Six sets without a loss has CMU moving up the MCAC Women's Volleyball standings and flirting with.500 for the first time since week two of the 2019-20 regular season. The Blazers did what no other team has done yet this season when they dismantled the USB Rouges in straight sets on Friday night, improving their record to 5-6 and leapfrogging the Providence Pilots into third place.
The first set saw the visitors take a commanding lead and forcing a USB timeout at 13-4 after Mackenzy Groot ended a long rally with a kill from a quick middle-attack. The tactical timeout did little to cool off the Blazers as Jana Klassen stepped up to serve for a 10-point CMU advantage. Klassen would end the match in a three-way tie with fellow outside hitters Haley Ginter and Sadie McTavish, all scoring 9 kills in the win. CMU took the first set 25-22, with Chloe Friesen scoring the set-winner on a step-attack that the third-year middle tipped over the USB block from the sure hands of setter Renée Desroches.
Both teams put full stock into winning a second set that saw some very entertaining rallies and very few mistakes by either team until the final two points. CMU grabbed the largest lead of the set, 3-points, and forced a timeout from the home team after Klassen closed a stuff block for a 21-18 advantage. A USB attacking error at 23-23 gave Friesen an opportunity to serve for a 2-0 lead. Though diving USB libero, Jenna Campbell managed to keep the dipping serve from hitting the floor, the poor quality pass ulimately forced a unstable set and a second USB attacking error that allowed the Blazers to enter set three with a chance to take the match.
Few straight sets victories can claim any element of a comeback, but that wasn't the case on Friday night when CMU found themselves down 21-14 in the third set and managed to claw their way back. First, Klassen scored her 7th kill of the match to gain a vital CMU sideout and put the ball in the halds of Desroches at the service line. Calmly and consistently, the Dauphin Collegiate-product served her team back into the set, tying the match 21-21 on her game-high 4th ace. Desroches would continue serving the Blazers to a 22-21 lead. Then, standing at match-point, Desroches would record her 30th assist of the match when she fed McTavish to score CMU's final point in the 25-23 third set victory.
Winners of back to back matches, the Blazers will bring a fresh confidence into their upcoming homestand next weekend. The highly anticipated re-match is first on the schedule for CMU, as Les Rouges visit the Loewen Athletic Centre on Saturday night followed by a home date with the Red River Rebels in a rare Sunday matinee encounter.
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