WMU News

Volleyball Broncos survive Kent, 3-2

Oct. 7, 2000

KALAMAZOO -- WMU's volleyball team extended its MAC winning streak to four with a 3-2 victory over Kent State University on Saturday night (Oct. 7) at University Arena. The Broncos improved to 10-5 for the season and 5-1 in the Mid-American Conference.

On Friday night, the Broncos defeated Bowling Green, 3-0, giving WMU its second consecutive 2-0 weekend against MAC opponents. This weekend's opponents both advanced to the MAC tournament semi-finals in 1999, with Bowling Green losing to Ball State and Kent losing to Western Michigan.

Kent was 10-8 in the MAC in 1999. With Saturday's loss, the Flashes are off to a 2-4 start in the MAC this season, 5-11 overall.

The Broncos defeated Kent 15-11, 6-15, 15-2, 8-15, 15-13. Saturday's match was the first time an opponent has taken Western Michigan to five games at University Arena since October 1998. The Broncos have not lost in five on their home court since an August 1997 setback to Marquette.

Since the start of the 1998 season, the Broncos are 5-0 at University Arena in matches that went to five games, and 8-2 overall in five-game matches.

Senior defensive specialist Kelly Kurharski led all players with 17 digs in Saturday's win. That equalled her season-best total and is just three shy of her career-best performance. Kuharski has 133 digs for the season, including a team-best 29 for the weekend.

Senior outside hitter Monyka Paul had a match-high 16 kills. She also had 11 digs for the double-double and contributed five assists and three blocks.

Junior middle blocker Zakiya Pope had 15 kills on .357 hitting and also contributed three blocks. Senior Alberta Griffin recorded a double-double with 14 kills and 10 digs. Griffin hit .344 with only three errors in 32 attempts (14-3-32). Junior M'Miya McQuirter added 11 kills to the Bronco total.

Sophomore defensive specialist Cindy Kizer had 12 digs. Setters Ashley Ritter and Jen Nowak alternated throughout the match. Each played all or part of four games. Ritter collected 35 assists, and Nowak had 30. Nowak also added three points on service aces.

As a team, the Broncos had the statistical advantage on offense and in digs, but were out-blocked by Kent State, 16-5.

The Broncos travel to Marshall, Oct. 13, and to MAC East Division leader Ohio, Oct. 14. Western Michigan is home, Oct. 20 and 21, WMU Homecoming weekend, for matches versus Toledo and Akron.

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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