Broncos Sweep Rival Central Michigan
Lena Oliver led a stout defensive effort for the Broncos, recording 23 digs in just three sets and helping the Broncos to a 53-39 edge in the category. The Broncos held the Chips to just a .106 hitting percentage, winning the battle at the net with 12.0 total team blocks; both Terin Norris and Jessica Brown tied for the match-high with six blocks apiece, and Ali Gossen had five stops.
Brown paced the Broncos offensively with 12 kills on 21 swings for a .476 hitting percentage, and the Broncos hit .279 as a team. Norris notched 37 assists, and Gossen finished second on the team with 10 kills.
The Broncos seized the momentum for good in the second set of the match, stunning the Chippewas with a comeback to take the set. WMU trailed 23-19 in the set, but things started to turn when CMU committed a service error. Oliver would record a service ace on the next point to make it 23-21, Gillian Asque would fire one down line for a kill to cut the lead to one, and Brown notched a kill of her own on the next point to tie the score.
WMU kept at it after a Central Michigan timeout, with Brown and Gossen teaming up for a block to take the 24-23 set lead. CMU tied the score on the next point, but Gossen would launch a kill to again give the Broncos set point. This time, the defense made the one-point lead stand, with Gossen and Brown notching another block to seal the 26-24 set win and give the Broncos a 2-0 match lead.
The second set win did not just give the Broncos an important lead, but also appeared to suck the wind from the sails of the Chippewas. The Broncos leapt out to a quick start in the third set, with Norris recording a solo block to take the 3-2 lead; the Broncos would open the set on an 11-3 run that was capped by Carlee Berland's kill, and CMU would never again pull closer than six points. CMU burned its second timeout after a bad set gave the Broncos a 16-8 lead, and the Broncos reached their 20th point of the set when Gossen recorded a kill on a set from Oliver. Stephenee Yancy scored her eighth and ninth kills of the match to give the Broncos match point, and Gossen would record a solo block of CMU's Val Deweerd to close the set and the match.
The Broncos came out in the first set determined to avenge their loss earlier this year to CMU, and an early 5-2 run would set the tone for the rest of the match. The Broncos took a 3-2 lead on a kill from Gossen, and the lead would reach five points when Brown recorded a kill of her own. Central Michigan would pull close and eventually tie the score at 15 when Lindsey Dulude notched a kill, but Berland broke the stalemate with a kill and the Broncos never trailed again. The Chippewas pulled to within 18-17 late in the set, but the Broncos scored seven straight to close out the set.