BOWLING GREEN, Ohio – The Miami University volleyball team overcame a two-set deficit to earn match point in the fifth set, but it ultimately fell to an experienced Bowling Green squad, 2-3 (22-25, 23-25, 25-22, 25-20, 14-16) Thursday evening. The RedHawks fall to 10-13 overall and 2-9 in the Mid-American Conference. The Falcons improve to 13-11 overall and 8-3 in the MAC.
Freshman middle hitter Paige Hill and sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle were the offensive stars for Miami on Thursday. Hill finished with a career-high 17 kills and six blocks. She made only two attack errors in 32 attempts for a team leading .469 hitting percentage. Ingle finished with 16 kills and three blocks and hit .314 for the match.
A pair of kills from sophomore outside hitter Sarah Chaney helped Miami open a 6-4 advantage to begin set one. After the Falcons tied the score at seven, a kill and a block from Hill was part of a 5-2 run that put the ‘Hawks up, 12-9. The Falcons answered with an 11-4 run that put them in the lead, 20-16. Miami fought back with a kill from freshman setter Krista Brakauskas, a service ace by senior libero Madison Hardy and a kill by Hill to pull within one. Trailing 20-22, another kill from Hill and a BGSU attack error tied the score at 22 and forced the Falcons to call timeout. Out of the break, Bowling Green scored three straight points to take a 25-22 win.
The Falcons took a 6-3 lead to begin set two. Sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig responded with a kill and a service ace, but Bowling Green eventually pushed the advantage to five at 10-5. Trailing 12-17, Miami scored the next two points as Hill recorded a kill, while Brakauskas put down two straight service aces. After BGSU recorded the next point, a kill from Hill and a block by Hill and freshman outside hitter Maris Below tied the score at 18.
Hill followed with another kill off of a Brakauskas assist to give the RedHawks their first lead of the set. Bowling Green answered with a 4-1 run to go in front, 22-20. A kill by Below and a Falcon attack error tied the score at 22, but BGSU recorded the next two points to create set point at 24-22. Ingle fought it off once with a kill, but the Falcons scored the next point to earn a 25-23 victory.
Tied at 11 in set three, a kill and a block by Reiswig were part of a 5-1 run that put Miami in front, 16-12. The Falcons answered with a 5-1 run of their own to tie the score at 17. A pair of kills by Ingle, along with kills from Below and junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley helped put the ‘Hawks back ahead, 22-19. The teams traded side outs over the next six points. In front, 24-22, a kill by Hill finished off a 25-22 win for Miami.
Ingle, Reiswig and Hill each put down kills to help the RedHawks go up 7-5 in set four. The Falcons fought back with a 7-4 run to take their first lead of the set at 12-11. The teams traded side outs until a kill from Ingle tied the score at 17. That was the first point of a 4-0 run that put Miami in control at 20-17. The Falcons got as close as two points at 19-21, but two kills from Hill and a finishing kill from Reiswig were part of a 5-1 closing run that gave Miami a 25-20 victory and sent the match to a decisive fifth set.
Bowling Green quickly jumped to a 4-1 lead to begin set five. Despite a pair of kills from Hill, the Falcons maintained that advantage, as the teams traded sides of the court with BGSU in front, 8-5. Trailing 6-9, Ingle recorded two kills, while Miami forced two Falcon attack errors as part of a 4-1 run that tied the score at 10. The teams traded side outs until a kill from Riley tied the score at 13. A kill by Below gave the ‘Hawks match point at 14-13 and forced Bowling Green to call timeout. Out of the break, the Falcons fought it off, and then recorded the following two points to earn a 16-14 win and spoil the RedHawk comeback attempt.
Miami outhit Bowling Green, .221-.209, for the match. Below nearly had a double-double with nine kills and a career-high 22 digs. Chaney and Reiswig also had nine kills apiece for the ‘Hawks. Brakauskas led Miami with 39 assists, while Hardy had a team-leading 24 digs.
The RedHawks return to action on Saturday when they travel to Northern Illinois for an 8 p.m. (EDT) match.