Volleyball tries to end losing streak at Ohio

Josh Johnston

Kent State faces first place OU

The Kent State volleyball team will attempt to break more than one losing streak tonight in their match at Ohio.

After two losses last weekend, the Flashes (13-14, 3-11 Mid-American Conference) own a seven-match losing streak dating back to Oct. 18 against Toledo. Kent State also will go into Ohio’s Convocation Center having lost its last 14 matches against the Bobcats, dating back to 2003.

The Bobcats currently sit in first place in the MAC East, while Kent State is second-to-last. Earlier this season, Ohio swept the Flashes at the M.A.C. Center.

“Last time (we played Ohio), the standings were a heck of a lot different,” Kent State coach Glen Conley said. “They were 2-2 and we were 2-2. Right now, they’re on the top of the conference … and we’ve lost quite a few.”

Since Kent State and Ohio met the first time this season, the Flashes have lost 11 of their past 12 matches, while Ohio has won 11 of its past 12. Still, senior outside hitter Ashley Feutz said the Flashes have a good chance if they play harder than they did against Miami last weekend.

“(Ohio) has some big girls, some girls who can really hit the ball, but so do we,” she said. “I think we match up well against them. If we can fight, and fight harder than we did (Saturday), I think it’s a very good game.”

In Kent State’s loss to Miami last Saturday, the Flashes held leads in every set and only lost by a total of seven points. Conley said in order for the team to win close matches like that, it will have to focus on every play.

“We have to play at a high energy level all the time,” he said. “We can’t let ourselves take plays off. We can’t let ourselves not play with excitement and enthusiasm. We can’t.

“We’re not that kind of team. If the energy level drops off, so does our level of play.”

The Flashes changed their offensive system for their match against Ohio on Oct. 9. The new scheme, which was supposed to help Kent State’s blocking, failed to work well, as the Flashes scored only two blocks in the 3-0 loss. Conley said the Flashes have been practicing the offense, but he hasn’t decided on whether they will use it tonight.

With only tonight’s match against the Bobcats and Saturday’s match at Eastern Michigan left in the season, Kent State hopes to move up in the MAC standings. The Flashes are tied with Eastern Michigan for the 10th seed in the MAC Tournament, which begins next week.

“This is our last chance to improve our standing in the MAC, our seeding,” Conley said. “That’s what we’re fighting for right now.”


Kent State (13-14, 3-11 Mid-American Conference) at Ohio (18-7, 11-3)

Where: Convocation Center, Athens

When: 7 p.m. today

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].