Mount Pleasant, Mich. - Despite a season-high 25 kills from junior outside Kaitlyn McIntyre, the Central Michigan volleyball team dropped the opening game of the Duquesne/Robert Morris Tournament to host Duquesne Friday night, 3-1.
The Chippewas (1-3) dropped the first set of the night 25-16 before a back-and-forth second set went in the Dukes' (2-2) favor, 32-30, despite 10 kills by McIntyre.
CMU trailed 15-12 in the second set before a 3-0 run that included a block by senior Danielle Gotham, double block by senior Katie Schuette and sophomore Kalle Mulford and a kill by Schuette tied the set and forced a Duquesne timeout. A kill by Mulford out of the timeout gave the Chippewas the lead, but the Dukes went on a 5-1 run to reclaim momentum.
The Maroon and Gold fought off set point and scored two straight to claim a 26-24 lead later in the match, but the Dukes used their second timeout of the set and were able to hold off set point by the Chippewas on a kill by Taylor Lockett. The set would be tied or see the lead change six more times in set before the Dukes finally claimed a 32-30 set victory.
After the break the Chippewas looked to swing the momentum in their favor and begin their second-straight two-set deficit comeback by claiming a 25-20 win.
The Chippewas used a 4-0 run midway through the set to grab a 12-10 lead and force a Duquesne timeout. The run pushed to 6-0 on back-to-back kills by McIntyre and freshman Melissa Fuchs out of the timeout and the Chippewas eventually built their lead to as large as seven, 23-16. The Dukes pulled within four, 24-20, but sophomore Angelique White closed the match with a kill.
CMU appeared to have all the momentum and looked to tie the match at two sets apiece in the fourth set, but a late rally by the Dukes deemed costly. With the match tied at 22 apiece, a double block by junior Hallie Enderle and senior Kelly Maxwell followed by an attack error on the Dukes gave the Chippewas set point, 24-22.
The Dukes scored three-straight points following a timeout to force a stoppage from the Chippewas' bench and eventually claimed the set and the match on an attacking error by CMU, 26-24.
In addition to McIntyre's big night, Fuchs and White had 12 and 10 kills for the Chippewas respectively. Maxwell dished out 48 assists and senior libero Jenna Coates had a team-high 28 digs. McIntyre also contributed 11 digs defensively for her second-straight double-double.
CMU will continue the Duquesne/Robert Morris Tournament tomorrow versus the host Colonials at 11 a.m. before taking on Xavier at 4 p.m.