Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer

 

The Miami University volleyball team grabbed another win in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play as it downed Eastern Michigan University 3-2 (31-29, 25-22, 19-25, 16-25, 15-10) Thursday, but suffered its ninth loss in its last eleven matches against Central Michigan University Friday night in a 1-3 (18-25, 25-22, 21-25, 22-25) decision.

The RedHawks (10-10, 2-6 MAC) have won two of their last four matches and are currently in fifth place in the MAC East.

The first set against Eastern Michigan (12-11, 2-6 MAC) was hotly contested as the two sides battled, with Miami rallying from 10-15 to tie it up at 23-23 and would trade blows with the Eagles until Miami snagged a 31-29 win. Offense came up big for the ‘Hawks in the second set as the team hit .283 for the set and never fell behind after starting off 3-1 en route to a 25-22 win. Things took a drastic turn in the third set as Eastern Michigan took an 11-3 advantage on its way to a 25-19 set win. The story stayed the same in the fourth set as the Eagles took an 8-2 lead and cruised to a 25-16 finish to force a fifth set.

The Red and White took an early 3-1 lead in the deciding set, and after Eastern Michigan closed the gap to 4-3, Miami reeled off a 5-2 spurt and finished off the Eagles 15-10.

Junior setter/outside hitter Meg Riley and freshman outside hitter Maris Below had double-doubles on the night, with Riley recording 16 kills and 11 digs and Below tallying 12 kills and 21 digs. Sophomore Annie Reiswig had a team-high 18 kills, while freshman setter Krista Brakauskas had 48 of the team’s 65 assists and senior libero Madison Hardy racked up 39 digs.

In the first set against Central Michigan (9-11, 3-5 MAC), the RedHawks kept up with the Chippewas until a 9-4 run by the Chips put them in front 18-12 on their way to a 25-18 set victory.

Things did not seem to improve in the next set for the ‘Hawks as CMU took a 5-1 lead, but Miami mustered a late 4-1 spurt to put the score at 23-20 and eventually took the set 25-22.

The RedHawks got off to a slow start in the third set, falling behind 11-5 and despite a furious rally, fell 25-21.

The fourth set played out like the first, with the two teams trading blows until a late 3-1 run by the Chippewas put them up 18-16. The RedHawks could not get their offense going as they dropped the set 22-25.

“We needed to be more consistent [tonight] and more energy in all aspects of the game,” freshman middle hitter Paige Hill said. “We lacked the energy that we had [Thursday night]. We need to keep working on our consistency, our hitting, our blocking… everything.”

Redshirt sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle led the attack for Miami with 13 kills and a .375 hitting percentage while Reiswig recorded 11 kills on the night. Brakauskas had another solid night with 41 assists and 10 digs, and Below had a near double-double with eight kills and 10 digs.

“Tonight was a lackluster performance,” head coach Carolyn Condit said. “We kept jumping the same players a lot and it tested the younger players’ stamina. Their attack was aggressive and effective… It was good to see Ingle take some big swings and Reiswig to get back in double-digits again… But it’s hard to beat teams when you have 13 service errors and only three service aces. We weren’t sharp.”

The RedHawks hit the road next weekend as they take on the University of Toledo and Ball State University.

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