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RedHawks remain unbeaten at home with EMU and CMU wins

By Ben Blanchard, The Miami Student

The Miami University volleyball team defeated Eastern Michigan University in 3-1 (25-15, 25-22, 17-25, 25-20) Friday night.

This victory comes on the heels of a tough 3-2 (20-25, 25-15, 25-21, 21-25, 15-9) win over Central Michigan University Thursday night.

The two victories add to Miami's unbeaten streak at home; the RedHawks improve to 9-0 in Oxford in 2015.

"We just keep trying to keep the streak going," senior Jenny Ingle said. "One of our goals every time is to protect our house."

Ingle was the RedHawk Player of the Match against EMU, leading the offense with 12 kills. She made two errors in 19 attempts for an attack percentage of .526. She also contributed two blocks (one solo and one assisted) on the night.

Against Central Michigan, junior middle hitter Paige Hill came up big in the decisive fifth set. She recorded four kills as Miami put the game out of reach for the Chippewas.

Hill finished with 13 kills for the match and made one attack error in 26 attempts for a hitting percentage of .462. She also recorded four blocks (two solo and two assisted).

Junior outside hitter Maris Below also was a standout on Thursday, contributing both offensively and defensively. She finished with a team-high 14 kills, and recorded a double-double with 12 digs.

On Thursday, Central Michigan built an early lead in set one at 7-5. A kill from Hill and a Chippewa attack error tied the score, but each time the RedHawks tied it, CMU regained the advantage.

Down 11-14, a kill from sophomore Katie Tomasic, a block from Hill and Tomasic, a service ace from freshman setter Mackenzie Zielinski and a block from senior outside hitter Annie Reiswig put Miami back in front 15-14.

Tied at 17, a 6-1 run by Central Michigan put it in control at 23-18. Hill recorded one more kill, but the Chippewas won 25-20.

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In Friday's match against Eastern Michigan, Miami did not perform well offensively, attacking at a low .222 percent. The RedHawks offset this with a strong defensive performance. They out-blocked the Eagles 12-6 and forced a .102 attack percentage. Sophomore outside hitter Olivia Rusek and Hill led MU with four blocks each.

These two wins bring Miami to 14-7 overall and 6-2 in the Mid-American Conference. The RedHawks sit in second place in the East Division and third overall in conference.

"We're super pumped," Ingle said. "Taking it one game at a time, staying focused on our goals as a team."

MU continues MAC play against Ball State University and University of Toledo on the road before returning home for a showdown with rival Ohio University.