Volleyball sweeps Eastern Michigan on Family Day

The+Volleyball+team+in+a+huddle+during+a+timeout.

Maggie Willard

The Volleyball team in a huddle during a timeout.

Matthew Scheidel, Sports Editor

The Oakland University volleyball team swept the Eastern Michigan Eagles 3-0 on Sunday afternoon at the O’rena. 

It was Family Day, where all the players were introduced and escorted by their family members before the game. Head Coach Rob Beam said it was nice to be able to do things like this again in order to bring back a sense of normalcy.

“I think this is such a great time for all of us being back in the arena, being back on the soccer fields, being at the track and cross country events, just being involved in collegiate sports,” Beam said. “It’s great after 18 months of [everything] being so different than it’s ever been before. It’s very nice to have the energy in the gym, be able to have celebrations before the match, have interchange and be able to honor teams.”

The first set was pretty intense. After trading points for the first few minutes, four straight for the Eagles forced a Grizzlies’ timeout. The timeout seemed to pay off as they went on a 10-3 run to take the lead 13-10. 

The set kept going back and forth. Every time it seemed like one team had momentum, the other team would come roaring back. 

In the end, it was the Grizzlies who pulled away on a Sydney Mann ace to take the first set, 25-20. 

The Grizzlies took that momentum into the second set, starting it on a 7-1 run and forcing an Eagles’ timeout. 

The set was being utterly dominated by Oakland, as they led by as many as 11. Eastern Michigan would then go on a 7-0 run to make things interesting. 

The Eagles forced two Oakland timeouts while trying to mount a comeback. They got as close as 23-20, but that’s as close as they would get. The Grizzlies would take the second set 25-21. 

Oakland once again got off to a hot start in the third set, starting on a 7-2 run. It always seemed like they were one step ahead of the Eagles. Another dominating set saw the Grizzlies take it 25-15, sweeping the match. 

“Obviously in our sport, when you reset to 0-0, it’s an even game,” Beam said. “And that’s the hardest thing — when you get out ahead, you know it’s going to be back to 0-0 for the next set… I think once we started passing the ball well, then we had a lot of control.”

Beam was pleased with the overall performance of his team.

“I thought we were a little slow in the first set,” Beam said. “And then I thought as the match went on, we really started to play the kind of volleyball we wanted to play. The last set was fantastic. Offensive was clicking, defensive was clicking, [we had some] great passing. Overall, [I’m] very happy, and I really like seeing how we can have a slow start and work our way out of it.”

With the win, the Golden Grizzlies improved to 2-3 on the season. Their next game is on Friday, Sept. 10 at 5 p.m. when they take on the University of Pennsylvania Quakers to kick off the DePaul Invitational.