Flashes lose ‘prep match’ against BGSU

Ashley Sepanski

Volleyball team falls to Falcons

The Kent State volleyball team fell to Bowling Green yesterday in the first of two Mid-American Conference “prep matches”.

Kent State coach Glen Conley said the matches against Bowling Green and Miami would serve as practice for the MAC Tournament, which begins next week.

“I think the challenge we’re looking at is we’re going to spend a lot of matches on the road here, everybody is,” Conley said. “Next week everybody’s going to have to win on the road, so we’re looking at this as a real great opportunity. It’s our last sort of dress rehearsal before going into the tournament, and we’re excited about it.”

During Kent State’s dress rehearsal against Bowling Green, both teams exchanged set wins before the Falcons claimed the match 3-2. The first set opened with Kent State and Bowling Green tied 4-4. The Falcons took an early lead, fighting off the Flashes at 10-9, and racked up points until they reached set point at 24-16. A kill by senior outside hitter Arjola Prenga held off the end of the set until a Kent State attack error brought the score to 25-17.

Not ready to quit, the Flashes came out and reversed the scores during the second set. Bowling Green almost tied Kent State at 10-9, but was shaken off by the Flashes as they climbed to set point at 24-14. Bowling Green tried to catch up with two kills and a service ace, but a kill by freshman outside hitter Meredith Paskert ended the set 25-17.

After the break, Kent State came out to fall again during the third set. The Falcons and Flashes tied again at 4-4 before two ball handling errors and three kills gave Bowling Green a five-point lead. Freshman setter Zuzana Markova interrupted the point streak with a kill, but Bowling Green came back to take six more points. The Falcons maintained the lead and ended the set with a kill at 25-12.

Conley said a new line up and poor blocking impacted the outcome of the match.

“We were all banged up, Liva (Brivule) didn’t play tonight, and we had a new lineup,” Conley said. “It’s hard to have new players next to each other. Overall, though, we didn’t block. Usually we put up a good block, and (yesterday) we just didn’t do it.”

During the fourth set, Kent State rallied to take a hard earned win. Both teams were neck and neck, tying at 22-22, 23-23, 24-24, 25-25, and 26-26 before a service error and kill by Paskert ended the set 28-26.

After the close victory, Kent State fell during the fifth set 15-3.

Saturday, the Flashes will take on Miami at 5 p.m. and Paskert said they hope to end the weekend with another win.

“(Our biggest challenge) is showing up and playing aggressive, not taking anyone lightly,”ÿPaskert said. “We’re hoping to finish strong this weekend so we can have confidence going into the MAC Tournament to prove ourselves.”

Contact sports reporter Ashley Sepanski [email protected].