Golden Flashes Get Back on Track with Sweep of Morgan State
CLEVELAND -- The Kent State volleyball team swept Morgan State, 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 25-14), in its opening match of the Cleveland State Invitational Presented by the Crowne Plaza Cleveland South today (Sept. 10) at Woodling Gym to end a three-match losing streak.
Junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) led the Kent State (5-4) offense with 15 kills and achieved a double-double with 10 digs on the defensive end. Senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.) directed the KSU attack by tallying a career match-high 21 set assists. Senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) posted 16 digs to lead the way on the defensive side.
KSU jumped ahead to a 5-2 advantage in the first set thanks to three kills from Brivule and another from Jones. The Bears clawed back and took a 10-8 edge, but two more kills by Brivule helped even the score at 11-all. That ignited a streak of five unanswered points by the Golden Flashes as kills by Jones, Brivule and junior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis.) and back-to-back block assists by senior Brianne Wille (Metamora, Ill.) and Larsen forced the Bears to take a timeout. Kent State then capitalized on seven more errors by Morgan State to take a 1-0 lead.
The Flashes recovered from a slow start in the second set to roll to a 2-0 match lead. Morgan State opened with a 4-0 lead and forced Kent State to take a timeout. KSU rallied to tie the set at eight-all courtesy of two kills apiece by sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) and Brivule and another from Larsen. Another kill by Paskert, a block assist by Paskert and senior Celia Sabo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) and two more errors by the Bears gave Kent State a 12-8 lead and forced MSU to call timeout. A kill and a block by Sabo helped push the advantage to seven, but Morgan State responded and closed the gap to four points at 17-13. KSU responded out of a timeout by closing the set on an 8-4 run that was highlighted by two kills and a service ace by Brivule and another service ace by Jones.
Kent State wrapped up the match with an 11-point triumph in the third set. Sabo set the tone by opening the third stanza with a kill, and Brivule added five more as the Flashes completed the sweep. After a kill by Morgan State, the Flashes went on a 16-7 tear to seal the deal.
The KSU attack showed steady improvement throughout the match. After hitting .176 in the first set, the Flashes responded by posting attack percentages of .346 and .323, respectively, in the second and third sets.
The Flashes wrap up the weekend tomorrow (Sept. 11) with a 10:30 a.m. contest against George Washington and a 7 p.m. showdown with host Cleveland State.