The RedHawks are three wins away from their second consecutive MAC championship.
Miami University’s volleyball team cruised into the post-season after failing to drop a set in two matches Friday and Saturday. The ‘Hawks defeated both the University of Akron and the University at Buffalo 3-0, securing the No. 3 seed and a first-round bye in the MAC tournament.
In their final home game at Millet Stadium, seniors Emily Schroeder, Catherine Wolfe and Melissa Zenz had mixed emotions after Saturday’s victory.
“It’s bizarre,” said Schroeder, a four-year starter for the program. “I tried to stay focused on the game, and not let my emotions get in the way. Tonight was a good win for our team though. It gives us a lot of momentum going into the tournament.”
Schroeder was awarded player of the match honors due to her steady play throughout the match highlighted by seven kills.
“We are really going to miss her,” head coach Carolyn Condit said. “She has meant so much to this program over the last four years.”
In the midst of the senior night celebration, Melissa Zenz picked the perfect night to reach a milestone mark, recording her 2,000th career dig. Her 16-dig performance solidified a Miami defense that Buffalo failed to crack. After the game, Zenz made mention about her final home game, her milestone, and the upcoming MAC tournament.
“It’s sad,” Zenz said. “I’m going to miss the fans. But tonight was a perfect way to end a great career here at Miami. It’s really exciting to reach a career milestone like that; it just validates all the hard work.”
Miami now owns a three-game win streak and won all nine sets in that span. The RedHawks have triumphed 11 times this season in 3-0 matches.
With a first-round bye, Condit said the ‘Hawks intend on taking advantage of the extra practice time in order to continue the team’s continuity and work out any last minute kinks. While the team is disappointed to not win the MAC East, the RedHawks will not dwell on that failure.
“We have a chance to play the underdog role this year,” Condit said. “We just have to carry over our great play from this weekend. We seem to be hitting stride at the right time. We look forward to the challenge of the MAC tournament.”
In 2007, Miami won the MAC tournament as the No. 3 seed after a 13-3 season in conference play. That season also ended with a victory over the Buffalo Bulls. Miami defeated Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University and Ohio University en route to the title.
The ‘Hawks now await the winner of the No. 6 seed Northern Illinois University and the No. 11 seed Kent State University first-round match. Miami won all three of its matches against these two schools in the regular season, dropping only one set to NIU and sweeping Kent State 3-0, 3-0.
The RedHawks play their quarterfinal match Friday at the Seagate Center in Toledo, Ohio.