College notes: Eastern volleyball earns first NCAA Tournament bid

Tony Paul
The Detroit News

Eastern Michigan volleyball has made history.

The Eagles won the Mid-American Conference tournament Sunday, and will play in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in program history.

Eastern (21-13) rallied twice in its five-set victory over second-seeded and host Miami (Ohio). The Eagles dropped the first set and the third set, but came back both times, and dominated the fifth to ice it.

Cassie Haut, a redshirt junior from Monroe St. Mary’s Catholic Central, was named the MVP of the tournament, She had 19 kkills and a .429 hitting percentage in the championship.

Seniors Alyssa LaFace (Allen Park) and Jordan Smith also were named to the all-tournament team. LaFace had 31 digs in the final, to lead the Eagles’ ever-stout defense.

Eastern will learn its NCAA Tournament foe Sunday, and is likely to be joined in the field by Michigan, ranked No. 18 in the nation after winning at Michigan State last week. That snapped the Wolverines’ three-match skid.

Michigan (20-9) closes the season Saturday at home, also against MSU.

Nice run

For the third time in the last six seasons, Michigan women’s cross country made the podium at the NCAAs. The Wolverines finished fourth Saturday at the race in Madison, Wis.

Michigan was led by redshirt freshman Camille Davre (29th place) and red-shirt senior Avery Evenson (Ann Arbor; 38th), who each earned All-American status with their finishes.

Davre is a Milwaukee native, and shined not far from her hometown.

For the first time since the 1994 team finished runner-up, Michigan placed all seven runners in the top 100.

Michigan State women finished 11th, led by redshirt junior Annie Fuller (Manistee; 21st).

On the men’s side, sophomore Jack Aho was All-American, placing 35th.

Detroit Mercy senior Ben Kendell (Huntington Woods), the first Titans male ever to make the NCAAs, finished 95th while setting the school record in 30 minutes, 35 seconds.

Cleary adds hockey

Cleary University in Howell announced recently that it is adding men’s and women’s ice hockey, and will start competition in 2019. Cleary will compete in the American Collegiate Hockey Association, and will play home games at The Hartland Sports Center.

Coaches also were announced, both Oakland University alums: Colin Ronayne for the men’s team, and Matthew Kendziuk for the women’s team.

This and that

Padraic McMeel, a former top assistant AD at Oakland, has landed the athletic-director job at Arkansas-Monticello, a Division II university.

... Alex Scott (Traverse City; Grand Valley State) and Kerri Parks (Flushing; Marshall University) were named the men’s and women’s Golf Association of Michigan players of the year.

Twitter: @tonypaul1984