Broncos Victorious In Five-Set Affair
The Broncos and Eagles played a tightly contested defensive affair on Friday, with the teams combining for nearly 200 digs and as neither offense truly found a groove for most of the match. Ali Gossen pumped in a season-high 18 kills, while Jessica Brown and Stephenee Yancy each contributed 12 kills. Lena Oliver and Kaycee Acree each tied the match-high with 25 digs, and Terin Norris recorded a double-double of 58 assists and 14 digs.
The Broncos took a 2-1 lead in the match before the Eagle knotted things up with a strong fourth set, but the Broncos were able to dig deep and dispatch their cross-state rivals. After falling behind 1-0 to start the fifth, the Broncos scored consecutive points on kills from Yancy and Norris to take the 2-1 lead. The teams tradded points throughout much of hte fifth set, with Yancy breaking an 8-8 stalemate with a kill. EMU tied it one point later, but Carlee Berland and Gillian Asque would record off-block kills on straight points to give WMU an 11-9 lead and force an EMU timeout. Acree would record an ace on the point after the timeout, and an EMU handling error gave WMU a 13-10 lead. The Eagles would record another attack error, and Asque would put the match away with a cross court kill to make it 15-10.
The second set was a see-saw battle that was indicative of just how even the teams were on Friday, with the Broncos pulling slightly ahead midway through the set and doing everything they could to fend off the Eagles. With WMU trailing 1-0 i nthe match, the Broncos took a 16-13 lead in the second set when Caroline Rose recorded a back row kill to force Eastern Michigan into a timeout. The Eagles would pull to within 16-15, but the Broncos scored four straight points, including two kills from Gossen to make it 20-15. The Eagles battled back to tie the score, and the teams traded points until Yancy and Gossen combined for a block to make it 28-27. Gossen would notch a kill one point later to take the set 29-27.
The Broncos dominated the better portion of the third set, and although EMU would rally late, WMU would hold on to take the match lead 2-1. The Broncos trailed 9-4 in the third set before Gossen recorded a kill to uncork an incredible 15-1 run that saw the Broncos take a 19-10 lead. The Broncos would be the first team to reach 20 points when Gossen recorded another kill, and Berland would record a down line kill to reach set point. An EMU attack error would seal the set win for the Broncos.