KSU on the road again

Josh Johnston

Volleyball travels to Miami and BG for MAC games

Sophomore libero Kristen Barr grew up rooting for the Bowling Green Falcons. Understandable, considering she is originally from the area.

But tomorrow, when the Kent State volleyball team travels to Northwest Ohio to play the Falcons, the sophomore will find herself as the opponent in her own hometown. But that’s all right with her.

“It’s not weird at all,” Barr said. “It’s actually more exciting to me just because I have a lot of family and friends that are still in town, so it’s a lot easier to play.”

Her homecoming will be the second of two matches the Flashes (12-3, 2-0 Mid-American Conference) will play this weekend against MAC East rivals. In addition to Bowling Green tomorrow, Kent State will face Miami at 7 tonight in Oxford, Ohio.

Last time Barr played close to home, Bowling Green won in a close five-set match. This year, Kent State coach Glen Conley said he expects another hard-fought match.

“They’re going to be coming at us,” he said. “BG’s a very good team and they’re going to be dangerous because they’re 0-2. They’re certainly not going to want to drop any lower than that. They’ll have a huge crowd. It’s going to be a hostile environment.”

Junior setter Katie Veatch said she actually prefers playing on the road in front of opposing crowds.

“I’d rather have them yelling at me,” she said. “It’s more fun to win. I kind of like being on the road because you’re not distracted. You’re totally focused on volleyball.”


KENT STATE (12-3, 2-0 MAC)

vs. MIAMI (7-7, 1-1 MAC)

and BOWLING GREEN (10-6, 0-2 MAC)

Where: Millet Hall, Oxford and

Anderson Arena, Bowling Green

When: 7 p.m. today and 7 p.m. tomorrow

This weekend’s matches will be the first road trip for Kent State since the Air Force Academy tournament three weeks ago. So far this season, the Flashes have been 8-2 away from the M.A.C. Center.

Kent State will start the weekend with a tough challenge – 2007 MAC Tournament Champion Miami. The Redhawks split their first conference matches last weekend, beating Bowling Green 3-1 and losing to Western Michigan 3-1.

Conley acknowledged Miami’s power and size advantage over the Flashes, but said his team will not necessarily need to be perfect to win.

“We’ve got to be aggressive and take shots,” he said. “If we’re worried about (making mistakes), that’s when we can’t do it. We’ve got to work on keeping fast ourselves and trying to play at a lot faster speed than what they want to play at.”

For Kent State to win, however, they will have to be able to make adjustments during their matches, Conley said.

“Each team’s going to try to shut each other down and will be able to be successful in some things,” he said. “I think it’s going to be the team that makes the last successful adjustment that’s going to win these matches.”

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].