Loss of Nowak leads to Flashes’ defeat

Alexis Pfeifer

Entering the match with a 7-6 record, the Kent State volleyball team fell to IPFW in three sets on Thursday, Sept. 15.

Late in the second set, sophomore setter Aleksandra Nowak left the match with an ankle injury.

With just 31 total match kills, led by senior outside hitter Maigan Larsen with nine kills, Kent State suffered an overwhelming three-set loss. IPFW outhit the Flashes .263-.208.

“I don’t think we executed our game plan very well at all,” said Kent State coach Glen Conley.

After four early Kent State errors in the first set, the Flashes settled the score at eight with kills by Larsen, freshman right-side hitter Liz Reikow and freshman setter/right-side hitter Jenny Buczek.

“(Larsen) is a gamer,” Conley said. “She knows her game, and she’s confident in what she’s doing. That shows.”

IPFW took the lead, pushing the score to 15-9 with several Mastodon kills and Kent State attack errors. Coming from behind to shorten the Mastodons lead to 19-15, Kent State scored four kills by junior middle-back Kathy Krupa, Larsen, and freshman outside hitter Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola. IPFW scored the final point with a kill to take the first set at 25-20.

Although Kent State came out with a heated kill by Larsen, scoring the first point of the second set, IPFW took the lead with errors made by the Flashes to a 4-2 score. Kent State rebounded with a kill by Aderemi-Ibitola, a block by Krupa and an error by IPFW, pushing the score to 9-8. Settling the score at 14 with a Larsen kill, she continued the enthusiasm with a service kill.

Although the team had key plays by Reikow and Aderemi-Ibitola, it made fatal errors, which evened the score several times at the end of the second set. With the score settled at 18, Nowak left the game with an ankle injury. After a tied set at 21, Larsen with a service ace helped Kent State take the lead, until it fell behind with an IPFW kill. Although Reikow played a kill to tie the set at 23, IPFW took advantage of a Flashes error to with the set 26-24.

“When your setter goes down, and that is the person you have been practicing with, things are going to be discombobulated, and that is what happened,” Conley said.

IPFW set the pace in the third set with the first two points in favor of the

Mastodons. IPFW settled at 5-1 before Kent State caught a break, taking advantage of three Mastodons errors. However, IPFW did not allow time for adjustments. The

Mastodons scored five straight points, leading the Flashes 12-5.

After kills by Aderemi-Ibitola and freshman middle-back and outside hitter Lauren Engleman, Kent State took the advantage of a bad set and two attack errors to lessen the Mastodons lead to 17-12. Although the Flashes began to catch up to IPFW, the Mastodons scored six kills and took advantage of a bad Kent State set to win the third set 25-19.

“We need to get more out of Krupa,” Conley said. “We’re going to have to figure things out real quick. Whatever happens, it gets more freshmen on the court.”

Kent State will look to redeem itself against Miami at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Alexis Pfeifer is the volleyball reporter for the Daily Kent Stater.

Contact Alexis Pfeifer at [email protected].