Volleyball Broncos chase Ball State for best record
Nov. 10, 2000
TOLEDO, Ohio -- WMU's volleyball team won 3-1 at Toledo on Friday (Nov. 10) to remain one-half match behind Ball State in the race of the best record in the Mid-American Conference and home-court advantage throughout the 2000 MAC Tournament.
With the win at Toledo (15-8, 15-10, 10-15, 15-10), the Broncos improved to 14-1 in the MAC and 19-5 overall. Western Michigan was 25-7 overall in 1999. With one win in their remaining three matches, WMU will earn consecutive 20-win seasons for the first time since 1986-87.
The Broncos have won 13 consecutive matches and are undefeated, 7-0, on their home court this season against conference opponents. Western travels to Central Michigan on Saturday (Nov. 11) and finishes the season at home with matches against Ball State on Friday, Nov. 17, and Northern Illinois on Saturday, Nov. 18.
Ball State also won on Friday night, defeating Central Michigan, 3-0, in Mt. Pleasant. The Cardinals improved to 15-1 MAC, having already played one conference match more than WMU. Ball State concludes its regular season on the road with matches at WMU and at Eastern Michigan on Nov. 18.
The Broncos and Cardinals have both secured home court for the MAC Tournament quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 21. They are the only two teams still contending for the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the tournament.
In Friday's win at Toledo, the Broncos dominated in games one and two, hitting .313 in both games while holding the Rockets to .000 and .125, respectively. Following a lapse in game three, accentuated by seven service errors, the Broncos again out-hit Toledo in game four by a margin of .286 to .000.
Junior middle blocker Zakiya Pope led WMU with 15 kills on .423 hitting and had five blocks. Sophomore middle Angela Sillmon had 10 kills and matched her season best and the team's season best with nine blocks.
Junior outside hitter M'Myia McQuirter had 14 kills. Senior Alberta Griffin added 13 kills on a .333 attack percentage. Sophomore setter Ashley Ritter had 43 assists, helping WMU to a .292 team hitting percentage for the match.
MAC Tournament standings
The top eight teams in the conference qualify for the MAC Tournament, and the top four host the quarterfinal round on Nov. 21. Ball State and Western Michigan have already locked up two of the top four seeds. The MAC semifinals (Nov. 24) and championship match (Nov. 25) will be played on the home court of the top remaining seed following the quarterfinals.
The MAC playoff arrangement in volleyball is not quite as division-obsessed as this year's new format in football, but it does have one division-related quirk. The top two seeds in the tournament go to the two division champions. Under this format, a team could finish with the fifth- or sixth-best record in the conference and still be the second seed in the tournament by virtue of winning a division.
The division champion with the best record will get the No. 1 seed and home-court advantage throughout the tournament. This season, that will be either WMU or Ball State as the West Division champion. The East Division champion will be the No. 2 seed, regardless of their record.
Conference records (matches through Nov. 10)
Team Record Division Ball State** 15-1 West WMU Broncos** 14-1 West Ohio* 11-5 East Northern Illinois* 10-5 West Bowling Green* 9-6 East Akron* 9-7 East Central Michigan 8-7 West Kent State 8-7 East Miami 5-10 East Eastern Michigan 5-11 West Toledo 4-11 West Marshall 1-14 East Buffalo 0-15 East *Have clinched tournament berths. **Have clinched home court in tournament quarterfinals.