’Hawks Humbled at UT, BSU
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 29, 2013 11:10
The Miami University volleyball team has dropped four out of its last five matches after suffering 1-3 (21-25, 23-25, 25-23, 18-25) and 1-3 (19-25, 19-25, 25-23, 23-25) defeats at the hands of the Mid-American Conference (MAC) West Division's top two squads: the University of Toledo and Ball State University (20-5, 8-2 MAC). The RedHawks (10-12, 2-8 MAC) are two games below .500 for the first time this season.
Miami took an early 4-1 lead in the first set, before a late 5-1 run by Toledo put the score at 22-17 on Toledo’s way to a 25-21 finish.
The next set was much tighter as neither team was able to pull away from the other. The RedHawks went on a 4-1 run to go up 21-18, but the Rockets came storming back with a 7-2 spurt to take the set.
Things were close in the third set as well as there were 16 ties and three lead changes in the set. At 23-23, junior setter/outside hitter Meg Riley clinched the set with a kill and a service ace.
Toledo jumped out to an early 5-0 advantage in the fourth set, from which the RedHawks were unable to bounce back from as they fell 25-18.
Freshman outside hitter Maris Below had a near double-double on the night as she tallied 18 kills and 8 digs while Riley and sophomore outside hitter Anne Reiswig each had 13 kills. Freshman setter Krista Brakauskas racked up 50 of the ’Hawks 57 assists in the match.
In the first set against Ball State, the RedHawks fell behind 2-5 and were not able to come back as they dropped the set 25-19 as the Cardinals closed the set on a 5-0 run. The Cardinals took the second set by the same score.
The third set was much more competitive with the two sides trading points until the RedHawks reeled off an 8-2 spurt to go up 22-18 en route to a 25-23 win. Things were also close in the fourth set, but the night belonged to Ball State as it closed the match 25-23 on a 4-2 run.
“We competed hard but their attacks were better,” head coach Carolyn Condit said. “Reiswig took some big swing and Paige was putting balls down this weekend. They just had effective juniors and seniors attacking... We had some communication errors and needed to be stronger to put balls down... Every match is a learning experience for us.”
Reiswig had another 13 kill night while freshman middle hitter Paige Hill had a solid outing with 10 kills and a .348 hitting percentage. Brakauskas had another great night with 46 of Miami's 51 assists.
“It was a learning experience for us,” senior libero Madison Hardy said. “Some of our younger players stepped up with Reiswig, Below and Krista [Brakauskas.] We're learning and improving. By taking sets off of Toledo and Ball State, we proved that we are up there in the MAC and we need to work on finishing and finding our confidence. We going to head to Bowling Green with a fire in the stomach after losing to them earlier in the season and we need to work on our defense, digging, and our all-around game.”
The RedHawks continue their road stand Thursday when they face Bowling Green State University and travel to take on Northern Illinois University at 8 p.m. Saturday.