Rochester, Mich. – Despite a quick start and convincing set one victory to open the season, the Central Michigan volleyball team dropped its season opener at the Golden Grizzlies Invitational to host Oakland Friday night, 3-1.
The Chippewas (0-1) came out firing on all cylinders in the first set, hitting .375 as a team for a convincing 25-16 set victory. Unfortunately, the Golden Grizzlies (1-0) were able to squeak out a second set victory, 26-24, and went on to take set three, 25-22, and set four, 25-21.
Four players finished the night with double digit kills for the Maroon and Gold, including sophomore middle blocker Angelique White with 13. White hit .611 on the evening to pick up right where she left off last season as an All-Mid-American Conference Freshman Team selection.
The Chippewas were in command of set one from the start, taking a 5-1 lead on a kill by junior Kaitlyn McIntyre before ultimately extending their lead to as much as nine, 18-9, on an ace by Coates. White helped seal the first set for CMU, putting home a kill and ending the set with a solo block for the 25-16 win.
The second set saw CMU take advantage of a back-and-forth affair late on an attacking error by the Golden Grizzlies and a kill by White for a two-point lead, 21-19. OU came back to take the lead, 24-23, before White evened things again with a kill, but a kill by Amanda Baker and double block by Jessica Dood and Brooke Wadsworth evened the match at a set apiece.
CMU fell behind early in the third set, 8-4, but used a 6-0 run capped on a kill by White to claim a lead, 10-8. The two squads continued to battle back and forth and CMU again tied the match on a block by sophomore Kalle Mulford and senior Danielle Gotham, 20-20. Oakland responded with a 4-0 run however and closed the third set on a kill by Pelloni, 25-22.
The Chippewas looked to get back on track and even the match in set four by jumping out to an early 7-4 advantage and held the lead as late as 13-12 following a kill by junior Hallie Enderle. Oakland came back yet again however, using a 6-0 run to grab an 18-13 lead before ultimately securing the match, 25-21.
The Golden Grizzlies Invitational will continue Saturday morning at 10 versus Oregon State. CMU will close the invite versus Villanova at 4:30 Saturday afternoon.