KSU volleyball loses another game to Ohio

Josh Johnston

Flashes’ dubious streak rolls on as Bobcats win in three sets

Junior setter Katie Veatch barely misses the ball in a dive while playing against Ohio. Rachel Kilroy | Dailly Kent Stater

Credit: DKS Editors

ATHENS – Ahead 23-22 in the second set against Ohio, the Kent State volleyball team saw a chance to even the match last night at the Convocation Center in Athens. The Flashes, however, were unable to win the set, giving up three consecutive points to the Bobcats to fall behind 2-0.

Ohio went on to win the match in straight sets, 25-21, 25-23 and 25-17, for its second sweep of Kent State this year.

“We’re fighting, which is something that we haven’t been doing and it’s a good, refreshing thing,” senior outside hitter Ashley Feutz said. “We need to make less errors down the stretch, and I feel like we’re right in these games. It’s frustrating because we know we can beat them.”

Losing close sets has been a common occurrence for Kent State (13-15, 3-12 Mid-American Conference) lately. Last week, the Flashes lost by a total of seven points to Miami. Although Feutz said the team is playing better, “a loss is a loss, regardless.”

“It’s always hard,” she said. “I think that we are able to leave a lot more on the court and although it’s a loss, there’s never moral victories, but we’re moving in the right direction.”

Kent State coach Glen Conley said the Flashes are facing a mental barrier they need to get over in order to win.

“I liken it to sort of like if someone’s never cleared 7-foot in the high jump,” Conley said. “You jump 6-11 for about a year before you finally just say, ‘The heck with it.’ You get ticked off and decide that you can do it. You just jump the same way you jumped when you jumped 6-10, and you clear it. You break that mental barrier to get over right now.”

Ohio jumped out to a quick start in the first set, leading Kent State 11-4. The Flashes came back within three points late in the set, but a service error by junior right side Jenny Keck gave the Bobcats the win.

Kent State stayed more competitive in the next set with the help of 10 kills by Feutz. The senior finished with a .345 hitting percentage and 15 kills on the night. Conley said her performance was the type of leadership the team needed.

“That’s what it’s all about,” he said. “You put a team on your back and you carry it. That’s what a go-to player is and she proved she’s that in the second game. That’s the only leadership that matters, somebody who’s willing to stand up and say ‘follow me’ and do it.”

The Flashes and Bobcats kept even in the third set until a five-point run put Ohio ahead for good. Hitting errors plagued Kent State as the team committed nine errors with only eight kills to back them up in the third set.

Overall, though, Conley said he was happy to see the team not give up during the match.

“I’m real happy that we’re fighting again, and that was pretty evident against a real good team,” he said. “We came into their place and we fought and didn’t quit. We take that and build on it.

“We’ve got to get better. We just have to get better.”

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].