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Volleyball rides 4-game win streak into MAC Tournament

By Tom Downey
On November 17, 2011

The Miami University RedHawks women's volleyball team continued their strong play as of late by winning both matches last weekend. They beat Bowling Green State University (BGSU) 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 20-25, 25-18) Thursday and then upset Western Michigan University (WMU) 3-2 (25-27, 25-21, 20-25, 25-23, 15-11) Saturday. The wins moved the RedHawks from the Mid-American Conference Tournament bubble to being the No. 7 seed.

The RedHawks trailed in the first set until they went on 6-2 run to take a 10-9 lead. The Falcons would take the lead back and go up 14-12, but the Red and White would eventually go up 16-14. They never gave up the lead and went on to win 25-19.

With the second set tied at 5-5, the RedHawks went on a 6-0 run to take an 11-5 lead. Miami never gave up that lead, although BGSU battled back and trimmed the lead to one, at 24-23. However, the RedHawks won the next point to take the set.

The third set saw the Falcons jump out to a 5-1 lead. The 'Hawks would battle back and keep the set close, with BGSU up 14-13. However, Bowling Green went on 5-2 run to take a 19-15 lead. They went on to win the set 25-20. The RedHawks controlled the fourth set, extending their lead to 14-9 and then to 21-14. They went on to win the set and the match 25-18.

Jenn Caylor led the Red and White's offensive attack with 15 kills, while Amy Raseman had 11 and Cassie Farrell had 10. Madison Hardy again led the team in digs, with 19. Amy Kendall had her third straight double-double, with a game high 38 assists and 10 digs.

The match against Western Michigan marked Senior Day for the RedHawks. The Broncos jumped out to a 4-1 lead early in set one, but the RedHawks would tie the game at six. Things remained close, until the Broncos finally won the set 27-25.

Set two saw senior Colleen Loftus, who missed the season with a knee injury, serve as the crowd gave her a standing ovation. After falling behind 4-0, the RedHawks battled back to take a 7-5 lead. While WMU would respond to take a 12-10 lead, the Red and White fought back to go up 18-14. They would go on to win the set 25-21.

With the score knotted up at six in third set, WMU went on a 9-5 run to take a 15-11 lead. The Broncos never gave up that lead and won the set 25-20.

Down 4-8 to start set four, the RedHawks battled back to tie the score at 11. After falling behind 22-20, the RedHawks took five of the next six points to win the set 25-20.

The 'Hawks fell behind again in the fifth set, this time 6-2. However, the RedHawks went on a tear to take a commanding 12-7 lead. They went on to pull the upset by taking the final set 15-11.

"Winning both games builds momentum, I couldn't have asked for anymore from the team," Head Coach Carolyn Condit said. "We're being the team we need to be right now. They're fighting hard."

Farrell had a career high 22 kills, leading the team, while Raseman and Caylor each had 14 against the Broncos. Meg Riley had 34 assists while Kendall had 33. Hardy had 26 digs, once again leading the team.

The RedHawks are now 16-14 overall and 7-9 in the MAC. They ride a four game winning streak into the MAC Tournament. They will be playing Ohio University for the third time this year.

"We look forward to playing the Bobcats and we believe we can get them in the third matchup," Condit said.

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