Volleyball continues MAC losing streak

Tom Crilley

The Kent State volleyball team lost in four sets to Ohio University Thursday night, marking the team’s fifth-straight defeat.

Kent State fell to Ohio 3-1, only defeating the Bobcats in the second set.

It was the 17th consecutive time the Flashes (10-16, 3-8 Mid-American Conference) have lost to the Bobcats (14-10, 6-5 MAC). Kent State coach Glen Conley said the Flashes’ biggest issue was passing.

“It just broke down in game three,” he said. “So we were totally out of the game. We didn’t even have a chance.”

Despite having the lead four different times in set one, the Flashes couldn’t pull out a win. Neither team had a very strong attack game, but the Bobcats’ offense was just good enough.

The Flashes went up 18-16 thanks to a kill from freshman setter Aleksandra Nowak, but Ohio fought back, taking a 20-19 lead. The Bobcat’s attack game heated up to propel them to a 25-22 victory.

The Flashes started the second set 3-0 and never trailed at any point during the set. The team displayed a stronger attack game with a .306 hitting percentage.

The Flashes won 25-21 and posted 15 kills in the process. Conley said that’s the teams goal is to post about 15 kills in each set.

The second set was the best Kent State’s passing game was all night.

“It was better, but it still wasn’t good,” Conley said. “Our passing all night was a little suspect.”

Although Kent State had momentum after winning a set, it all fell apart for the Flashes in the third set.

With the game tied at one apiece, the Flashes were stifled offensively. The Bobcats started with a 5-1 advantage, and the Flashes were never able to make up the difference. Ohio coasted to 25-13 victory.

Kent State displayed its worst hitting game of the night with just five kills.

“We played hard, but you have to play with confidence as well. That’s what I’m telling the girls. I want to be aggressive,” Conley said. “There’s no sense in playing timid. You have to thrive on pressure.”

A kill by sophomore middle blocker Kathy Krupa, a service ace by junior outside hitter Maigan Larsen and a couple attack errors by the Bobcats allowed the Flashes to jump out to a 4-1 edge in the fourth.

The set was close throughout, but again the Flashes hitting game faltered down the stretch. Ohio sealed the game and the match with a 25-18 win.

Conley said both teams posted poor numbers, and he didn’t think it was a well-played match.

“I don’t think either team played very well,” he said. “To be honest with you, I think they sort of out-uglied us tonight. It wasn’t a very pretty match.”

The Flashes will be at home again on Saturday when they take on Central Michigan at 7:30 p.m.

Contact Tom Crilley at [email protected].