ST. LOUIS – The Miami University volleyball team took the first two sets, and then had to withstand a comeback by Bradley Saturday morning at the Billiken Challenge. The RedHawks were up to the task as the won the fifth set to earn a 3-2 (26-24, 25-13, 26-28, 22-25, 15-10) win. Miami improves to 7-1 on the season, while the Braves fall to 6-2.
It was a career performance for sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig. She finished with a career-high 15 kills. She made only four errors in 33 attempts for a hitting percentage of .333. Junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley had her sixth double-double in eight matches in 2013, finishing with 13 kills and 20 assists. As a team, the RedHawks hit .276 for the match, while holding the Braves to a .186 hitting percentage.
With Bradley in front, 10-9, in set one, a kill by sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle was part of a 5-1 run that put Miami ahead, 14-11. A kill by Riley helped maintain the advantage at three (18-15), but the Braves scored three straight points to tie the score up and force a RedHawk timeout. Out of the break, kills from Ingle and junior middle hitter Chelsea Visk, along with a service ace by freshman setter Krista Brakauskas were part of a 6-2 run that gave Miami set point at 24-20. Bradley fought it off by scoring four consecutive points, but back-to-back kills from Chaney and Riley gave the ‘Hawks a 26-24 win.
Tied at six in set two, two straight blocks from Visk and senior outside hitter Madison Dodd sparked a 7-1 run that put Miami in control at 14-7. After the Braves scored a point, back-to-back kills from sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig and Riley off senior libero Madison Hardy’s assists helped put the RedHawks up by 12 at 21-9. That proved to be more than enough as Riley and Chaney put down kills to help Miami finish off a 25-13 victory.
Set three proved to be tight throughout as only once was a team able to manage a lead of three points. With Bradley up 17-14, a block by Dodd and Visk followed by two straight kills from Reiswig tied the score at 17. Miami built the lead to 23-21, but the Braves fought back with three straight points to earn set point. A kill by Riley and a block from Riley and Ingle gave Miami match point, but this time Bradley fought it off. With the score tied at 26, BU scored two straight to earn a 28-26 win.
Bradley built an early 8-5 lead in set four. Kills by Dodd and Visk, along with a service ace by Visk and a block by Dodd and Ingle put the RedHawks up, 10-9. The lead changed three more times until a run by the Braves put them in front, 19-16. A block by Visk and freshman outside hitter Maris Below was part of a 4-1 run that tied the score at 20. However, Bradley answered back with a 5-2 run of its own to take a 25-22 victory and force the match to a decisive fifth set.
It looked bleak early for Miami in set five as the Braves scored the first three points. The team fought back as a service ace by Brakauskas and a kill and a block from Riley was part of five straight points for the Red and White to put them in front. Several Brave attack errors allowed Miami to expand the advantage to five at 11-6. With the score 13-9, the Visk and Dodd teamed up for a block to give the RedHawks set point. After a service error, a Bradley setting error gave Miami a 15-10 win and the match, 3-2.
Ingle finished with nine kills, while Chaney had eight and Visk contributed seven. Brakauskas led the ‘Hawks with a career-high 33 assists, while Hardy had 20 digs. As a team, Miami recorded 13 blocks, led by eight block assists from Visk.
The RedHawks will look to earn their third straight tournament championship when they complete play at the Billiken Challenge against Youngstown State later Saturday at 5:30 p.m. (EDT).