Chippewas bounce Flashes for sixth-straight loss

Tom Crilley

The Kent State volleyball team suffered its sixth-straight loss Saturday night against Central Michigan.

The team struggled offensively throughout the night, posting just 24 kills in the three sets.

By comparison, the Chippewas totaled 50 kills in the three-set sweep at the M.A.C. Center.

Flashes’ coach Glen Conley said he thought Central Michigan played a good game.

“We just weren’t able to get into our offensive system at all last night,” he said. “It was a struggle from the beginning. (Central Michigan) is a good team. They served tough and kept us out of what we wanted to do.”

The Flashes were able to keep pace with the Chippewas to begin every set, but the Chippewas’ relentless attack game was too much for the Flashes. Kent State had just six kills, and its nine attack errors led to a -.111 hitting percentage.

In the first set, the Flashes were down just one point at 8-7, but the Chippewas scored six of the next seven points, four of them on mistakes by the Flashes, to pull away to a 25-13 win.

The Flashes were at their best offensively during the second set but were still able to record only nine kills. The score was tied 11 times until senior outside hitter Lauren Krupsky from Central Michigan capped the game by scoring the Chippewas final four kills for a 25-17 win.

The final set went much like the first one. The Flashes hit just .138 percent to the Chippewas’ .576 hitting percentage. Central Michigan scored 19 of its 25 points on kills and won the set 25-13 to seal the match.

“If you look at their hitting percentage we weren’t able to slow them down at all,” Conley said. “They kept a lot of pressure on us and we weren’t up to being able to respond to them last night.

The Flashes will look to break their losing streak with a match up against rival Akron this weekend. Conley said the Flashes will hit the gym to work out their issues and prepare for the weekend.

“Hard work is the only way you get out of anything,” he said. “I think the girls are always excited to play Akron. There should be enough incentive there to come out Friday night and play hard. It was a tough one the last time, and I’m sure it’ll be another big battle.”

Playing on the road is always tough, especially at a place like Akron. The Zips’ fans, who earlier this year showed up at the M.A.C. Center to heckle the Flashes, can be relentless.

Conley said that can definitely affect a team, but it could also be used as a motivator.

“You have to be mentally tough and focus on playing the match and not on the fans,” he said. “It can work for and against you.”

The Flashes will be on the road to face Akron on Friday at 7 p.m. and they’ll travel to Buffalo on Saturday at 5 p.m.

Contact sports reporter Tom Crilley at [email protected].