Flashes prep for home weekend matches

Jimmy Miller

Two days in Charleston tested the Kent State volleyball team last weekend, and while the Flashes prevailed in two of their three matches, Kent State head coach Don Gromala recognized  that there’s always room for improvement.

“I think moving forward we are trying to sharpen our offense for this weekend,” Gromala said. “We’re going to do some more changes with our lineup because we are really trying to prepare for the (Mid-American Conference) season more than anything else.”

Last Friday, the Flashes fell in four sets to Mercer, who went 1-27 in 2013. While it was not a promising start, it was a fantastic finish, as the Flashes turned it around the next morning with a win over Davidson. They proceeded to squeak by the hosts, the College of Charleston, in a five-set match.

“Two to one is always fun,” senior outside hitter Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola said. “If we pick up our offense and keep up our defense, we’ll be unstoppable.”

The Flashes return home to play the University of Evansville Friday afternoon in their first contest at the M.A.C. Center this season.

“I’m just excited to play for the home crowd,” Gromala said. “There will be some good volleyball.”

Preparation needs to come quickly, and the Flashes spent this week reviewing tape of the opponents this weekend, particularly film from their first match against the University of Evansville.

Gromala said the team will take things one match at a time.

“Evansville has a unique system where they run pretty fast,” Gromala said. “At the same time, I think we can stress them out with our offense because I think we’re just a more disciplined team, offensively and defensively.”

Gromala said the key to this weekend will be finding a rhythm with the setting as the team tried a variety of different players out in the middle last weekend.

“We’re patient, but at the same time we’re trying to tweak things to be the best with what we have on our hands,” Gromala said.

Gromala said the team discussed thinking differently about approach angles and timing, and he hopes that setters will slow things down so hitters will take time to think about where the ball should go.

“We haven’t watched much of the hitting (from Evansville), but we watched a lot of what our hitters need to do to them,” freshman defensive specialist Challen Geraghty said.


  • Last weekend not only proved successful for the Flashes as a whole, but also for some of their freshmen that gained valuable playing experience. Geraghty earned all-tournament honors for her performance. “I didn’t expect it,” she said. “Coming out as a freshman, you don’t really expect much but you try your hardest to prove people wrong.”
  • Two of the teams the Flashes play this weekend—the University of New Hampshire and Morehead State University—made the NCAA Tournament last season. New Hampshire was bounced in the first round by the University of Southern California, and Morehead State fell to Illinois University. Both matches were three-set sweeps.

Contact Jimmy Miller at  [email protected].