WMU News

Broncos win at MAC East leader Ohio, 3-1

Oct. 14, 2000

ATHENS, Ohio -- Western Michigan University's volleyball team avenged a 1999 loss at Ohio University with a 3-1 victory over the Bobcats in Athens on Saturday night (Oct. 14). With the win, the Broncos are 12-5 overall and 7-1 in the Mid American Conference.

Last season's loss in Athens (3-0) was one of only three suffered by the Broncos in the MAC regular schedule. WMU was 15-3 in the conference in 1999.

Friday night's 3-1 Bronco win at Marshall and Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Bobcats extend the Broncos' current winning streak to six matches.

Ohio remains the leader in the MAC East Division with a league record of 7-2, but suffered both of its losses on its home court this weekend. Ball State defeated Ohio, 3-1, in a match played Friday night in Athens. With wins at Ohio and at Akron (3-2) this weekend, Ball State remained undefeated in conference competition.

The top four teams in the conference host the first round of the MAC Tournament, Tuesday, Nov. 21. At the mid-point in the MAC regular season schedule, the top four teams and their conference records are: Ball State (9-0), Western Michigan (7-1), Ohio (7-2), and Northern Illinois (6-3).

Western Michigan has two matches remaining this season with Northern Illinois and one match remaining with Ball State. The Broncos' only MAC loss of the season was at Ball State, Sept. 23. In the final weekend of the regular season, the Broncos host Ball State (Nov. 17) and Northern Illinois (Nov. 18).

In Saturday's win at Ohio, senior outside hitter Monyka Paul led all players with 20 kills on a match-high 51 attempts. Paul had five of the Broncos' 11 service aces in the four-game match. She also contributed seven digs and three blocks to the WMU defensive effort.

Junior middle blocker Zakiya Pope had 11 kills, six digs and four blocks. Her classmate, outside hitter M'Myia McQuirter was the only other Bronco in double figures for kills, with 10.

The Broncos have suddenly become the league-leader in digs. According to coach Cathy George, this is the first time during her seven-year tenure that WMU has ever led the conference in this important defensive category.

Leading the Broncos in digs on Saturday night was senior defensive specialist Kelly Kuharski, with 14. Kuharski also earned two points on service aces. Sophomore defensive specialist Cindy Kizer had 13 digs at Ohio. The Broncos recorded 118 digs for the weekend. One third of those came from Kizer and Kuharski, who each totaled 20 digs for the two matches.

Alberta Griffin, also among the team leaders in digs, added 12 to her season total at Ohio. The senior from South Bend, Ind., also had four blocks, including two solo blocks.

Sophomore setter Ashley Ritter assisted her teammates 46 times in the four-game match at Ohio. She also contributed four kills and 10 digs for the double-double (assists and digs).

Making her first collegiate start this weekend, Amanda Fry totaled nine kills and six blocks in the two road matches. The sophomore middle blocker from Saginaw, Mich., had a .364 hitting percentage at Marshall and hit .375 at Ohio.

The Broncos play seven of their remaining 10 MAC matches on their home court, beginning with two Homecoming weekend contests versus Toledo, 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, and Akron, 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21. Since the start of the 1998 season, the volleyball Broncos are 17-3 in University Arena versus MAC opponents, and 35-7 overall.

For more information, visit the Broncos on the Web <www.wmubroncos.com>.

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

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