Volleyball ends year with losses to MAC rivals

Amanda Vasil

High box scores and multiple game turnovers should have guaranteed a win or two for the Kent State volleyball team this weekend.

This is not the case, however, as the team fell in its final two Mid-American Conference matches against Bowling Green and Miami of Ohio.

After a hard-fought 3-1 win against Bowling Green (17-12, 8-7 MAC) at the M.A.C. Center Oct. 29, the Flashes (9-19, 4-12 MAC) were anticipating a similar outcome. Instead, the team fell in a 3-0 sweep with scores of 30-26, 30-21 and 30-26.

Both teams rallied for points, as seen in the various tied scores and lead changes. Each of the three games saw at least six ties and three lead changes.

Seniors Anne Butts and Danielle Holt led the team with double-doubles. Butts recorded her 10th of the season with 20 assists and 10 digs, while Holt registered her 15th of the season with 11 kills and 14 digs. Junior Sarah Wilber and redshirt freshman Ashley Feutz posted double-digit kills, with 10 kills apiece. Feutz led the team in hitting with a .450 hitting average.

Defensively, sophomore libero Laura Jensen tallied 16 digs.

Despite a comeback from being down two games against Miami the following night, the Flashes couldn’t hold on for a win, losing 3-2 in the final match of the season.

Miami (16-11, 9-7 MAC), second in the East Division standings, took the first two games with scores of 30-19 and 30-26, but after being tied 22-22 in game three, the Flashes scored eight of the next 12 points, winning the game 30-26. In this game, Kent State posted a match-high .359 hitting average.

In the fourth game, the Flashes rallied for a 32-30 win. Although the fifth game saw eight ties and eight lead changes, Miami pulled ahead at the end, taking the game 15-13 and winning the match.

Holt grabbed her second double-double of the weekend with 25 kills and 20 digs, marking the second time this season she reached at least 20 digs and kills in a match. Sophomore Anja Knabe-Paulsen also recorded a double-double with 13 kills and 26 assists.

Also leading the offense were Wilber and Feutz, as they tallied 12 and 10 kills, respectively. Wilber hit a team-high .545 in this match, while also adding five blocks.

Redshirt freshman Vaiva Laniauskas contributed defensively with 10 digs and three service aces, while Jensen recorded 17 digs.

After just appearing at Bowling Green’s campus Friday, the Flashes will return there tomorrow to compete in the first round of the MAC tournament. Kent State, a No. 10 seed, will face Bowling Green, which holds the No. 7 seed. The match is set to begin at 7 p.m.

Contact volleyball reporter Amanda Vasil at [email protected].