Lindsay Gerber, CMUChippewas.com
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. - The Central Michigan volleyball team dropped a Mid-American Conference five-setter against Eastern Michigan on Thursday at McGuirk Arena.
The loss snapped the Chippewas' five-game win streak as they fell to 15-12, 7-8 MAC.
CMU look to secure a place in the MAC tournament in its final match of the regular-season on the road against Ohio on Saturday (7 p.m.). The top eight teams in the overall conference standings make the league tournament. CMU entered Thursday's match in a three-way tie for sixth place.
"Losing in five stinks," said CMU coach Mike Gawlik, who saw his team squander a 2-0 lead. "It's not something we've done a lot. It's a gut punch, but it's something we have to get over fast because we have Ohio on Saturday."
Eastern Michigan (6-9, 14-17) topped the Chippewas 19-25, 20-25, 25-20, 27-25, 19-17.
"Eastern Michigan found a way to keep putting the pressure on us when their backs were against the wall," Gawlik said. "We started off really well in the first two sets. We were executing our game plan and capitalizing on the opportunities Eastern gave us. We knew there were a lot of match left, but I think we needed a little bit more of a sense of urgency."
Jordan Bueter filled the stats sheet for CMU, posting a team-high 21 kills on a .262 attack percentage and 17 digs. Kalina Smith and Taylor Robertson added 16 and 11 kills, respectively. Smith also had three aces.
Freshman setter Grace Butler recorded 58 assists for the Chippewas. Taylor Robertson added eight block assists.
Cassie Haut led the Eagles with 23 kills while Alyssa LaFace had 24 digs.
Central Michigan had the edge in team hitting percentage with .225 against Eastern Michigan's .218.