Still perfect

Doug Gulasy

Volleyball team survives five-set match against Cleveland State

The Kent State volleyball team celebrates after winning last night’s match against Cleveland State. The match went five games, with the Flashes winning the deciding game at a score of 15-13. ELIZABETH MYERS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: DKS Editors

Before last night, not only was the Kent State volleyball team undefeated in its three matches, it was also winning matches in a dominant fashion, as the Flashes had won each individual game in those matches.

That was before last night. The Flashes did move to 4-0 with a 3-2 victory at Cleveland State, but the Vikings gave them all they could handle before falling just short.

The match came down to a tight, back-and-forth, fifth game which saw several tie scores before the Flashes scored the final three points to win 15-13.

“Fortunately we came out on top, but in a 15-13 game, you can’t walk away saying, ‘Aw, we were so great,'” coach Glen Conley said. “A point here and there in that last game and it goes the other way. I’m just proud of the way we fought, and we just stuck in there the whole time.”

The first game of the match was all Cleveland State. The Vikings never trailed en route to winning, 30-21.

“We knew we were in for a match when Cleveland State came into game one,” Conley said. “They were just playing really well, and we knew what those outside hitters could do.”

After the first game, Conley told the team that adjustments had to be made to the original game plan because of how well Cleveland State was playing.

“We made four adjustments, and the girls made them all,” Conley said. “Every single one. We changed our servicing patterns, we changed our blocking scheme, we changed how we were serving and we changed, basically, how we wanted our left side hitters to attack.

“We made those four changes, the team made every change, and just took advantage of what Cleveland State was giving us, and limited Cleveland State to what they could use.”

Those adjustments that Conley, the coaching staff and the team made paid off in game two, as the Flashes spent most of the game ahead by double digits, eventually winning 30-18.

While the first two games had been one-sided, the final three were much closer.

The third game was a back-and-forth affair, with 11 ties and four lead changes, but the Flashes pulled out a 30-28 win.

Cleveland State didn’t give up, though, taking the fourth game 30-23. Early on the game was close, but the Vikings took the lead for good at 12-11, paving the way for the fateful fifth game.

Conley called the last three games a “battle of wills” between the two teams and gave credit to his players for stepping up to win the match, specifically Anne Davis.

“Anne Davis, I can’t say enough about how she played, how she served, how she kept her head in this game, how she blocked,” Conley said. “She really stepped up and filled that (middle hitter) position for us very well. I just felt like she showed a lot of heart, as well as the girls, like I said, making adjustments–every other girl made tremendous adjustments in this match.”

Contact volleyball reporter Doug Gulasy at [email protected].