Engleman shines as volleyball remains unbeaten in the M.A.C. Center


Lauren Engleman, Outside Hitter, spikes the ball against Youngstown State University to gain a point for Kent State Univerisity on Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. The Flashes win (3-2)

Jimmy Miller

Senior outside hitter Lauren Engleman’s errant hit she sent sailing into the bleachers might have made her night look dreadful.

As it turned out, her performance was anything but dreadful.

Engleman, who laughed off the error, went on to post career-high numbers, finishing with 22 kills and 24 points.

“I have to beat (my record) this weekend,” Engleman said. “I’ve been making the right plays and swinging as high as I can.”

Kent State squeaked past Youngstown State University in five sets, improving its overall record to 8-2 and 4-0 at home.

The Penguins (9-3) made the match as taxing as possible for the Flashes, making sets seem longer than even the close scores suggest. A solid defensive effort from both squads extended rallies, as both teams combined for 141 digs and 19 blocks.

“The girls are hungry,” coach Don Gromala said. “We made them earn their points.”

The team set the tone of the match early on in a first-set duel. Tied at 23 a piece, the Flashes dropped the first set to Youngstown State after a late service error from junior opposite Kelly Hutchison.

The next two sets told a similar story with a different result. The Flashes grinded out a 25-19 second set and 25-21 third.

Kent State nearly stormed back after falling behind, 13-7, in the fourth set, but ultimately faltered late and lost, 25-23.

A fifth and decisive set in the M.A.C. Center quickly slanted toward Kent State’s favor as the Flashes fended off the Penguins, 15-12.

“I think (the match) was pretty clean overall,” Gromala said. “We served really well, we didn’t miss too many digs.”

Kent State saw quality performances from senior outside hitter Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola and senior middle blocker Liz Reikow, who finished with 19 and 14 points, respectively. Hutchison also chipped in 12 points and 11 kills.

Freshman libero Challen Geraghty tallied 23 digs on the night, and junior defensive specialist Sarah Mills added 14 kills of her own to the mix.

The Flashes hit the road for a match with Towson University Friday. Kent State will also play St. John’s University and North Dakota State University as part of the Tiger Invitational.

Contact Jimmy Miller at [email protected].