Volleyball team’s chemistry gives Flashes an edge

Jake Kaufmann

Players, coach expect to rebound in 2009

The volleyball team prepares for its first home game against Robert Morris on Sept. 18. Rachel Kilroy | Daily Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

In 2009, the Kent State volleyball team hopes to get off to the same hot start as the 2008 team did but end with a stronger finish.

The Flashes took a 10-3 record into Mid-American Conference play last season. After wins against Buffalo and Akron, Kent State would win only once more before the MAC tournament.

2009 volleyball schedule

IPFW Invitational at

Fort Wayne, Ind.

Aug. 28, 10:30 aM Eastern Illinois

Aug. 28, 5 PM Drake

Aug. 29, 12:30 pm IPFW

Aug. 29, 5 pm Butler

Sept. 2, 7 pm Pittsburgh

Patriot Invitational

Sept. 4, 7 pm George Mason

(Fairfax, Va.)

Sept. 5, 10 am Morehead State (Fairfax, Va.)

Sept. 5, 4:30 pm Cornell

(Fairfax, Va.)

Raider Challenge

Sept. 11, 5 pm St. Peter’s

(Dayton, Ohio)

Sept. 12, 12 pm Evansville

(Dayton, Ohio)

Sept. 12, 7 pm Wright State

(Dayton, Ohio)

Kent State/ Mizuno Open

Sept. 18, 11 AM Robert Morris

Sept. 18, 7 PM Utah State

Sept. 19, 2 pm Butler

Sept. 24, 7 pm Ohio MAC

Sept. 26 TBA Eastern Michigan H MAC

Oct. 2, 7 PM Buffalo MAC

Oct. 3, 7 PM Akron MAC

Oct. 9, 7 PM Miami H MAC

Oct. 10, 7 PM Bowling Green H MAC

Oct. 16, 7 PM Ball State H MAC

Oct. 17, 7 PM Toledo H MAC

Oct. 23, 7 PM Western Michigan MAC

Oct. 24, 7 PM (8 PM EST) Northern Illinois MAC

Oct. 29, 7 PM at Ohio H MAC

Oct. 31, 7 PM at Central Michigan MAC

Nov. 6, 7 PM Akron H MAC

Nov. 7, 7 PM Buffalo H MAC

Nov. 12, 7 PM Bowling Green MAC

Nov. 14, 5 PM Miami MAC

Nov. 20-21 TBA (at Toledo)

H: Home match

MAC: Mid-American Conference match

Northern Illinois needed all five sets to eliminate Kent State in the first round of the MAC tournament after the Flashes’ rough conference season.

“We were disappointed obviously,” Kent State coach Glen Conley said, “but we’re looking forward to rebounding and moving on from that.

“It’s going to be exciting. We’ve got seven new players, and our challenge is going to be to come together as a team.”

The team welcomes back junior libero Kristen Barr, junior outside hitter Lauren Jones, who led the team in kills last year; senior setter Katie Veatch and senior right side Jenny Keck, the returning blocks leader.

Conley, now in his third season with the team, and the rest of his coaching staff will be working to identify what everyone does best and to take advantage of the talent they have.

“I think we have a very

talented group,” he said. “We have a very committed group, so we have some ideas of what we want to see.”

Team captain Barr said she is eager for the season to start.

“I’m looking forward to our competitive drive,” she said. “Everyone on our team is competitive and looking forward to winning.”

Conley said he believes in his captain, who played in 100 of Kent State’s 115 sets last year.

“She’s done an excellent job of helping everything come together, especially after last year,” Conley said. “We’ll need that leadership to help in the fall with chemistry.”

Barr said she believes the team’s chemistry will be key to their overall success.

“If we can keep building on our team chemistry that we already have, we’ll be good to go,” she said. “If we have good chemistry on and off the court, we’ll be clicking.”

Contact sports correspondent Jake Kauffman at [email protected].