’Hawks hope to continue momentum at home
Published: Thursday, October 18, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 21:10
After coming off of its first Mid-American Conference (MAC) win of the season, the Miami University volleyball team returns to Millett Hall this weekend to face MAC West foes the University of Toledo (UT) and Ball State University. The RedHawks are in dire straights tied for fifth place in the MAC East with the University at Buffalo.
Miami (6-15, 1-7 MAC) picked up its first MAC victory of the season as well as its first road win, against Eastern Michigan University last week. In that matchup, sophomore setter/outside hitter Meg Riley came up big for the ’Hawks recording her eighth triple-double of the year. Her performance garnered MAC East Offensive Player of the Week honors, along with earning a share of Miami Female Athlete of the Week. Another key player for the Red and White is junior libero Madison Hardy who is averaging 4.55 digs per set this season, sixth best in the MAC.
The RedHawks kick off play Friday against Toledo (8-3, 2-6 MAC). The Rockets suffered a loss against Indiana University–Purdue University at Fort Wayne last weekend. In defeat, junior outside hitter Lauren Rafdal had a solid all-around game with 21 kills, six digs and four block assists. As a team this season, UT is fourth in the MAC with 2.15 blocks per set. Friday presents a unique opportunity for the ’Hawk as Toledo is 0-6 on the road this season.
Miami then faces MAC West leading Ball State (12-8, 7-1 MAC) Saturday. The Cardinals head into Oxford after being swept by Ohio University, but a lone bright spot for the Cards is senior outside hitter Kara Bates, who had 11 kills and four digs in the loss.
Ball State is the best in the conference this season when it comes to hitting percentage (.232) and second in assists and kills with 13.08 and 13.89 per set, respectively. It will be a test for the Red and White facing such a potent offense, but Ball State has struggled on the road as a team (1-4).
Miami is looking forward to facing stiff MAC competition this weekend.
“We’re a very confident group,” Head Coach Carolyn Condit said. “We are looking forward to our opportunities this weekend.”
“We expect ourselves to win both games this weekend,” Hardy said. “Getting two wins against MAC West opponents would be great for us.”
The RedHawks take on Toledo 6 p.m. Friday due to the men’s hockey game. The match is also Miami’s annual Dig In for Breast Cancer Awareness game. The ’Hawks then face Ball State 5 p.m. Saturday.