MAC Roundup: Ball State Takes West, Miami (OH), BGSU Tie for East

  0 Wendy Mayer | November 12th, 2017 | College - Women's Indoor, Division I Mid-Major, News

The top teams in the Mid-American Conference were decided on Friday and Saturday with Ball State taking the Western Division title and Miami (Ohio) and Bowling Green tying atop the east at 13-3.

The full MAC Tournament bracket is available here. The tournament, which features the league’s top eight teams, is slated for Nov. 16-19 in Oxford, Ohio.


Ball State (18-5, 10-5 MAC) secured the Western Division title on Friday with a 3-1 road win over Northern Illinois. The Cardinals dropped the first set, but rebounded with dominating wins.

“I am really proud of our team’s toughness tonight,” head coach Kelli Miller said. “We got off to a slow start but bounced back and never looked back. This was a big win for us against a tough Northern Illinois team which had won the last three MAC West Division titles and was fighting for its tournament life.”

The Cardinals won despite seeing freshman Ali Finch make her first start at setter due to illness with the team’s other two court directors. She guided BSU to a .222 offensive effort and four hitters to double-digit kill performances, while registering a 40-assist, 10 dig double-double and four block assists.

Junior outside hitter Ellie Dunn (13), sophomore middle blocker Sydnee VanBeek (12), junior outside Brooklyn Goodsel (11) and junior middle Emily Holland (10) led the Ball State attack with double-digit kills, each hitting nearly .250 or better. Goodsel rounded out a double-double with 11 digs and four blocks, while Vanbeek put up a team-best seven stuffs and served up three of the team’s six aces. Sophomore libero Kate Avila held down the back court with 25 digs.

Junior middle Meg Wolowicz (19) and freshman outside Kaylee Martin (17) were the top hitters for NIU, each notching double-digit tallies. Wolowicz hit at a match-high .516 clip, while Martin rounded out a double-double with 14 digs. Senior libero Ann Brereton led a group of three Huskies with double-digit digs, posting 17.

East Division

Enterring the final day of the regular season, both Miami (Ohio) and Bowling Green boasted 12-3 marks. The Redhawks were set for a road match at Akron, while the Falcons headed to Buffalo.

Miami clinched a share of the title with a sweep of the Zips (26-24, 25-23, 25-22) in the early afternoon. Akron outhit Miami .227 to .218 and outdid the Redhawks 10-5 on the block. MU managed two more kills (45-43) and one more ace (4-3) in the win.

Senior outside Olivia Rusek and senior outside Katie Tomasic paced Miami with 12 kills apiece. Rusek and senior middle Meredith Stutz notched three blocks apiece, while Tomasic hit at a match-high .385 clip. Senior libero Maeve McDonald held down the defense with 19 digs.

Redshirt junior right side Madi Baer and freshman outside Alexis Adleta chipped in 10 kills apiece for BGSU, while redshirt senior middle Jessica Kloehn added nine putaways and a match-best seven stuffs. Freshman libero Taylor Sharrits chipped in 12 digs.

For its part, Bowling Green (17-10, 13-3) downed Buffalo in four sets to earn its first MAC title since 1992. The Falcons also earned the No. 2 seed in the MAC Tournament through tie breaker procedures.

BGSU scored just one more point than the Bulls in the match (71-70), but edged Buffalo in kills (52-49), hitting percentage (.148 to .143) and aces (9-5). Buffalo won the block (16-10).

Sophomore outside Jessi Holly turned in an 18-kill, 11-dig double-double to pace the Falcons. Senior outside Nicole Slimko added 13 kills, while junior middle Madeline Brandewie and junior outside Isabel Kovacic chipped in nine apiece. Freshman middle Katie Kidwell put up a team-best four blocks, while junior libero Kallie Seimet notched a team-best 27 digs. Sophomore defensive specialist Paulina Iacobelli served up three aces, while Holly, Brandewie and sophomore defensive specialist Victoria Iacobelli added two apiece.

Freshman outside Andrea Mitrovic put down a match-high 24 kills to go with 15 digs and an ace, but her nearest teammates junior middle Megan Wernette and sophomore outside Polina Prokudina added just eight putaways each. Senior middle Cassie Shado put up nine blocks, while Wernette was credited with eight stuffs. Junior libero Larra Bickelhaupt accounted for a team-high 22 digs and three of the team’s five aces.


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About Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer

Wendy Mayer has worked in athletics media relations for the last 20 years. The Northwest Missouri State alumna is currently senior writer for after spending the last 15 years with Purdue athletics.

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