Volleyball team splits pair of conference games on Homecoming weekend


Kent State senior Aleksandra Nowak sets the ball to her teammates during a game against Bowling Green State University on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. Kent State fell to the Falcons 1-3. Photo by Emily Lambillotte.

Tim Dorst

The Kent State volleyball team overcame a 3-1 loss to the Bowling Green State University Falcons Friday going on to sweep the Miami RedHawks 3-0 Saturday night at the M.A.C. Center.

Despite their fast start in the first set of their match against the Falcons, the Flashes (8-9, 2-2 Mid-American Conference) won the first set (28-26) but dropped the final three sets (24-26, 22-25, 19-25) to lose their second match this season against a MAC opponent. Kent State led 24-21 in the second set before the Falcons scored five straight points to win the set and tie the match at 1-1.

The Falcons never trailed in the final two sets.

“We play our best with our backs to the wall,” head coach Don Gromala said. “We just have to try not to get down that much to get us going later on in matches.”

Junior Liz Reikow led the offense for the Flashes with 13 kills and contributed defensively with a pair of blocks. Freshman Bianca Cifaldi added 12 kills, and senior Hannah Herc headed the defense with 26 digs from the back line.

The Flashes returned to the court Saturday and held off multiple attacks from Miami to take all three sets (25-21, 25-22, 28-26) against the RedHawks. Miami came back from a 6-point deficit to tie the first set at 19, but Cifaldi and sophomore Kelly Hutchison scored kills down the stretch to help the Flashes pull away from the RedHawks.

Cifaldi broke another tie in the second set, and Kent State took advantage of three Miami errors to take a 2-0 in the match. The RedHawks managed to take a 24-23 lead in the third set before the Flashes regained the lead and sealed the victory on an ace by Hutchison.

Gromala said it was good for his team to get a decisive win in the conference following its previous loss.

“There aren’t any easy matches in the MAC, so it’s always nice to be able to win in three,” Gromala said.

Cifaldi recorded her 14th game with double-digit kills this season on Saturday, finishing with 13 kills against the RedHawks. Junior Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola contributed with 10 kills.

The Flashes will continue MAC play when they host the Ohio University Bobcats beginning at 7 p.m. Thursday at the M.A.C. Center.

Contact Tim Dorst at [email protected].