Miami Drops 4th Straight to Close MAC Season
The Miami University volleyball team dropped its fourth match in a row and fifth out of its last six in a 0-3 sweep on the road at Western Michigan University.
Miami wraps up Mid-American Conference (MAC) play in 5th place in the MAC East.
The RedHawks (9-20, 4-12 MAC) have struggled mightily in road games this season, posting a record of 2-9. Their wins came against Eastern Michigan University Oct. 13 and Kent State University Oct. 27, which was their last win. November has not been kind to the 'Hawks, as they have yet to win a set or a match this month.
The Red and White had few bright spots in a match where they collectively had a .067 hitting percentage. Notable exceptions include senior outside hitter Amy Kendall, sophomore setter/outside hitter Meg Riley and redshirt freshman middle hitter Jenny Ingle. Kendall contributed 19 assists, while Riley had six kills, five assist, and four digs on the night and Ingle led the team with nine kills, a .471 hitting percentage, and one block.
However, the 'Hawks hurt themselves with 21 attack errors, 11 service errors and three return errors, along with failing hit .100 in every set.
"Tonight was a tough loss," Ingle said. "Every time we play is a new learning experience that we can absorb and learn from. Western is definitely a beatable team, we just have to look at eliminating some of our errors and end streaks faster. I'm looking forward to practice this week and can't wait to play Cincinnati."
The MAC West leading Broncos had solid outputs in the match. Senior middle blocker Jessica Brown had a .409 hitting percentage to go with her 12 kills, six digs, and 1.5 blocks. Junior libero Lena Oliver was also a statistical leader in the match with 19 digs and sophomore middle hitter Richelle Ranney registered a .429 hitting percentage, seven kills, and two blocks. As a team, WMU outdug and outblocked Miami 49-33 and 6.0-3.0, respectively and recorded a hitting percentage of over .200 in the first two sets. Western Michigan has recorded its eighth consecutive 20-win season and is the third seed for the MAC Tournament, which will start next weekend.
"They had a good deep ball and a good light attack," Head Coach Carolyn Condit said of the Broncos. "I'm just disappointed in our hitters. We just didn't get it done."
Western Michigan (20-9, 13-3 MAC) asserted itself early in the contest, taking the first set after going on a 15-2 run. The second set featured quick runs by both teams, but the Broncos eventually pulled away thanks to a run of 7-2 in the middle of the set. Action was even more intense in the third and final set as the teams traded blows with each other until they reached the 20-20 mark. Miami then made attack errors and WMU took advantage for the sweep.
The RedHawks conclude their season at home against the University of Cincinnati at 4 p.m. November 24.
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