KSU places second at own tourney

Flashes one game away from winning invitational

Freshman Jenny Keck sets the ball to red shirt freshman Lindsay Daniels who is ready to spike in a 3-0 win over North Carolina State Saturday. KATIE ROUPE | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

The Kent State volleyball team finished second at the KSU Invitational during the weekend. The Murray State Racers won the tournament by going undefeated.

Kent State (4-5) opened the tournament Friday night losing to Murray State 3-2 in a tight match.

The Flashes were competitive in their five-game series against the Racers, but it wasn’t enough for them to win the tournament.

In the first game, both teams played even throughout, but Murray State came out on the winning end 30-28.

“We definitely wanted to start out with a win,” Kent State assistant coach Scott Carter said. “However we have a lot of positive moments to build off of.”

Kent State looked much stronger in the second game and kept the pressure by constantly spiking the ball past Murray State. With good ball movement, the Flashes were able to tie the series at one game apiece.

“We did some nice things offensively,” Carter said. “I thought we were very strong in that area.”

Kent State was penalized two points for delay of game for arriving late on the court to start the third game.

“We were making technical and strategical changes,” Carter said. “We were hoping to have the advantage coming out of the break. We wanted to make sure the team had the information they needed.”

That two-point penalty was something that the Flashes could not recover from and they fell behind 2-1.

The Flashes played more determined in game four. They kept Murray State from keeping its momentum and tied the series 2-2.

However, Murray State took the series in the final game 15-11. Both teams played competitively in all five games, but the Flashes could not hold off the Racers.

“Murray State is a good defensive team,” Carter said. “I think they made some plays early in the match that helped them gain some momentum. I think we matched their defensive intensity in game five.”

“They got on a bit of a run in game five,” Carter said. “I think once we put a stop to that, we outplayed the rest of the game. Unfortunately they had a big enough lead, they made a few plays that gave them the advantage.”

On Saturday morning, the Flashes played Chicago State. Kent State dominated, winning 3-0. The Flashes got better the longer they played, winning 30-18 in the first game, 30-15 in the second game and closing with a dominating 30-11 victory.

Kent State finished strong against North Carolina State Saturday night. The first game was tight, the Flashes jumped out to an early 7-2 lead but the Wolfpack came clawing back.

North Carolina State went on a 12-2 run late in the first game to tie the score at 28. The Flashes held off the Wolfpack’s late surge and scored consecutively to win 30-28. The second game was even closer. The Flashes controlled the lead early on but the Wolfpack wouldn’t go away. With a 12-5 run, the Wolfpack tied the score at 27.

Kent State was led by senior middle blocker Sarah Wilber’s poise and fought its way to a 34-32 victory.

In the final game, the Lady Flashes proved to be too much for North Carolina State. Kent State rolled to a 30-18 win.

Kent State coach Mora Kanim said the team’s 4-5 record is not indicative on how good the Kent State volleyball team really is.

“It’s just a matter of us recognizing and realizing how good we are. This weekend showed that that is coming along really well,” Kanim said, “I think we’re all excited about where we are right now.”

After the match, Kanim presented awards for the tournament. The MVP was Murray State’s senior middle blocker Katie Kemezys. Rounding out the all-tournament team were Jessica Khouri from Chicago State, Keisha Raibon from North Carolina State, Allison Mugler and Holly Jansen from Murray State, and Anne Zakelj and Ashley Feutz from Kent State.

Next weekend the Flashes will travel to Cullowhee, N.C. to take on Kennesaw, Western Carolina and High Point in the Catamount Clash V tournament.

Contact volleyball reporter Frank Schaefer at [email protected] and sports reports Nate Stuart at [email protected].