MOUNT PLEASANT - The Central Michigan volleyball program fell in straight sets at Central Florida Friday night, losing 21-25, 21-25, 21-25.
With the loss the Chippewas (15-14) are one game above .500 with one game to play tomorrow evening at South Florida. CMU is looking to finish the season above .500 for the sixth time under head coach Erik Olson.
The Chippewas were able to grab an early 5-4 lead on a kill by freshman Angelique White and reclaimed the lead once again, 6-5, on a kill by junior Danielle Gotham. The Knights (17-15) then went on a quick 4-0 run that allowed them to take a lead they did not relinquish. UCF's three-point advantage held strong until a kill from Angelica Crump and a service ace by DeLaina Sarden allowed it to take a 20-15 lead and force a CMU timeout.
CMU came out of the timeout and capped a 4-0 run of their own on an ace by sophomore Kaitlyn McIntyre, forcing a UCF timeout, and eventually tied the set, 21-21, on a kill by Val DeWeerd. The Knights scored four straight after DeWeerd's kill however for a 25-21 victory.
Again CMU was able to grab the lead early on in the second set, holding a 13-9 advantage after a service error on the Knights, but redshirt freshman Haley Barker gave the point right back on a service error, sparking a 10-2 UCF run that allowed it to take a 19-15 lead. The Knights pushed their lead to five, 23-18, forcing a CMU timeout and ultimately claimed the set on a kill by Evija Vilde.
After the break the Chippewas attempted to turn the momentum in their favor and get back in the match, using a quick 3-0 run midway through the third set that included an ace by junior Jenna Coates to grab a 13-10 lead. UCF called a timeout and responded with a 7-3 run to reclaim the lead, 19-16, and held off a late rally in which CMU pulled within two, 21-19, on a kill by Hallie Enderle.
McIntyre led the Chippewas with a double-double, recording a team-high 13 kills and 17 digs, while senior Lindsey Dulude finished the night with nine kills and eight digs. Dulude now needs 11 digs in the Chippewas' final match tomorrow evening to become the third player in program history to record at least 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs.The Chippewas and Bulls will square off in Tampa, Fla., at 7 p.m.