Volleyball has home-court advantage for KSU Invitational

Amanda Vasil

The Flashes played against the Akron Zips at the M.A.C. Center on Nov 13, 2004. The Flashes will host the KSU Invitational this weekend. The action begins today versus Dartmouth at 12:30 p.m.

Credit: Jason Hall

The Kent State volleyball team will host the Kent State Invitational today and tomorrow at the M.A.C. Center after splitting matches at the GMC Barker Classic last weekend.

The Flashes (1-3) will begin the weekend against Dartmouth (0-0) at 12:30 p.m. before facing Eastern Kentucky (2-3) at 7:30 p.m. They conclude against Robert Morris (3-4) at 1:30 p.m. and finally Syracuse (3-1) at 6:30 p.m. tomorrow.

Rather than scouting their opponents, the Flashes are concentrating on their own game in hopes of solid performances and success.

“We’re going to make sure we’re comfortable with what we’re doing before we start looking at what other teams are doing,” Kent State coach Mora Kanim said. “If our opponents can match us, then we’ll start concerning ourselves with them.”

While the Flashes work hard to improve in all aspects every week, they have been specifically focusing on their defensive. They are also working closely on accurate serving and passing.

“I know these things will happen, not only this weekend, but throughout the entire semester,” Kanim said.

Strong leadership from seniors Anne Butts and Danielle Holt will aid in the Flashes’ performance. Holt currently leads the Flashes in attacks with 60 kills, while Butts ranks No. 1 in assists and continues to improve with 30 registered digs. Holt is set to join an elite club this weekend as she becomes the fourth player in school history to obtain 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career.

“I think they are excited to play in front of a big home crowd,” Kanim said. “It’s their senior year, and as captains, this is their opportunity to perform for a home tournament.”

Kanim said she believes there is a definite advantage to hosting the tournament, rather than traveling to other universities. The team will be able to attend classes on Friday, as well as spend the night at home.

Sophomore Anne Zakelj, who led the Flashes with eight stops during the Western Kentucky match last weekend, said she feels being at home eases the tension of the game.

“It’s our locker room, our home turf,” she said. “There’s just something about it. Once the game starts, you’re only concentrating on your teammates. You can’t hear anything else.”

Kanim said she looks forward to a fun and exciting weekend.

“Being at home is a great opportunity for students and faculty to come watch us,” Kanim said. “I’m expecting a very hard fought weekend. If we play to our potential, we’ll be very successful.”

Contact volleyball reporter Amanda Vasil at [email protected].