Lindsay Gerber, CMUChippewas.com
YPSILANTI, Mich. – Jordan Bueter posted 20 kills as the Central Michigan volleyball team rallied from a 2-1 deficit for a five-set Mid-American Conference victory over Eastern Michigan on Thursday at the Eagles’ Convocation Center.
The win, which snapped a three-match losing streak, lifted the Chippewas to 10-7, 2-3 MAC. The Eagles fell to 10-11, 2-3. CMU will look to keep the momentum going when it plays host to Kent State (3-12, 1-4) in a MAC match on Saturday (7 p.m.).
“The MAC season is a long season and you’re not defined by one match, win or loss,” CMU coach Mike Gawlik said. “Moving forward, it’s a steppingstone and an opportunity to improve.”
Eastern Michigan took the first and third sets, 26-24, 25-23. The Chippewas won the second, 25-21; the fourth, 25-21; and the fifth, 15-11.
“I liked our fight to come back,” said Gawlik. “It’s becoming a mark of this team that we keep fighting and trying to find a way even when close sets don’t go our way.”
While on fire offensively, Bueter also put up an impressive defensive performance with 20 digs. Senior Paige Carey had 15 kills for CMU while Taylor Robertson added 10 on a .394 attack percentage. Megan Kern added 18 digs.
Freshman setter Grace Butler recorded 62 assists and 12 digs for the Chippewas, who broke a 4-4 tie in the fifth set with a 7-1 run for a 10-5 lead. The Eagles never got closer than four points the rest of the way.
“In order to have the year we want, the seniors have to play like seniors,” said Gawlik. “Between three seniors (Bueter, Carey, Robertson), you get 45 kills and that’s a big-time performance. They stepped up when we needed them the most. We shared the load, which makes us far more balanced and dynamic.”
Franki Strefling led Eastern Michigan with 19 kills. Cassie Haut and Kelly Ferguson added 11 apiece.
Central Michigan finished with a .231 attack percentage against Eastern Michigan’s .165.