Volleyball beats Buffalo, rival Akron


Kent State junior middle blocker Bridget Wilhelm hits the ball around the block during a game against Western Michigan Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014. The Flashes won 3-1.

Jesse Runner

The women’s volleyball team defeated the University at Buffalo on Friday and rival University of Akron on Saturday as MAC Conference play continued this past weekend.

The Flashes, whose record moved to 10-8, triumphed over Buffalo in New York before heading to Akron to claim the wagon wheel matchup over the Zips.

After Saturday’s action, head coach Don Gromala attributed the team’s success to balanced play and solid execution.

“This was a really solid, all-around performance for us tonight,” Gromala said. “We did a really good job of executing with our pass and serve. At the net those first two sets, we did a really good job blocking-wise of taking away our areas and getting some timely blocks as a team.”

Kent started fast against the Zips and didn’t look back. The Flashes outscored Akron 25-16 en route to claiming the first set of the match. Set two yielded the same result as Gromala’s team once again outscored the Zips by nine points, winning the second set 25-16.

Kent completed the sweep in the third set, outscoring Akron 25-20 and taking the match.

The Flashes have now won five straight games against Akron and lead the Wagon Wheel Challenge standings 1.5-0.

Sophomore Kelsey Bittinger finished the game tied for the most kills in the match. Senior Kelly Hutchison added 10 kills and sophomore Katarina Kojic recorded 21 assists on the day.

Before the game against Akron, Kent traveled to New York to face Buffalo. The Flashes started off slow, losing the first set 21-25. However, Kent found its groove, winning the second set 25-21 before going on to win sets three and four and ultimately the game (25-14, 25-20).

Outside hitter Hutchison finished with a game-high of 21 kills, while Bittinger added 10 more from the other side. Sophomore Challen Geraghty (21 digs) and Kojic (44 assists) each finished with match-highs in their respective categories.

After this weekend’s action, the Flashes sit third in the MAC’s East division with a conference record of 4-2 paired with an overall record of 10-8. Kent extended its winning streak to three games following Saturday’s game against Akron.

The Flashes host conference opponents Toledo and Ball State Friday and Saturday (Oct. 16-17) at the M.A.C. Center.

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