RedHawks experience growing pains in Hoosier Classic
The Miami University volleyball team went 1-2 in the Hoosier Classic in Bloomington, Ind. this weekend in its final test before Mid-American Conference (MAC) play opens next week. The team played well against the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, but struggled against the offensive attacks of Valparaiso University and Indiana University (IU).
The RedHawks earned a 3-2 victory over Chattanooga Friday evening to start off the Hoosier Classic. Junior outside hitter Madison Dodd and sophomore setter/outside hitter Meg Riley, who had 17 kills and a triple-double of 13 kills, 22 assists and 10 digs, respectively, paced Miami.
The 'Hawks got out to an early lead with an 8-3 run in the first set. After Chattanooga knotted the game up at nine, Miami created separation with at 10-2 run and coasted to a 25-17 decision.
It was more of a battle in the second set, with Chattanooga matching Miami point-for-point throughout. After the set was tied at 23, senior outside hitter Lisa Treadway clinched Miami's second point of the match with two kills.
After the Chattanooga Mocs got out to a 6-3 lead in the third stanza, the Red and White rebounded to take the lead back at 11-10. However, it was all Mocs for the rest of the set pulling out a 25-18 victory.
Set four was hotly contested, but the RedHawks could not overcome a 10-1 Moc run in a 25-21 defeat.
A 5-3 run by Chattanooga gave the Mocs a 9-6 advantage in the final set, but Miami was relentless with its attack, winning the match 15-11.
Saturday morning the RedHawks were swept by Valparaiso, ending their four-game winning streak. On a high note, junior libero Madison Hardy earned her 1,000th dig during the match, becoming the third libero and 13th player in program history to do so. Another key player for the Red and White was Riley, who put together another triple-double of 11 kills, 18 assists and 12 digs.
In the first set the 'Hawks jumped out to an early 6-3 lead, but Valpo was resilient, keeping up with the Red and White and eventually tying the set at 20. The set was again tied 24-24 when the Crusaders earned a point with two consecutive kills.
It was a back-and-forth contest in the second set with the score tied at 12 at one point. However, Valparaiso went on an 8-3 run and never looked back, winning the set 25-18.
The third set started out with another run by Miami, putting the score at 10-5. The Crusaders then stormed back to take the lead at 20-19, and eventually earned the match victory 25-22.
The RedHawks closed out the Classic with another 0-3 defeat Saturday night, this time against Indiana. Redshirt freshman outside hitter Sarah Chaney was Miami's biggest contributor in the match, racking up six kills and a hitting percentage of .308.
The Hoosiers' quick-paced attack provided some problems for Miami with 25-14 and 25-10 wins in the first and second sets, respectively. The 'Hawks responded in the third set, matching IU's scoring runs for most of the set and tying it at 19 at one point. Despite their best efforts, they could not corral the Indiana offense, dropping a 22-25 decision.
"These were worthy opponents," Head Coach Carolyn Condit said. "IU's defense was strong at blocking and played at a high level."
Senior setter Amy Kendall had similar sentiments.
"This past weekend we fought a tough battle Friday earning the win, but the next two games caught us by surprise as we were taken down," Kendall said. "It was a good check to see what we need to work on this week, and we feel extremely ready for our MAC home openers this upcoming weekend."
After the Classic, Riley was named to the All-Tournament Team for her performance over the weekend, which included 26 kills, 49 assists and 25 digs. This honor comes just days after Riley was named the Mid-American Conference's Female Scholar Athlete of the Week.
The RedHawks return home to Oxford this weekend, kicking off homecoming weekend against Kent State University 7 p.m. Friday. They then face Ohio University 5 p.m. Saturday.
"One thing that I take away from this weekend is the nice job our younger players did against these talented teams," Condit said. "It gave them experience and got them more prepared for the MAC opener."
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