Action served off inside the George Gervin GameAbove Center for the first time this year as the Eastern Michigan University women’s volleyball squad squared off against storied MAC rival, Central Michigan University on Tuesday, Sept. 26, for their home opening debut.
Another first was marked for newly-appointed head coach, Kevin Foeman, as it was his first time coaching inside the G3 in front of the Ypsilanti faithful.
EMU ran off with a 4-2 start, as Elle McLoughlin notched three serving aces for the Eagles. The Chippewas would jump out in front, 8-6, as Maddy Gebhardt and Elly Medendorp each registered kills for the CMU attack.
After back-and-forth action between both sides, Central Michigan would then extend their lead, 15-12, as CMU’s Claire Ammeraal notched two kills. It would be CMU the rest of the way as the Chippewas ran away with the first set, 25-15.
Central Michigan continue right where they left off as they started the second set with a 4-0 lead before EMU’s Ava Siefke notched a kill to get the Eagles on the board. EMU would then score six unanswered as Abigail Stanford blocked two shots along with a kill to take a 6-5 lead.
After CMU did a little fighting back, the Eagles would extend their lead, 15-12, as Callie Minshew rattled off three kills for EMU. The Chippewas then rally and make it a set, finding themselves with a 24-23 lead, but the Eagles would hold on after a CMU error gave the Eagles the 26-24 set win.
The Chippewas started the fourth set hot as they produced an early 4-0 lead, but the Eagles fight back as Siefke added a kill to tie the set, 8-8. Both squads would continue to go back-and-forth before CMU would gain the lead, 15-13.
Central Michigan would add to their lead as Abby Olin drilled a kill for the Chippewas to make it 22-17. The Eagles would battle back, but it wasn’t enough as CMU held onto the set, 25-21.
In the winner-takes-all set, CMU would jump out to a 7-4 lead as Ammeraal notched another kill for the Chippewas. EMU would then rally as Samantha Basham drilled her ninth and tenth kills into Chippewa territory to give the Eagles an 8-7 lead.
The Chippewas regain the lead, 11-9, but Minshew cut the deficit with a kill to add another Eagle point to the scoreboard. Minshew then drilled two more kills to CMU’s side to even the score at 13 all.
After a nail-biting back-and-forth bout, Central Michigan held onto the fifth set, 18-16, to take the set win, 3-2.
“It’s a tough loss, that is a game I believe we should’ve won,” Foeman said. “We played tough, fought, and showed heart. I love this team man, we just have to learn how to win.”
Minshew was the anchor for the Eagles, as she finished with 25 kills and two blocks, and Siefke added 16 kills. Basham would add 11 kills and two blocks for EMU’s attack as well.
Next up, the Eagles will return home for a battle with Ball State University inside the George Gervin GameAbove Center. That matchup will serve off at 6 p.m. on Friday Sept. 29.
For more updates on the EMU women’s volleyball team, you can follow their Twitter page, @EMUVolleyball, as well as visit the Echo’s website.