Slow starts doom Flashes in La Salle Invitational

Then+junior+Lexi+Mantas%2C+9%2C+and+then+sophomore+Myla+King+block+the+net+during+the+volleyball+game+against+Ball+State+on+Oct.+13%2C+2017+in+the+M.A.C+Center.+Kent+lost+1-3.

Then junior Lexi Mantas, 9, and then sophomore Myla King block the net during the volleyball game against Ball State on Oct. 13, 2017 in the M.A.C Center. Kent lost 1-3.

Sean Blevins

Early deficit struck again this weekend as the Kent State volleyball team (6-5) finished the La Salle Invitational with a 1-2 record.

Rider 3, Kent State 2

Kent State started off stagnant and dropped its first two sets before falling just short of pulling off a miraculous comeback.

Rider (4-3) started off strong and scored seven straight points in the first set to give itself the 11-4 advantage. The team closed out the set 25-20.

The majority of the second set was close until the Broncs pulled away at the end, winning 25-16.

Kent State dominated the third set and started up 17-1. This set was a massive momentum builder for the team, as it only gave up five points total.

The Flashes won a marathon fourth set that featured several lead changes. Kent State trailed, 14-10, at one point during this set, but it pulled out the win to force the deciding set.

Rider led most of the fifth set and ended up winning the final set 15-13.

La Salle 3, Kent State 0

La Salle (5-4) won a very intense game in straight sets, but it was closer than the scores indicated.

The Flashes jumped off to a 7-1 lead in the first set, 7-1, but it would ultimately fizzle out. La Salle tied it up at 15, then the rest of it featured several lead changes, with the Explorers ultimately pulled away and won, 25-21.

La Salle began the second set up 10-4 and dominated throughout, eventually winning, 25-14.

The third set was down to the wire as no team could muster the slightest bit of separation. The Explorers ended up downing the Flashes 30-28 to sweep the field on their homecourt.

Kent State 3, NJIT 0

Kent State controlled its last game in the tournament against NJIT (1-9) from start to finish. NJIT was no match for the Flashes.

During the first half of the first set the Flashes were up, 11-10. KSU flipped a switch and went on an 8-0 run and closed it out 25-19.

“We got a lot of digs throughout the tournament, but we need to work on improving our service pressure and our blocking at the net,” Coach Don Gromala said.  

The second set was closely contested, but Kent State ended up on top 25-20. 

The Flashes will face Santa Clara at 4 p.m. on Friday in the first of three matches in Indianapolis.

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