eagles with 18 kills. On the other hand, senior Riley Taylor had 50 assists on the night to lead the Eagles in that category.
The first set was a close one as EMU won by two points. The Eagles started the first set on a 9-3 run. During the first set, sophomore Mackenzie Garis had her 13th service ace of the season, while Haut led the team with five kills. Eastern Michigan won the set 25-23 and looked to continue that momentum into the second set.
The Eagles were able to obtain a 7-2 lead. Junior Franki Strefling contributed two service aces within the first three points of the second set. The Eagles lost momentum, though, when the Cardinals went on a run to take the lead and push the score to 11-10. After a tug of war battle throughout the second set, the Cardinals were able to get ahead and take the set 25-17, tying the match at one set apiece.
The Cardinals made several lineup adjustments that later worked in their favor. The team won the third set 25-19 and the fourth and final set 25-23. Along with her two aces, Strefling followed behind Haut with 14 kills. Sophomore Julia Fisher finished the match with nine kills and three blocks. Freshman Samantha Basham contributed six kills and three blocks.
Strefling also led the Eagles in digs, totaling 18 to go along with her strong performance at the net. Garis wasn’t too far behind Strefling as she finished the match with 17 digs. Seniors Camille Schomer and Riley Taylor finished with a total of 15 digs.
As a whole, the Eagles had 55 kills, while the Cardinals had 59. Ball State held the advantages in assists totals, having 56 assists to the Eagles 54 assists.
However, Eastern Michigan was able to lead the Cardinals in blocks. The Eagles had a total of eight, while the Cardinals only had seven.
Eastern Michigan will not compete in this year’s tournament, despite winning the 2018 MAC Tournament. The Eagles did finish the regular season on a high note, though, as they rebounded from their loss versus Ball State to defeat Toledo Nov. 16. The Eagles beat Toledo 3-0 behind Haut’s game-high 13 kills.
Eastern Michigan finished the regular season with a record of 11-17 and a 6-10 conference record. Ball State, following wins over Eastern Michigan and Central Michigan, sits at 17-11 and 11-5 in the MAC. The Cardinals have won six straight matches going into the MAC Tournament in Bowling Green.