Flashes End Season with Heart-Breaking Loss to Bulls
KENT, Ohio – Senior Jenny Keck ended her
Kent State (14-17) career with two-straight triple doubles, but
Buffalo (16-15) rallied for the 3-2 win (15-25, 25-23, 23-25,
25-19, 15-13) Tuesday night in the first round of the MAC
"We gave them 15 points in set two and 14 points in game four," explained Conley after the match. "You cannot beat any team like that. Buffalo took advantage of what we gave them and it was pretty obvious."
Keck led the way with 43 assists, 11 digs and 10 kills. Fellow senior Arjola Prenga, in her final match in a Kent State uniform, finished with 18 digs in 16 kills. Freshman Meredith Paskert finished the season's final match with 17 kills, a match-high for her this season.
"What a player," said Conley. "You can't say enough about Jen. She did everything she could. Everyone did. We played well but Keck was playing with such confidence toward the end of the season. She is just phenomenal.
"We are going to miss Jenny, we are going to miss Katie [Veatch] and Arjola,"
Conley added about the three seniors.
Lindsey Schlegel led the way for Buffalo with her own double-double with 40 assists and 10 digs. Kristin Bignell had 13 kills.
As has been the team's strength all season, Kent State out-blocked Buffalo 14.5-7.
The Flashes struck first in the match, winning set one by 10. An attack error by Buffalo's Bignell and a Paskert kill put KSU up 2-0, and they never trailed the entire set. A Paskert ace put the Golden Flashes up 9-3 to force a Buffalo timeout, but there was nothing the Bulls could do as the lead was as large as 12. UB finished with a small run to cut into the lead, but it was too little, too late as Kent State won 25-15.
Despite hitting negative numbers in the second set, the Bulls scored five of the final six points to win the second set by two and tie the match.
The third set was just as close throughout, but it was the Flashes turn to make a comeback to take the set. With KSU down 21-19, kills from Paskert and freshman Kathy Krupa tied the match. A Buffalo attack error put the Flashes up one and forced a Bulls timeout. A UB kill tied the set at 22, but a Paskert and Brivule kill gave Kent State set point. Buffalo staved off one elimination point, but Keck put Kent State up 2-1 on her second set-winning kill.
Buffalo did not go quietly as three-straight points to begin the fourth helped the Bulls lead wire-to-wire and tie the match with a six-point set win.
In the final set, Kent State jumped out early, but it was Buffalo who had the last say. With the finale tied 2-2, Kent State rattled off five-straight points to take a 7-2 lead. During the run, the Golden Flashes took advantage of four Buffalo attack errors. The Bulls would make its run when the teams switched courts. Down 8-4, Buffalo wrapped a pair of 4-0 runs around a KSU point to take a 12-9 lead. After trading points, Kent State pulled within 13-12 on a UB service error and Keck's 10th kill. With Buffalo at set point up 14-13, a Marisa Hornbaker kill just landed in on the far side of the court to end the marathon match and end Kent State's season.
Added Conley after the match, "I am proud of our girls and I still believe in this team."