The Miami University volleyball team played three matches in Ann Arbor, Mich., looking to build off a mid-week win against Wright State Sept. 8.
They did just that, winning two of three matches at the Michigan Invitational to improve their record on the young season to 4-6.
“We are still evolving,” Head Coach Carolyn Condit said. “We are still looking for people to emerge into roles on the court, especially at the outside hitter position. This is the youngest team I have even coached, but I can only see us getting better as the year goes on.”
Sept. 10 in Ann Arbor, Miami met Chicago State. After falling behind in the first set 10-14, the RedHawks made their run. Redshirt freshman Jackie Lang and junior Cassie Farrell got the run started for Miami with back-to-back kills before redshirt junior Amy Raseman earned two service aces to tie the score at 16. Two Michele Metzler kills gave the ‘Hawks a lead, and they wouldn’t give it up, going on to win the first set against the Cougars 25-21.
With the score 7-5 in favor of Miami in set two, the RedHawks scored the next eight points off of junior Colleen Loftus’ serve to break open the set and take it 25-12. Another large Miami run was the story of the third set, as the RedHawks went on an 11-2 run midway through to open up an 18-9 lead over the Cougars to take the set 25-14 and the match 3-0.
In-state foe Youngstown State was the Red and White’s first opponent Sept. 11. After a slow start early in the first set, the ‘Hawks were able to come back to tie it at 17 late. Then, Miami forced Youngstown State into several attacking errors en route to an 8-4 run that gave them the first set 25-21. Set two was all Miami, as a couple of service aces from Lang gave the RedHawks an early 7-1 lead. Raseman added four kills in the middle of the set as the Red and White opened up a 16-8 lead before taking the second set 25-16 over the Penguins. The mid-game runs continued for the ‘Hawks in set three, when a 9-1 run gave them a 15-6 lead that was too much for the Penguins to overcome. The set win gave Miami back-to-back match sweeps and their third win in a row.
“What went well for us was our effort to strive for consistency and play our game,” said Raseman, who was named to the all-tournament team. “This is something we’re always looking to do, but we were able to do this especially well in Youngstown State and really be pacesetters.”
The toughest test for the RedHawks came on Saturday night against nationally-ranked tournament hosts Michigan. Miami put up a fight against the Wolverines in all three sets, but were defeated 16-25, 19-25 and 20-25. The loss put the RedHawks at 4-6 on the season, heading into their home invitational this upcoming weekend.
“We can carry over this momentum by focusing on the things we did well and continue to learn from the things we struggled on,” Raseman said. “We know that we are capable of putting together a complete game, and are striving for that this week.”