Michael Solomon, Staff Writer

The Miami University volleyball team continued early MAC play, visiting Bowling Green State University Sept. 30 and hosting Northern Illinois University (NIU) Oct. 2.

The RedHawks were able to take down the Falcons in four sets to claim their first conference victory of the season Thursday, but lost a tough five set match to the Huskies on Sunday to drop their overall record to 6-11 overall and 1-3 in the MAC.

“I thought this weekend was a lot better for our team than last weekend when we lost to Buffalo and Akron in straight sets,” Head Coach Carolyn Condit said. “We played well at Bowling Green Thursday to get the win and we really had a chance to take down Northern Illinois on Sunday, which would have been big for our team. Northern Illinois came into our game on a hot streak and I am very happy with the way we came out against them.”

The RedHawks looked to rebound Thursday night at Bowling Green after dropping their first two MAC matches of the season. They did just that, taking three of four games from the Falcons. Early kills from senior Michele Metzler and sophomore Amy Kendall gave the Red and White an early lead in set one at 8-3. Bowling Green battled back and went on a 12-6 run that brought it within one at 17-16, but Miami was able to hold on to win the first set 25-20.

Set two saw the teams trade points early on, but a few Bowling Green mistakes helped the RedHawks build an 18-13 lead late in the set. That was enough for the RedHawks, who put the game away 25-21 to take a 2-0 lead.

Set three belonged to the Falcons, as a late 13-3 run put the game out of reach for Miami, dropping the third game 25-11. Miami rebounded early in set four, jumping out to a 7-2 lead. That lead was short lived, though, as the Falcons scored the next 14 points to open up a 16-7 lead over the ‘Hawks. Miami was not done, as the team battled its way back to tie the score at 21 late in the set. Leading 24-23, Amy Raseman put down the final kill down for the RedHawks, who earned their first conference victory of the 2010 season with a 3-1 win over the Falcons. Metzler led the way for Miami with 13 kills against the Falcons, and sophomore Lisa Treadway and junior Colleen Loftus added eight kills apiece.

Miami put up a great effort on Sunday against the Northern Illinois Huskies, who entered the game with a 15-2 record. Miami was able to open up a 2-1 set lead over the Huskies, but unfortunately wasn’t able to hold on as Northern Illinois took the match in five sets (25-22, 16-25, 25-21, 18-25, 9-15). Raseman led the way for the RedHawks against NIU with 18 kills, while Metzler added 16 for Miami in the five-set thriller.

“Northern was a game that should have been ours,” Raseman said. “We came out strong early then weren’t able to put together three solid games. Our middle connections were great the entire match, both middles hit above 0.500.”

The ‘Hawks continue MAC play when they host Kent State Friday night and Ohio University Saturday.