Volleyball sputters in midweek matchup against Ohio

Senior outside hittter Lexi Mantas spikes the ball during the 5th set against Northern Illinois Friday Oct. 19, 2018. Kent State won the match.

Sean Blevins

The Kent State volleyball team’s (11-14, 4-7 Mid-American Conference) slow start proved to be their undoing Thursday, as the Flashes fell to Ohio to  Ohio (10-14, 5-6 MAC) in straight sets. 

The Flashes struggled to gain any sort of rhythm or momentum on the court against the Bobcats in its annual ‘Dig for a Cure’ matchup.

Ohio bested Kent State in almost every facet of the game.

The first set was close until the midway point, with the Bobcats leading 14-11 before scoring five points in a row to go up by eight, 19-11. The Flashes made it a little closer in the end as they only lost the set by five, 25-20.

Kent State tied the score up seven times in the second set, but didn’t take the lead once. Ohio ended up winning it 25-22, to go up two sets.

“We had some bad starts and didn’t really execute the game plan tonight very well,” coach Don Gromala said.  “Their hitters were on on and it was very hard to defend them. There was a great crowd and I hope they come out on Saturday like they did tonight.”

Ohio started the third set up 15-7 and closed it, 25-17 to win the match and take the regular season series.

The Flashes’ pin positions accounted for only 19 kills and a .068 hitting percentage. Redshirt freshman Alex Haffner had a team-high 26 assists while freshman Erin Gardner had 14 digs.

Kent State faces off against Central Michigan on Saturday at 5 p.m. in the M.A.C. Center.  

Sean Blevins is a sports reporter. Contact him at [email protected].