Volleyball team struggles offensively in third straight loss

Tom Crilley

Offense continues to be an issue for the Kent State volleyball team.

The Flashes lost in straight sets for the second consecutive time Saturday night at Eastern Michigan after hitting just .130 through the three sets.

The Flashes were looking to rebound from their worst loss of the season against Ohio last Thursday, but they fell to 0-2 in the Mid-American Conference instead. The loss gave Kent State its third loss in a row.

Kent State coach Glen Conley attributed the Flashes’ loss to a lack of hitting production from his players. The team combined for 34 kills and 18 attack errors.

“We didn’t pass well enough,” he said. “We only averaged 11 kills a game, and when you do that, you’re going to lose. When you’re only able to score 14, 15 points a game, that means your opponent is going to have to give you 10 or 11. In the MAC, that’s not going to happen.”

The Flashes (7-10, 0-2 MAC) started the first set up 3-1 behind a pair of kills by junior outside hitter Maigan Larsen and a service ace by sophomore outside hitter Meredith Paskert. The team couldn’t maintain the fast start, however, as the Eagles fought back to tie the score and then matched Kent State point for point.

Even at 12-12, the Eagles went on a four-point run to take a 16-12 advantage. The Flashes regained the ground, dropping the first set, 25-20.

Conley said the Eagles’ strategy didn’t factor into his team’s loss. The Eagles’ momentum, however, did.

“We struggled a couple different times giving up runs of points where we would give up five or six in a row,” Conley said. “We ended up losing each game by five or six points, so that’s the game.

“You have to have players that can just step up and say ‘Hey, give me the ball. I can get you a kill.’ Right now that’s just not happening.”

The Flashes kept it close again in the second set, but the team never claimed the lead. The Eagles used a six-point run midway through the set to open up a 21-12 advantage. Bad sets and attack errors from the Eagles gave the Flashes a late surge, but it wasn’t enough to save the set.

In the third set, Kent State had a 7-6 lead when Eastern Michigan went on a 5-0 run. The Flashes never had the lead again and lost the set, 25-19.

The Eagles had just 12 kills in the final set, but seven attack errors from the Flashes gave the Eastern Michigan the edge and the win.

Conley said it’s too early to think about still being able to compete for the MAC championship. He said his team needs to focus on its next opponent.

“We need to work on getting better this week,” he said. “We need to worry about November in November. Right now we can’t worry about it. Let’s just take care of business in October.”

The Flashes return home this weekend to take on Buffalo and Akron.


Eastern Michigan 3, Kent State 0

(25-20, 25-19, 25-19)

Player of the match: Sophomore outside hitter Meredith Paskert (8 kills, 2 service aces)

Stat of the game: .130

Kent State tallied just 34 kills against 18 attack errors in 123 attempts in its loss to Eastern Michigan.

Contact Tom Crilley at [email protected].