Volleyball tames Cougars for second weekend win

Josh Johnston

The Kent State volleyball team didn’t want to take Chicago State lightly in this afternoon’s match at the M.A.C. Center.

The Cougars came into the match at 0-13 and had failed to win a single game all season. Yesterday against Ohio State, Chicago State only scored 27 points in the entire match.

“We saw this as our most important set,” sophomore middle blocker Celia Sabo said. “(Chicago State) is struggling as a team right now. We couldn’t play down to their level. We had to play Kent State volleyball.”

The Flashes didn’t underestimate Chicago State, sweeping the match 3-0 in a little under an hour.

Kent State coach Glen Conley admitted the Flashes (10-2) didn’t prepare as much for this match as other matches this weekend.

“We felt like Chicago State, what they were capable of doing, wasn’t going to take us out of anything we would do,” he said. “Against Ohio State and Duquesne, you have to set plan a little more because they’ve got more weapons you have to adjust and account for.”

Kent State used a 6-0 run early in the first game to pull ahead of the Cougars and stay ahead for a 25-15 win. Sophomore outside hitter Lauren Jones paced the Flashes in game one by recording five of her 10 kills in the match.

In game two, Kent State started with seven unanswered points and won 25-6. Sabo helped the early run by making two block assists with Jones and junior outside hitter Tamy Leipelt. Sabo made a team-leading seven blocks, including one solo, during the match.

Reserves for the Flashes began coming in during the third game. Conley said he thought the subs played great.

“We didn’t lose any intensity,” he said. “There was no drop off in aggressiveness.”

Kent State finished off the Cougars by winning the third game 25-13.

Even though the Flashes were ahead for almost the entire match, the team tried to always stay focused, junior setter Katie Veatch said.

“We try not to look at the score,” Veatch said. “We normally just try to take it one point at a time and pay attention to our game plan. Worry about that and you won’t even notice the score.”

Tonight at 7, Kent State will take on Ohio State in what will be the championship match for the Kent State/Mizuno Open. Yesterday, Ohio State swept both Duquesne and Chicago State.

“We’re going to try to play fast, try to play our brand of volleyball,” Conley said. “We can’t worry about the name on the jersey. We have to play the team. If we do that, I think we have a good shot.”

Contact sports reporter Josh Johnston at [email protected].