OXFORD, Ohio - After a successful non-conference season, the Miami University volleyball team turns its attention to Mid-American Conference play. The MAC schedule begins with a bang, as the RedHawks host the defending MAC Tournament Champion Bowling Green on Thursday at 7 p.m. Miami then takes on defending MAC West Division Champion Western Michigan Saturday at 5 p.m. Both matches will be broadcast live on Miami All-Access for those who have a subscription.
GOOD NON-CONFERENCE RECORD: Despite stumbling at the Wildcat Classic this past weekend, the RedHawks had one of their more successful non-conference seasons in team history this season. The 8-4 record is the best Miami has had since also beginning 8-4 in 1998. That season, the RedHawks went on to win the MAC regular season and tournament titles and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. This is also the first time since 1986 that the Red and White have won three non-conference tournaments in the same season. That year they won the Indiana State Invitational, the Rhode Island Invitational and their own Miami Invitational.
MADISON HARDY NOTE: Senior libero Madison Hardy is now up to 1,432 career digs. She is only 50 digs away from breaking Melissa Zenz (‘09) record of 1,481 digs for all players including liberos.
ABOUT BOWLING GREEN: After winning the MAC Tournament in 2012, the Falcons are 3-8 so far in 2013. They have played an extremely difficult schedule that included matches against four ranked teams. Earlier this season, BGSU upset 13th-ranked BYU, 3-1, on Aug. 31. Last weekend, the Falcons split two matches at the Louisville Invitational. They fell in straight sets to Virginia Tech, before rebounding to defeat Rice, 3-1. Bowling Green is led by senior outside hitter Paige Penrod. She has 123 kills, an average of 3.15 per set. Another key player is senior outside hitter Lindsey Butterfield. She has 119 kills, an average of 2.97 per set.
THE SERIES AGAINST THE FALCONS: Miami leads the all-time series with Bowling Green, 43-26. However, the Falcons won both matches in straight sets last season. On Oct. 4 in Bowling Green, Madison Dodd led the RedHawks with eight kills. In the rematch on Nov. 8 in Oxford, Meg Riley had a strong match with eight kills, 13 assists and seven digs.
ABOUT WESTERN MICHIGAN: The Broncos are 7-6 this season after winning the MAC West Division crown last year. They went 1-2 at the Flyer Classic last weekend. WMU opened with a 3-0 victory over Wright State on Friday. It fell to Western Kentucky (1-3) and host Dayton (1-3) on Saturday. The Broncos have seen a breakout campaign from sophomore middle hitter Stephanee Yancy. She has 205 kills on the season. Her 4.18 kills per set average ranks 28th in the nation. Senior Lena Oliver is one the MAC’s top liberos. She has 228 digs this season, an average of 4.65 per set.
THE SERIES AGAINST THE BRONCOS: Western Michigan leads the all-time series with Miami, 31-20. Last season, the Broncos earned a 3-0 victory over the RedHawks on Nov. 10 in Kalamazoo. Jenny Ingle led Miami with nine kills in that match.