Women’s volleyball expected to serve up its best on Thursday

Amanda Vasil

Flashes face best team in MAC East

Middle blocker Lindsey Skorupan, right side Ashley Fentz and middle blocker Lindsay Daniels practice passing and hitting. The volleyball team plays at 7 p.m. Thursday at Ohio University.

Credit: Steve Schirra

Kent State coach Mora Kanim has expressed time and time again that the team should focus on itself and not its opponents.

But that might be hard to do when facing the best team in the Mid-American Conference East Division.

Tomorrow, the Flashes face the Ohio Bobcats (12-2, 2-0 MAC), who are currently first in the MAC East Division.

The Flashes (5-8, 1-1 MAC) are coming off their home-opening weekend in which they defeated Buffalo 3-1, and fell to backyard rival Akron 3-1.

The team lacked defensive edge Saturday against the Zips, and the Flashes couldn’t keep up with Akron’s quick offensive line.

Senior outside hitter Danielle Holt recorded her sixth double-double of the season with 27 kills and 13 digs, while junior Sarah Wilber tied a personal best 15 kills for the fifth time in her career.

The Flashes fell to Ohio in both regular-season meetings in 2004 resulting in two 3-0 sweeps. The Bobcats also defeated Kent State during the MAC tournament in their third 3-0 sweep of the season against the Flashes.

The Bobcats are co-leaders of both MAC divisions with Eastern Michigan and Toledo. Kent State is tied with Bowling Green and Akron for second place in the MAC East.

Kent State was picked to finish third in the MAC East pre-season poll, while the Bobcats were selected to win their third regular season and tournament title.

Ohio sophomore middle blocker Melissa Griffin was named the MAC East Player of the Week on Monday after leading the Bobcats to a 2-0 record and wins against Akron and Buffalo last weekend. In the two matches, Griffin compiled 30 kills on .433 hitting with an average of five kills per game. She also kept her hitting errors to a minimum with only four the entire weekend.

This is Griffin’s second time receiving the honor in her career and the team’s fourth player in five weeks to be given this award. Other Ohio players who have recently held this title include Savanah Parra, Stephanie Blackburn and Julia Winkfield.

The Bobcats added to their 25 home winning streak against MAC opponents last weekend after defeating Buffalo. They have not lost a game at home since Sept. 25, 2004.

The Flashes will begin the weekend in Athens tomorrow at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

Contact volleyball reporter Amanda Vasil at [email protected].