Jensen’s record-setting game leads Kent State

Frank Schaefer

Senior Sarah Wilbur hits the ball in Saturday’s game against Western Michigan. The Flashes came out on top of the Broncos, winning 3 games to 1. ELIZABETH MYERS | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

The Kent State volleyball team bounced back from Friday’s 3-1 loss against Northern Illinois to defeat Western Michigan 3-1 Saturday on parents night.

The Flashes were led by junior libero Laura Jensen’s record-setting 34 digs. Jensen now totals 459 digs this season, breaking her own school record of 456, which she set in 2004.

“It’s a job, it’s what I do,” Jensen said. “Our blockers did a very good job tonight channeling the ball. We bounced back from yesterday’s match. It was a fun night, a really fun night.”

The Flashes are winners of four out of their last six matches.

Kent State (13-9, 6-4 Mid-American Conference) and Western Michigan (14-7, 7-2 MAC) traded points through the first game. With the score tied at 17, neither team led by more than five, but the Flashes outlasted the Broncos and won 30-25.

Kent State fell behind 7-2 early in game two as Western Michigan’s offense gained the upper hand. The game stayed close in the latter stages, and the Flashes got the momentum but still trailed by five, 26-21. The Broncos were able to hold on to the lead and won 30-24.

“It seems that when we do a good job of re-focusing for each play, and stay focused on what we needed to do next, then we do a good job,” Kent State coach Mora Kanim said. “When we went away from that we were unsuccessful. So there is a strong correlation between those two, and thankfully we did a good job of it during most of the night.”ÿÿ

Game three started out looking a lot like game one, with both teams trading points. The Flashes capitalized on the Broncos early mistakes and took a 14-10 lead. Coming out of a Western Michigan timeout, the Flashes maintained their slim lead, 18-17. The lead switched hands twice later on, but the Flashes held on for a 30-26 victory.

The Broncos took a 17-13 lead in the fourth game, forcing the Flashes to call a time-out. Coming out of the timeout Western Michigan scored two quick aces, which caused Kent State to take the final timeout as it fell behind 25-17. The Flashes fought back to a within three, 26-23, before the Broncos called a timeout of their own. The Flashes showed a lot of tenacity and tied the game at 28. After three lead changes, the Flashes held on to win the game, 33-31.

“We were down 26-20 in game four and chose to come back and win that game. I think that was a big thing for our team,” Kanim said. “Our blocking was so much better than last night, so I think those two things were extremely important tonight. That is what allowed us to win this match.

“That was very high-level volleyball. I think the crowd got its money’s worth, it was very exciting.”

The Flashes started out the season with a 5-2 record, since ending a four-game losing streak on Sept. 9, they have gone 11-4.

Kent State goes on the road to play Miami on Friday and Bowling Green on Saturday.

Contact volleyball reporter Frank Schaefer at [email protected].