Volleyball returns home, beats Eastern Michigan


Sophomore Danie Tyson prepares to spike ball to other side of court on Nov. 9, 2019. The Golden Flashes won 15-9 in set five against Eastern Michigan.

Nicholas Pedone

Fresh off the heels of a loss in Athens against Ohio University, Kent State’s volleyball team returned home on Saturday to play Eastern Michigan.

In a match that they hit .246 against Ohio, the Flashes were swept 3-0.

In the first set, Ohio shocked Kent 25-15. The Flashes fought back, but lost the second set 29-27 before getting swept 28-26.

In the loss, senior Ashley Makruski had 13 kills. Redshirt sophomore Alex Haffner contributed 39 kills to the offense. Junior Kaleigh Stang had 12 digs. 

After five straight matches on the road, Kent returned home with a matchup against Eastern Michigan University. 

It was another five set thriller for the Flashes, who posted a .244 hitting percentage in the victory.

After the match, coach Don Gromala compared his young team to the Kardiac Kids, the old-school Browns teams that would make every game interesting and exciting.

“I was excited about how we won this match,” Gromala said. “It was a really good back-and-forth battle, more of an offensive battle.”

Kent State’s serving topped Eastern Michigan with nine total aces. Eastern Michigan only had three aces.

The Flashes won the first set 25-23, before dropping the second set 25-18. Kent won the third set 25-18, before dropping the fourth 25-19. Finally, the Flashes finished off the five-set affair, defending their home court 15-9. 

The win was fueled by Kent’s offense, where sophomore Danie Tyson led the way with 17 kills. Late in the fifth set, Tyson put away a big kill to send Eastern Michigan packing.

Before Tyson’s big kill, freshman Savannah Matthews had an ace, followed by big blocks by senior Myla King and freshman Morgan Copley. It was a surge that put the Flashes up 11-7 and they never looked back.

“They maintained their smart attacking throughout the match,” Gromala said of Tyson and Copley’s efforts. 

In the win, Haffner contributed 53 assists and sophomore Erin Gardner had 22 digs.

The Flashes will wrap up their regular season at home next weekend. Kent plays the University of Akron on Friday night before the University of Buffalo on Saturday night.

“It’s nice to know we’re going to be home again next week and be in our own beds,” Gromala said. “Hopefully we get a nice, huge crowd to finish off the season. These kids deserve it.”

Contact Nicholas Pedone at [email protected]