WMU News

Volleyball Broncos clinch home tournament match

Nov. 6, 1999

KALAMAZOO -- The Western Michigan University volleyball team got back on the winning track and confirmed some of its postseason plans Saturday night.

The Broncos wrapped up a home match in the 1999 Mid-American Conference Tournament Nov. 23 with a 3-0 (15-2, 15-10, 17-15) victory over Miami in front of 1,304 fans at University Arena. WMU bounced back from its 3-1 (7-15, 13-15, 15-13, 10-15) loss to Akron Friday (Nov. 5) that snapped its 13-match winning streak.

WMU will host one of four first-round matches in the 1999 MAC Tournament beginning at 6 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 23, in University Arena. The tournament semi-finals and finals (Nov. 26-27) will be played on the home court of the highest remaining seed following the first round matches.

Western Michigan improved to 22-4 overall, 14-1 in the MAC with the triumph. WMU maintained a 1/2 game lead over Ball State in the race for the best record in the MAC. BSU defeated Ohio 3-1 Saturday to improve to 13-1 in the MAC.

Seniors Traci Morin and Mandy Whitfield played their final regular-season matches at University Arena and both turned in big nights. Morin hit .538 with a match-best 17 kills. She also made a season-high nine blocks. Whitfield hit .364 (10-2-22) and made six digs.

Zakiya Pope came through with seven kills and six blocks, including two solos. Pope hit .429 (7-1-14). Alberta Griffin totaled three key blocks, including two on her own. Setter Jen Nowak had 34 assists and 10 digs for the double-double effort.

The Broncos totaled a season-high 17.5 blocks to help hold the RedHawks to an .052 hitting percentage. WMU's previous best in the blocks department was 14 at Miami Oct. 20. Saturday's win allowed WMU to complete its first two-match sweep of Miami in six seasons.

Western Michigan drew a total of 3,386 fans to its final regular-season home matches of the year, an average of 1,693 per contest.

WMU has three matches remaining before the postseason tournament. The Broncos play at Ohio and Marshall on Friday (Nov. 12) and Saturday (Nov. 13), respectively, in their next action. Western Michigan wraps up the regular season at Northern Illinois Nov. 19.

The 1999 MAC Tournament begins Nov. 23 at campus sites. The semifinals and finals will be held Nov. 26 and 27, respectively, at the highest-seeded team still remaining. The top eight teams in the MAC qualify for the tournament, with the top four hosting first-round matches.

Media contact: Geoff Brown; 616 387-4138; geoffrey.brown@wmich.edu

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