Mount Pleasant, Mich. - Central Michigan dominated its rival Western Michigan for the first two sets Saturday night, but were unable to hold off a rally by the Broncos and fell at home in five sets.
The Chippewas (11-15, 5-9 MAC) hit an astounding .565 in set one while limiting the Broncos (16-11, 9-5) to a negative .172 mark to win, 25-8. A back-and-forth affair quickly turned in the Chippewas' favor as they went on a 11-2 run that forced the Broncos to use both their timeouts and gave them a 15-6 lead. The Maroon and Gold scored the final nine points of the first set all with senior Kelly Maxwell serving.
CMU scored the first three points of the second set to extend a 12-0 run over two sets and eventually built its lead to 6-2 on a Western error that forced the visitors to use their first timeout. Western began to rally and eventually took their only lead of the set, 11-10, but CMU scored four straight behind the serve of sophomore Kristen Reenders to reclaim the lead, 14-11. A kill by sophomore Angelique White drew a second timeout from the Broncos and Gotham closed the set with a kill for a 25-19 win to send CMU to the lockerroom with a 2-0 lead.
Western Michigan came out of the break and began its comeback by claiming an early 10-7 lead and eventually pushed it to 14-9 on an ace from Lexie Pawlik. CMU went on a quick 4-1 run to pull within a pair, 15-13, and eventually pulled within a point, 21-20, following a block by McIntyre and another Western error. Unfortunately, the Chippewas were only able to tie the match on a kill by McIntyre, 23-23, before Western claimed the third set, 25-23.
The Broncos led from start to finish in set four, limiting the Chippewas to a negative .026 hitting percentage to claim a 25-16 win to even the match.
The Chippewas fell behind early in the decisive fifth set, 3-1, but were able to put together a short rally and tie the set, 4-4, on a kill by junior Hallie Enderle. WMU then took over, scoring six of the next seven points to force CMU into both of its timeoutes and eventually claiming the match, 15-7.
McIntyre led the Chipewas with 18 kills and five blocks, while White finished with 10 kills and four blocks. Seniors Danielle Gotham and Katie Schuette each chipped in eight kills and Maxwell had a match-high 49 assists. Senior Jenna Coates led all players with 23 digs.
CMU will be back in action Thursday night for its final home game of the season when it hosts in-state foe Eastern Michigan at 7.