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MU clinches MAC Tournament berth

Photo by Connor Moriarty

By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer

The Miami University volleyball team clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament following 3-1 (25-14, 25-17, 24-26, 25-21) and 3-1 (25-15, 24-26, 25-17, 25-14) victories over the University at Buffalo and the University of Akron. The RedHawks (16-8, 9-3 Mid-American Conference) are on a seven-match winning streak in conference play, its longest since 2008.

"Buffalo is a good team," assistant coach Jesse Ortiz said. "They've lost some close games down the stretch, but it was a great win for us and it was good to be able to redeem ourselves [after dropping the first game against the Bulls]. Akron's a scrappy team. When they were able to get good servicing, they put us on our heels a little but. They were two good matches and it's a great day to be a RedHawk."

Against Buffalo (14-12, 4-8 MAC), sophomore middle blocker Paige Hill went off as she posted 12 kills with a .391 hitting percentage. Fellow sophomore outside hitter Maris Below recorded a double-double with 12 kills and 12 digs. Senior setter/outside hitter Meg Riley barely missed out on a triple-double as she had seven kills, 21 assists and 23 digs on the night. Sophomore setter Krista Brakauskas nearly had a double-double with 26 assists and eight digs.

A pair of RedHawks also posted nine kills in the match as senior outside hitter Sarah Chaney did so with a .259 hitting percentage and freshman outside hitter Katie Tomasic hit .429 in the second set. Chaney and Hill also had strong nights on the block, as they accounted for 6.5 of the team's 14 total blocks.

In the match against Akron (8-19, 2-10 MAC), Riley and Below each recorded double-doubles on the night as Riley accounted for 11 kills, 19 assists and seven digs while Below had 13 kills and 10 digs. Ingle and Hill had strong nights on the block, as they had 6.5 of the team's 11 total blocks.

"It was a good weekend for us," Hill said. "Against Buffalo, we did a good job of making minimal errors and against Akron, we were great with our serving and our passing. Looking forward, we need to be able to be aggressive with our serving and passing and be able to control the ball."

The RedHawks host their final home game of the season 7 p.m. Thursday when they take on Bowling Green State University and head to Kalamazoo for a clash with Western Michigan University 7 p.m. Saturday.

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