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Redhawks deliver dominant performance in sweep of Eastern Michigan

<p>Senior libero Abigail Huser (pictured, in red) recorded a career-high 38 digs in Friday&#x27;s win over Eastern Michigan.</p>

Senior libero Abigail Huser (pictured, in red) recorded a career-high 38 digs in Friday's win over Eastern Michigan.

The Miami Redhawks women’s volleyball team (10-8) swept Eastern Michigan in a two-game series last weekend.

Miami showcased a strong performance by winning the first match, 3-1.

In the first set, the Redhawks took a strong early lead. The Eagles struggled to recover against Miami’s strong attack, led by junior outside hitter Sophie Riemersma, who accumulated 18 kills in the match. A late surge by the Eagles bore no impact on the scoreboard, as Miami won 25-18.

Eastern Michigan gave a determined effort the rest of the match. In set two, the Eagles fought back to tie the score at 20. 

The Redhawks pulled away, though, and the set went to Miami on an iron wall block from freshman middle hitter Maggie McCrary and junior outside hitter Gaby Harper. 

The Redhawks won the second set, 25-21.

The blazing hot start that benefitted Miami in the first two frames slowed in set three. Playing from behind, Miami managed to keep pace with the Eagles, but ultimately fell short thanks to a strong performance from senior Franki Strefling and sophomore Alayna Jansky, who recorded five kills each in the set. The game moved to 2-1 after a 25-21 third set result.

The Redhawks started out slow again in set four. Hoping to avoid a fifth set, Coach Carolyn Condit took a timeout down 19-16. 

Miami then surged forward, tying the game at 19 before winning 25-22 on a perfectly placed ace from sophomore outside hitter Allyson Severance.

A career-high 38 digs from senior libero Abigail Huser led the way for this victory, aided by a career-best 57 assists from senior setter Morgan Seaman.

“We played together when we needed to,” Condit said after the match.

On Saturday, Eastern Michigan refused to allow the Redhawks to gain momentum in set one. A back-and-forth match resulted in a nail-biting thriller. 

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Neither team took a lead larger than two until the Eagles went up 24-21, taking the first set.

Set two delivered another close game until senior right side Sarah Wojick made her presence felt. 

After being relatively quiet in the first set, she hammered home four consecutive kills to give Miami a 12-7 lead. Another kill by McCrary gave the Redhawks a commanding lead that they would not relinquish, winning 25-17.

The Redhawks again showcased a dominant performance in the third set. A quick 10-5 lead forced pressure unto Eastern Michigan, and it was a deficit they could not recover from. 

Up 20-12, senior right side Avarie Powell notched four kills in the final five points, and Miami took a commanding 2-1 lead.

Eastern Michigan ensured to make things more interesting in the final set of the series. A back-and-forth game remained tied through 20. 

An ace by freshman Bella Holmes gave the Eagles a short lead and a flicker of hope to force a set five, but it was snuffed out by kills from junior Harper and freshman middle hitter Abby Stratford. 

The Redhawks claimed victory again, 25-22, to win 3-1 and sweep the series.

Player of the Game, Seaman, deserves much of the credit for the victory, as she casually collected 55 assists to go along with a couple of kills.

“We’re the come-from-behind kids, more so than any team in ten years,” said Condit, on her team’s slow start to the game. “We just take it one point at a time.”

Miami finishes out the season with their last two matches at Central Michigan on Friday, March 26, and Saturday, March 27.