Tom Downey, For The Miami Student

The Miami University women’s volleyball team finished their season with a 16-16 record and a 7-9 mark in Mid-American Conference (MAC) play. Thanks to a late season surge, the team snuck into the MAC Tournament where they lost to Ohio University in the quarterfinals.

Head Coach Carolyn Condit described the season as “average to below average to what this program is capable of.”

The team started off the season strong, going 12-8 and 3-1 in conference play. However, the team began to struggle in October, only winning one game and losing eight straight games in MAC play.

“I think the losing streak reflected a lack of maturity in how we compete to win,” Condit said. “We had great effort, but we seemed to tailspin when the going got tough. It’s hard to explain but I think our athletes got too caught up in the points of the match rather than taking it one game at a time and enjoying playing good volleyball.”

The team also struggled with injuries, especially in the left side hitter position.

However, the team won four straight games against the University of Akron, the University at Buffalo, Bowling Green State University and Western Michigan University in the month of November, which helped them grab the No. 7 seed in the MAC tournament.

“When you lose eight games in a row, the competitors on the team step up, especially the seniors,” Condit said.

The MAC was especially strong this year as they were ranked seventh of 32 conferences. In addition, four teams were selected to go to the NCAA Tournament, setting a new conference record.

Senior Cassie Farrell was named to the All-MAC team, leading the team in hitting percentage and blocks. She was also second on the team in kills. Defensively, sophomore Madison Hardy, who finished the season with 529 digs, led the RedHawks.

“We lose no one in the backcourt, and the rest of the team will be improved,” Condit said. “Chelsea Visk will become a standout player. We need to be number five or higher as we get into the middle of the MAC season as we begin to pull ourselves up toward the top of the standings. We finished seventh, and I’d like to see us finish in the top four.”

The Red and White will be a young team next year and while it may take them a little while to gel, they should be rounding top form by the end of the season.