OXFORD, Ohio – For the second straight match, the Miami University volleyball team took one of the top Mid-American Conference teams in Western Michigan to five sets, but the RedHawks ultimately fell, 2-3(25-13, 17-25, 27-29, 25-20, 10-15). Miami is now 8-6 overall and 0-2 in the MAC. The Broncos improve to 8-7 overall and 1-1 in the MAC.
Late in the fourth set, senior libero Madison Hardy recorded her 22nd dig of the match. That broke Melissa Zenz’s (’09) all-time career record of 1,481 digs when liberos are included. Hardy finished the match with 24 digs and now has 1,484 for her career.
Sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle and sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig each had great matches for the RedHawks, tying for the team lead with 16 kills apiece. Ingle made only one attack error on 29 attempts to finish with a hitting percentage of .517. She also led Miami with six blocks (two solo and four assisted). Reiswig had only three attack errors on 37 attempts for a hitting percentage of .351. She also contributed six digs and assisted on two blocks.
Tied at eight in set one, the ‘Hawks took control. A kill by Reiswig and a block from Ingle, along with two service aces by freshman middle hitter Paige Hill were part of a 9-1 run that put Miami in front, 17-9. After the Broncos scored a point, the Red and White responded with a 5-2 run that put the score out of reach at 22-12. Kills by Hill and freshman outside hitter Maris Below helped finish off a dominating 25-13 victory.
Western Michigan took a 10-6 lead to begin set two. Kills by sophomore outside hitter Sarah Chaney and Reiswig, along with a Bronco attack error cut the deficit to one. WMU eventually pushed the lead back to five at 19-14. Hill and junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley each put down kills to pull within three, but the Broncos answered with a 6-1 run to close out a 25-17 win.
Miami fell behind by three points at 5-8 early in set three. The RedHawks would fight back several times during the middle part of the set, but could never quite tie the score. Trailing 17-20, a kill by Reiswig followed by a block from Ingle and Reiswig made it a one-point score. WMU answered with a kill, but back-to –back kills from Ingle and Reiswig off assists from freshman setter Krista Brakauskas finally tied the score at 21. The teams traded side outs until it was tied at 23. A service ace by Riley gave Miami set point, but WMU was able to fight it off. Chaney responded with a kill to give the ‘Hawks another chance, but again the Broncos tied the score at 25. Western Michigan followed with two set points of its own, but this time Miami fought them both off. With the score tied at 27, the Broncos scored two in a row to earn a hard-fought, 29-27, win.
WMU led the majority of set four. The RedHawks were forced to call timeout after a Bronco kill put them behind, 14-17. Out of the break, a kill from Hill followed by two straight WMU attack errors tied the score and forced Western Michigan to call timeout. Miami kept going with a kill by Hill, a block from Hill and senior outside hitter Madison Dodd and a service ace by Riley to push the lead to 20-17. A service error ended the 6-0 run, but Hill came right back with a kill off of Riley’s assist. In front, 22-20, a WMU attack error, a service ace by Brakauskas and a block by Riley and Ingle gave the RedHawks a come-from-behind, 25-20, victory.
A service ace by Hill and a block by Reiswig and Ingle gave Miami a quick 2-0 lead to begin the fifth and final set. The Broncos responded with three straight points to take the advantage before a Reiswig kill tied the score at three. Tied at five, a 7-1 run by WMU proved to be the difference as it gave the Broncos control at 12-6. Miami fought back with two straight blocks by Hill and Chaney, but the deficit proved to be too much to overcome as the Broncos held on for a 15-10 win.
Hill finished with 10 kills, five blocks (one solo, four assisted) and four service aces for the RedHawks. Riley had a double-double with 29 assists and 11 digs to go along with seven kills. Brakauskas had a double-double with 23 assists and 12 digs, while junior libero Tori Clifford finished with 13 digs.
Miami returns to action on Friday when it travels to 22nd-ranked Ohio for the first of two “Battle of the Bricks” matches this season. Match time is scheduled for 7 p.m.