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Battle of the Birds: RedHawks v. Eagles

By Ben Blanchard, For The Miami Student

The Miami University volleyball team has won eight of its last ten matches and hopes to continue the hot streak against Eastern Michigan University Friday.

The RedHawks (13-7, 5-2 Mid-American Conference) are coming off last night's 3-2 victory over Central Michigan University.

After a four-game losing streak in mid-September, the Eagles (11-8, 3-3 MAC) have gotten their season back on track, having won five of their last six games.

Miami head coach Carolyn Condit described EMU as "always worthy opponents," but the Eagles' only MAC victories have come against the three worst teams in the West Division.

Miami is led by 6-foot-5 senior middle hitter Jenny Ingle, who is on pace to surpass her own school record in attack percentage. Last season, Ingle turned in a .367 percentage. This year, Ingle has 122 kills against 24 errors in 276 attempts, giving her a .355 attack percentage.

Although Ingle's dominance has been critical in leading Miami to victory, Condit said that the RedHawks "need to show a more balanced offense."

Defense is more of a team effort for the Red and White. Five Miami players have collected 100-plus digs and an average more than two digs per set.

Sophomore libero Maeve McDonald leads the defense with 296 digs and averages 4.00 per set. Another defensive standout for the RedHawks is redshirt freshman Mackenzie Zielinski, who has 175 digs on the season and averages 2.36 per set.

Eastern Michigan is led by senior libero Corynne Smith, who has 357 digs total and averages 5.17 per set. Offensively, senior outside hitter Stacey Perinar drives the Eagles with 259 kills this season.

MU leads EMU 37-14 in the all-time series. The RedHawks have also won three straight against the Eagles, including a decisive 3-0 victory (27-25, 25-17, 25-20) last October on EMU's home court. Ingle had 11 kills in the match.

Miami is undefeated at home this season (7-0), while the Eagles are 2-5 on the road this year.

The game begins at 7 p.m. in Millett Hall.