WMU volleyball bench

The Bronco bench celebrates a point against Southeast Missouri State

Western Michigan volleyball played and won its first two matches of the Discover Kalamazoo Classic Friday, beating Southeast Missouri State and Indiana.

The Broncos started the day with an 11 a.m. contest against Southeast Missouri State, winning 3-2.

The Redhawks took set one, 25-19, behind a fierce .464 attack percentage. The teams were going back-and-forth until an 8-1 run by SEMO made it 17-11 and WMU was unable to come back.

WMU flipped the script in set two with a 25-19 victory of their own. The Broncos outhit the Redhawks .345-.273 and had a 3-5 advantage in service errors as SEMO had some instances of shooting itself in the foot.

Set three was the closest full set the teams would play as SEMO pulled ahead 2-1 with a 25-21 set win. The Broncos committed seven attack errors in the set and had its worst attack percentage of any set in the match at .188 to fall behind once again.

The Broncos forced set five with strong defense to take set four, 25-17. Four blocks by WMU led to eight attack errors by SEMO, who had a miserable .048 attack percentage in the set. Freshman Madison Merz was a part of all four Bronco blocks in the set.

WMU got out its shovels to collect 17 digs on just 25 attack opportunites for Southeast Missouri State in set five, using that steady defense to earn a 15-12 win in the set and 3-2 victory in the match. Andelyn Simkins collected four kills in the final set.

In the match, Maggie King led the Broncos with 20 kills and had a .264 attack percentage while collecting a double-double with 10 digs. Simkins also had a double-double with 17 kills and 14 digs, with a team-high .364 attack percentage.

Logan Case notched her first 50-assist match of the year with 57 set-ups, adding 10 digs and two service aces without an error. Maddie Arundel had 15 digs, her first double-digit dig match of her WMU career, and Merz collected 10 kills for the first time as a Bronco.

The day wrapped up for WMU by squaring off with Indiana at 7 p.m., again earning a 3-2 win.

The Broncos got out to a hot start in set one, earning a 25-12 victory to go up 1-0. Indiana looked lost early, surrendering four WMU service aces early as the Broncos took a 6-1 lead, and a .429 attack percentage in the set by WMU prevented any hope of a comeback.

The Hoosiers would strike back with phenomenal offensive play of its own in set two, picking up a 25-20 win. Indiana struck a .520 attack percentage in the set, picking up 15 kills while six attack errors by the Broncos assisted Indiana’s efforts to tie the match at one set apiece.

Set three went back and forth… and back and forth and back and forth. The score was tied 13 times in the set before WMU picked up a 26-24 win. IU actually led in hit percentage, .231-.175, but a 2-1 advantage in service aces and a 2-4 advantage in service errors made a big difference for the Broncos to sneak away with the set.

The Hoosiers left no doubt in forcing a deciding fifth set with a 25-11 dominant win in set four. Indiana made six blocks in the set and held WMU to a .027 attack percentage as Paula Cerame, the only player on either side to secure 20 digs in the match, anchored the Hoosier defense.

Set five was all about King, who had three kills, a service ace and a block as the Broncos put together a 15-11 set to win its second match of the day.

King repeated as the Bronco leader in kills, this time with 16. Simkins added another double-double with 13 kills and 14 digs, while Meredith Phillips had 11 kills and a .526 attack percentage in the win.

Case had 44 assists, four kills and seven digs to help the Broncos to the win, and Mairead Boyle added 13 digs and three service aces without an error.

The Broncos finish the Discover Kalamazoo Classic with a match Sunday against Purdue-Fort Wayne. That match will start at 7 p.m. from University Arena.

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