MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Central Michigan volleyball team will wrap up regular season play this weekend when it travels to California to compete against Long Beach State Friday and UC-Irvine Saturday. Both matches will begin at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.
The No. 6 seed Chippewas (18-12, 8-8) defeated the No. 3 seed, Western Michigan, No. 2 seed, Ohio, and the No. 1 seed, Northern Illinois, in the Mid-American Conference Tournament to claim their first conference tournament championship. Tournament MVP, Kaitlyn Schultz, led the offense with 44 kills while hitting .462. Kaitlyn McIntyre added 36 kills while All-Tournament Team member Kelly Maxwell quarterbacked the offense averaging 11.91 assists per set. Danielle Gotham was a wall at the net with 13 total blocks, while Jenna Coates held the back line with 54 total digs.
This is the first time in CMU history a team has won the MAC Tournament and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Ranked... So What
The Maroon and Gold have now defeated five teams ranked higher than them in the RPI rankings. They have defeated Saint Louis (72), Western Michigan (33), Eastern Michigan (100), Ohio (53) and Northern Illinois (16).
The Chippewas currently have a 5-7 overall record on the road and are 2-2 in non-conference matches. They are hitting .210 while holding their opponents to .200. They are out digging their opponents and out blocking them.
Schultz has now moved to sixth in the country in hitting percentage at .410. Kelly Maxwell is currently 39th in the country in assists per set at 10.96. As a team CMU is 67th in kills per set (13.51), 69th in assists per set (12.53) and 71st in hitting percentage (.232).
McIntyre is now 11 kills away from setting the CMU freshman kills record. McIntyre currently has 373 kills.
Schultz is currently ninth on the all-time CMU kills list with 1,155 and tied for fifth on the all-time block assists list with 317. Her .410 season hitting percentage places her second on CMU's season records.
#23 Long Beach State
The 49ers (20-6) are currently on a 12-match winning streak. They are being led offensively by Haleigh Hampton who is averaging three kills per set hitting .335. They have two players that are averaging over a block a set, while holding their opponents to a .150 hitting percentage.
Friday's match will be the first meeting all-time between CMU and Long Beach State.
The Anteaters (10-18) are looking to break a four-match losing streak. Their offense is being propelled by Aly Squires who has 355 kills on the season. As a team they are allowing their opponents to hit .205 while giving up just over an ace a set.
Saturday's match will be the first meeting all-time between CMU and UC Irvine.
NCAA Selection Show
The NCAA Tournament selection show will air on ESPNU on Sunday at 6 p.m. CMUChippewas.com will have complete NCAA Tournament details following the show.