Flashes cease losing streak

Amanda Vasil

After four straight losses, two long weekends away from home and a season filled with ups and downs, things were not looking good for the Kent State volleyball team.

But that all changed this weekend.

In a five-game match against Northern Illinois (11-12, 4-5 Mid-American Conference), the Flashes (7-14, 3-7 MAC) wavered game-to-game with close scores before pulling out with a 3-2 win.

Although Kent State came out in the first game with .378 hitting, the Huskies out-hit the Flashes with a .519 hitting average to win 30-24. In game two, both teams made service and attack errors, causing them to stay neck-and-neck for most of the set. The Flashes were able to pull ahead and take the game 33-31.

Kent State dropped the third game 30-20, but came back to win the fourth set 30-18 because of poor hitting and passing errors by the Huskies. The Flashes then went on to take the final game 15-10.

Sophomore setter/outside hitter Anja Knabe-Paulsen led the Flashes, grabbing her first triple-double of the season with 12 kills, 30 assists and 11 digs. She also recorded five service aces and a .706 match hitting average.

Seniors Danielle Holt and Anne Butts both registered double-doubles during the match, as Holt tallied 22 kills and 13 digs, and Butts added 30 assists and 11 digs.

Sophomore Anne Zakelj and freshman redshirt Ashley Feutz also registered double-digit kills with 11 and 12 kills respectively. Junior Sarah Wilber notched a team-best seven blocks, while adding eight kills.

Defensively, sophomore Laura Jensen led with 16 digs.

The momentum didn’t carry over into Saturday’s match against Western Michigan (14-17, 7-4 MAC), as the Flashes fell in a 3-0 sweep with close scores of 30-26, 37-35, 30-23.

Knabe-Paulsen led the Flashes for the second night in a row, gaining her second triple-double of the season. She tallied 10 kills, 17 assists and 11 digs, while hitting .500. Holt nabbed her second double-double of the weekend and eleventh double-double of the season with 12 kills and 10 digs. She also contributed with three solos blocks.

Jensen added 11 digs, while Feutz tallied 13 kills.

The Flashes end their road travels this weekend in the first of two home-match series at the M.A.C. Center. They face-off against Miami at 7 p.m. Friday and conclude the weekend against Bowling Green at 7 p.m. Saturday.

Contact volleyball reporter Amanda Vasil at [email protected].