OXFORD, Ohio – Showing a lot of heart and determination, the Miami University volleyball team was able to earn a gritty, 3-2 (31-29, 25-22, 19-25, 16-25, 15-10), victory over Eastern Michigan Thursday evening. The RedHawks improve to 10-9 overall and 2-5 in the Mid-American Conference. The Eagles fall to 11-11 overall and 1-6 in the MAC.
Senior libero Madison Hardy had a tremendous match defensively, finishing with a career-high 39 digs. That included 10 digs in the fifth and final set. She finished only six digs shy of the school record, which is 45 digs set by Jenny Schwarber against Bowling Green on Nov. 13, 1992. As a team, the RedHawks recorded 128 digs, only five short of the school record of 133, set against Central Michigan on Nov. 3, 1990.
Sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig led four players in double figures with a career-high 18 kills. Freshman setter Krista Brakauskas recorded a double-double with 48 assists and 21 digs. Both of those were easily career highs as well.
Tied at six in set one, an 8-3 run put EMU in control at 14-9. Brakauskas recorded a pair of kills to help cut the deficit to three at 16-19. After the Eagles scored, a kill and a block from sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle, followed by a kill from freshman outside hitter Maris Below pulled Miami to within one. Trailing 21-23, back-to-back kills from Below and freshman middle hitter Paige Hill, followed by an Eastern Michigan attack error gave the RedHawks set point. EMU fought it off and scored the next point as well to achieve a set point of its own. Miami was able to fight off four straight set points, until an EMU service error tied the score at 29. From there, junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley recorded two straight service aces to give the ‘Hawks a come from behind, 31-29, win.
Two kills from Riley, along with a pair of blocks helped stake Miami to a 9-5 advantage to begin set two. The Eagles fought back to tie the score at 13. Two kills apiece from Riley and Hill helped push the lead back to three at 17-14. Eastern Michigan scored the next three in a row to tie the score once more, but Reiswig would take over. She recorded three kills to put the RedHawks in front for good. In front, 23-22, Riley finished off the 25-22 victory with back-to-back kills off of Brakauskas’ assist.
The Eagles jumped to an 11-3 lead to begin set three. Trailing 5-12, Reiswig attempted to get Miami back in the set with three straight kills in a row. Eastern Michigan answered with a 10-6 run to go in front, 22-14. Riley recorded three more kills, but the deficit proved to be too much as EMU earned a 25-19 win.
Set four proved to be a similar story as Eastern Michigan used an early attack to go in front 12-7. Miami was able to get as close as three at 12-15, but EMU went on a 10-4 run to take a 25-16 win and send the match to a fifth and deciding set.
After the Eagles scored the first point, a kill from Hill, a service ace by Brakauskas and a kill by Reiswig gave Miami a 3-1 lead in set five. In front, 4-3, a kill from Below and a block by Ingle made it 6-3. With the score 9-6, Reiswig put down a kill to put the ‘Hawks up by four. EMU answered with a 3-1 run to cut the lead to two at 9-11. An EMU attack error, followed by a block from Below and Hill made it 13-9 and forced an Eagle timeout. Out of the break, Hill and Riley teamed up for a block to make it 14-9 and force EMU to take another timeout. The Eagles answered with the next point, but Below put down one final kill to finish off a 15-10 victory and give Miami a five-set win.
Riley had 16 kills and 11 digs for her 14th double-double of the season. Hill had 13 kills and five blocks (one solo and four assisted), while Below finished with 12 kills and a career-high 21 digs for her own double-double. Senior outside hitter Madison Dodd contributed to the defense with 18 digs, while Ingle finished with six blocks (two solo and four assisted).
Miami finishes its four-match homestand when it takes on Central Michigan Friday at 7 p.m.