Volleyball loses to BG, beats Miami (OH)

Jesse Runner

Kent State’s women’s volleyball team’s seven-game winning streak ended Friday against Bowling Green State University, before defeating Miami University (OH) on Saturday.

The Flashes continued conference play this weekend and improved its record against MAC opponents to 9-3 while moving the season’s record to 15-9. After falling to Bowling Green in overtime Friday night, Kent State beat Miami in straight sets Saturday.

“It was a quick turnaround from last night,” said head coach Don Gromala. “I thought we came in with a really good mentality and maintained a good energy level throughout the match. Last night was tough, but how the girls responded today is something that our staff can really be proud of. We always preach about looking forward and we did a great job of doing that today.”

The game against Miami featured a quick victory for Kent State. Starting fast, the Flashes took an early lead against the Redhawks, winning the first set 25-20. In the next two sets, the Kent State outscored Miami 25-22 twice to emerge victorious.

Senior Kelly Hutchison and sophomore Kelsey Bittinger finished first and second in total kills Saturday. Junior Katarina Kojic and freshman Challen Geraghty each contributed to the sweep as well, with Kojic recording a match-high 44 assists and Geraghty adding 27 digs.

Kent State previously lost to Miami 2-3 in overtime on Sep. 25, at the M.A.C. Center.

On Friday, the Flashes faced a familiar opponent in Bowling Green, as the two teams squared off Sep. 26, resulting in a 3-1 victory for Kent State. However, the Flashes wouldn’t enjoy similar success.

After dropping the first set to Bowling Green 22-25, Kent State bounced back to win the next two sets 25-21 and 25-19. The Flashes failed to close out the game, allowing Bowling Green to take the third set 28-26 to send the match into overtime, where the Falcons claimed the overtime win 15-10.

Bittinger and Hutchison led the Flashes in kills, and Bittinger finished one kill shy of tying the game’s leader. Kojic passed her way to a 40 assist performance.

Geraghty, Bittinger and Hutchinson all finished with double-digit digs.

After this past weekend, Kent State sits at second place in the MAC East Division, trailing only the Ohio University Bobcats, who own a 10-2 conference record.

Kent State takes on Ohio University on Thursday in Athens as the teams face off for the second time this season. The Bobcats defeated the Flashes in straight sets on Oct. 1.

Jesse Runner is a sports reporter for The Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].