Flashes Fall in Four to Duquesne
KENT, Ohio -- The Kent State volleyball team lost a 3-1 (25-22, 19-25, 26-28, 18-25) match to Duquesne Friday (Sept. 17) in the Kent State/Mizuno Open at the M.A.C. Center.
The Golden Flashes (6-7) lost despite jumping out to a 1-0 match lead and receiving a team season-high 22 kills from junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia), who also achieved a double-double with 11 digs. Senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.) joined Brivule with a double-double performance of 40 set assists and 18 digs. Senior Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) and junior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis.) also reached double figures in kills with 15 and 14, respectively. Senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) tallied a team season-best 27 digs while freshman Hannah Herc (Eden, N.Y.) chipped in 13.
KSU began the first set with 14-8 advantage thanks to three kills by Larsen, three kills and a service ace from Brivule and four Duquesne attack errors. The Flashes ran their advantage to 17-9 after kills by Brivule and redshirt freshman Jessica Ronyak (Burton, Ohio), but Duquesne managed to pull within two at 20-18 with a 9-3 scoring run. Kent State refused to let the set slip away, though, as two kills by Brivule, one by Larsen and a service ace by Barr helped the Flashes go up 1-0.
With KSU holding a 12-11 edge in the second set following a kill by senior Celia Sabo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), the Dukes fired off four straight points to force the Flashes to take a timeout. A double block by Paskert and freshman Zane Malasevska (Riga, Latvia) helped Kent State knot the set up at 17-all, but Duquesne ensured the match went four by closing the second stanza out with an 8-2 run.
The Golden Flashes opened the third with a 7-1 lead, receiving kills from Paskert and Larsen and capitalizing on four attack errors by the Dukes. Duquesne came firing out of a timeout with a 12-8 run to force KSU to talk things over while clinging to a 15-14 lead. The Dukes managed to tie the set at 18-all, and the two teams continued to trade points until two attack errors by the Flashes gave Duquesne a 23-21 lead. KSU put together three straight kills -- one from Brivule and two straight by Larsen -- to put itself on the brink of taking the match advantage. An attack error by the Golden Flashes tied things back up, though. Brivule recorded a kill to put Kent State up 25-24 but the Dukes answered with a kill to even it up again. Brivule fired back with another kill, but a Kent State attack error tied the set score at 26-all. The Dukes made the Flashes pay, taking the 2-1 match edge with a kill and a service ace.
The Flashes jumped out to an early lead in the fourth set, taking a 6-3 advantage with two kills and a service ace by Larsen, two kills by Brivule and one from Herc. The Dukes responded with a 6-1 run that forced Kent State to take a timeout. KSU tied the set back up at 15-all thanks to a kill by Paskert and a service ace by Jones. That's as close as the Golden Flashes got, though, with the Dukes sealing the match victory with a 10-3 run.
Kent State closes out non-conference action by battling Louisiana Monroe at noon and Syracuse at 7 p.m. Saturday (Sept. 18). The Orange won the opening match of the Kent State/Mizuno Open with a 3-0 sweep of the Warhawks. The Dukes take on Syracuse at 2 p.m. and ULM at 5 p.m. Saturday.