Kent State volleyball ends non-conference play on high note

Kent State women’s volleyball teams goes to the fifth set Sept. 21, 2019 but pulls out a win in the end against Niagara 3-2.

Kent State’s women’s volleyball team wrapped up non-conference play this weekend by splitting matches with Cleveland State and Niagara University in the Golden-Viking Invitational.

Friday night Kent was swept by Cleveland State in straight sets. Cleveland State beat Kent in the first set 25-13 before beating them 25-17 in the second and third sets. 

The Vikings had 41 kills in the match. The Flashes only had 27. Cleveland State had 14 blocks opposed to Kent’s four.

“It was a different presence,” coach Don Gromala said. “We couldn’t slow down Cleveland State.”

On Saturday, Kent returned to home court for a homecoming matchup with Niagara. Coming into Saturday the Flashes had dropped their prior three matches. Niagara was only 1-8 on the season. Both teams were looking to get their season back on track.

The Flashes were able to pull out a thrilling five set performance to win the match and end the three-game losing streak.

Kent won the first set convincingly, 25-13 before dropping the second set 26-24 and the third set 25-23. The Flashes refused to quit and rallied a 25-17 fourth set and 15-9 in the final set.

The Flashes hit .331 in the match and had five players post ten kills or more. Sophomore Danie Tyson had 17 of them, senior Ashley Makruski had 16, freshman Morgan Copley had 10, freshman Savannah Matthews had 11 and senior Myla King had 10.

Gromala credited the wide success of the offense against Niagara to his team’s passing and defense. 

“I think we did a great job of putting the ball away and making good choices on when to be aggressive,” he said. 

Kent finished non-conference play with a 7-5 record. Last season, the Flashes were 7-7 in non-conference action. Gromala said it was “huge” for the team to secure a victory on their home floor before beginning conference play. 

Gromala stressed that the team needs to continue to get better and maintain the consistency of the offense. The Flashes open up conference play at home against the Miami RedHawks on Friday and the Bowling Green Falcons on Saturday.

“I think we’re in a good place right now,” Gromala said. “I think we’re headed in the right direction.”

 Contact Nicholas Pedone at [email protected]