Volleyball falls to Ohio in first match of MAC play

Ashley Sepanski

Kent State continues long losing streak against the Bobcats

The Kent State volleyball team saw an end to its seven-match winning streak on yesterday after being shut out by Ohio in three sets.

The loss is the Flashes’ 16th in a row to the Bobcats over the past six years, which dropped their season record to 7-8.

Kent State coach Glen Conley said lack of energy and good plays led to the loss.

“We came out flat and didn’t have a lot of energy,” Conley said. “(Ohio) took advantage of that. We had a hard time getting into our offense, and when we did, our hitters didn’t take advantage of it. It was a total break down.”

The Flashes’ opening match of Mid-American Conference play in Ohio’s Convocation Center began with a close first set. Kent State and Ohio fought it out point for point until the Bobcats established a two-point lead, 9-7, and continued to widen the gap until taking the set 25-17.

The Bobcats gained momentum in the following set, leading the Flashes 22-7 at one point, before finishing 25-13. In the final set of the match, Kent State came back and rallied closely with the Bobcats. The two teams were almost tied the entire set before Ohio captured a five point lead and ended the match 25-20.

Junior libero Kristen Barr said the Flashes did not play up to their potential.

“I think we didn’t come out excited,” Barr said. “We didn’t execute our game plan, and we just didn’t play as good as we could have.”

Compared to last weekend’s matches, Kent State’s kills dropped dramatically. Senior outside hitter Arjola Prenga scored only seven kills against Ohio incomparison to 27 she recorded against Utah State Sept. 18.

“We had both physical and mental errors,” Conley said. “There’s no room for error in volleyball, and I don’t think we came out fighting. Our stats prove that.”

Despite being defeated by Ohio again, Conley said the Flashes are not going to let the loss affect them for long.

“We lost the match, but we’re not going to get down about it,” Conley said. “We have no change in our attitude.”

Barr said when the Flashes next face Ohio Oct. 29, she hopes the team will show more excitement.

“Next time (we face Ohio) we just need to bring more energy,” Barr said. “I want to keep passing and defending. I want to keep helping my teammates out.”

“(Ohio) didn’t come out and surprise us,” Conley said. “They didn’t have a different game plan. They just wanted it more. And my hat’s off to them for that.”

Kent State will play Eastern Michigan next at 3.p.m on Saturday in the M.A.C. Center.

Contact sports reporter Ashley Sepanski at [email protected].