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Courtesy: Dennis Snyder

Volleyball Picks Up 3-2 Road Win Against Miami

Courtesy: Sean Fagan, Assistant Director of Media Relations
Release: 09/28/2013
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OXFORD, Ohio – The Western Michigan volleyball team snapped a three-match losing streak with an inspired five-set effort on the road, defeating Mid-American Conference rival Miami 3-2 (13-25, 25-17, 29-27, 20-25, 15-10) at Millett Hall on Saturday. With the win, the Broncos even their MAC record at 1-1, and improve to 8-7 on the season.

Claire Gerwig had a career day for the Broncos, posting a career-high 21 kills on 44 swings with just four errors for a .386 hitting percentage; the junior outside hitter is averaging 13.3 kills per match in each of her last three contests, and has had 12 or more kills in five of her last seven matches. Alysia Baznik had her fifth double-double of the season, posting 12 kills and a career-high 23 digs, while Ave Stout added 12 kills and Rachel Sheffer 10 kills. Lena Oliver had a match-high 28 digs, part of a Bronco effort that out-dug the RedHawkins 93-80 and held them to a .193 team hitting percentage.

Miami came out hot in the first set and shocked the Broncos with a quick opening period, downing WMU 25-13 to take the 1-0 lead in the match. The Broncos was similarly dominant in the second set, though, taking the match to the RedHawks and tying it up heading into the long intermission. Stephenee Yancy broke an early 3-3 tie with a kill, and Stout and Lexie Pawlik combined for a block two plays later to give the Broncos a 6-3 lead. That advantage would stick for the rest of the set as the Broncos kept the RedHawks at bay the rest of the way, with Stout increasing the lead to 18-14 with a kill that forced a Miami timeout. Yancy bumped the lead to five points with a kill that made it 21-16, and WMU closed the set on a 3-0 run to tie the overall match at 25-17.

The third set win required a little more resilience, though, as Miami took a late lead and tried to take a 2-1 advantage in the match. With the score tied at 23, the RedHawk’s Meg Riley notched a service ace to force set point, but a Miami attack error tied things at 24. The RedHawks had another chance to put things away at 25-24, but Baznik tied the set with a kill, and Gerwig gave the Broncos their first set point with a kill to make it 27-26. The teams traded points until a Miami attack error made it 28-27, and the pairing of Pawlik and Richelle Ranney combined for a block on the next point to take the 29-27 win.

Miami came back from a 17-14 deficit to take the fourth set 25-20, but the Broncos were not to be denied in their bid to take the fifth set and the match. With the set tied at 5-5, Pawlik went up and ripped a kill to give the Broncos the lead; Sheffer recorded a kill on the next point to give the Broncos a 7-5 edge and force a Miami timeout, and WMU was on its way to the win. Stout recorded kills on three out of four points to cap at 7-1 run that made it 12-6 for the Broncos, and Baznik forced set point with a kill to make it 14-10. A Miami attack error wrapped the match for the Broncos, giving them the 15-10 set win.