Volleyball Splits Matches On Second Day of Kent State/Mizuno Open
KENT, Ohio -- The Kent State volleyball team split its matches on the second day of the Kent State/Mizuno Open Saturday (Sept. 18) at the M.A.C. Center, sweeping by Louisiana Monroe, 3-0 (27-25, 25-13, 25-15), and losing a heartbreaking 3-2 (25-23, 16-25, 25-22, 27-29, 10-15) affair to Syracuse.
The Golden Flashes (7-8) went 1-2 in their home tournament after losing to Duquesne, 3-1, Friday (Sept. 17). Junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) and sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) received all-tournament recognition. Brivule posted 53 kills and 36 digs in three matches while Paskert added 35 kills.
Kent State 3, Louisiana Monroe 0
Brivule totaled a double-double with 11 kills and 11 digs to lead the way in KSU's win over the Warhawks. Paskert added 11 kills, and senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.) tallied 20 set assists. Senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) was the defensive leader with 13 digs.
Kent State took a 5-1 edge over Louisiana Monroe in the first set thanks to four errors by the Warhawks and a kill by junior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis.). Louisiana Monroe continued to battle, though, and forced the Flashes to take a timeout holding a 13-11 edge. Kent State responded with a 5-2 run that featured three kills by Brivule and one apiece from Paskert and freshman Hannah Herc (Eden, N.Y.). KSU upped its lead to six at 20-14 after a kill by Paskert and a service ace by Barr. The Warhawks rallied again with six straight points to tie the match at 20-all. The two squads traded points until the match was knotted at 25-all. The Flashes closed the set out thanks to an attack error by Louisiana Monroe and a kill by Brivule.
The Flashes jumped on the Warhawks early again in the second set, taking an 8-1 lead in large part to three kills by Brivule and two by Herc. KSU built a 17-7 advantage thanks to four attack errors by the Warhawks and two kills by Paskert and one by senior Celia Sabo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.). The Golden Flashes grabbed the two-set advantage with two kills by Larsen and one by Paskert coupled with six more errors by Louisiana Monroe.
KSU put away Louisiana Monroe thanks to another strong start to open the third set. Kent State opened with an 11-4 lead with two kills by Paskert, two by Sabo and one apiece from Brivule and freshman Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland). The Flashes continued to attack, going up 22-13 with three kills by Paskert, two by Nowak a service ace by Barr. Kent State closed out the win after a Louisiana Monroe timeout with a kill by Larsen and another by freshman Zane Malasevska (Riga, Latvia).
Syracuse 3, Kent State 2
The Flashes gave the unbeaten Orange all they could handle in the Kent State/Mizuno Open finale. Brivule (20), Larsen (13) and Paskert (10) all hit double digits in kills while Brivule scored another double-double with 14 digs. Jones totaled a career-high 52 set assists while Barr was the team's defensive standout again with 23 digs. Herc also hit double digits in digs with 13.
Kent State stayed step-for-step with Syracuse in the first set, taking a 15-14 edge thanks to a kill by Paskert. The Orange responded with four straight points to go up 18-15, but two straight kills by Paskert and a service ace by Barr evened the score again and forced a Syracuse timeout. KSU fell behind 21-19 but tied the set again with kills by Brivule and Herc. A kill by Larsen and an attack error by Syracuse put the Flashes back up at 23-21, but the Orange managed to square things at 23-all with a kill and an attack error by the Flashes. KSU answered by taking the set courtesy of a service error by the Orange and a kill by Brivule.
The Orange responded by tying the match with an 11-point victory in the second, capitalizing eight KSU errors.
The Flashes refused to fold, though, winning the third set behind a .275 attack percentage. The third set had the same feel as the first one did, with Syracuse taking a 14-10 advantage early but the Flashes rallying to tie it at 14-all with kills by sophomore Kathy Krupa (Burbank, Ill.) and one by Brivule and two attack errors by Syracuse. The teams traded punches until KSU finally broke a 22-all tie, taking the lead for good thanks to back-to-back attack errors by the Orange and a kill by Jones.
With the score knotted at 13-all in the fourth set, the Flashes put together a 5-1 run that was highlighted by two kills by Brivule and one apiece by Krupa and Sabo. The Flashes made it a 23-19 affair thanks to three errors by the Orange and two kills by Larsen and one by Paskert. Syracuse was not done yet, though, tying the match at 23-all with two kills and two KSU attack errors. The squads went back and forth until, with the set tied at 27-all, Syracuse evened the match with a kill and an attack error by the Flashes.
The Orange built a 5-3 lead in the deciding set until two Syracuse attack errors allowed the Flashes to tie it at seven-all. Unfortunately for the Flashes, Syracuse captured the match victory with a 6-3 run.
Kent State begins Mid-American Conference play on the road next weekend, opening at defending champion Ohio next Thursday (Sept. 23) before traveling to Ypsilanti, Mich., Saturday (Sept. 25) to face Eastern Michigan.
Kent State/Mizuno Open Results
Friday, Sept. 17
Syracuse 3, Louisiana Monroe 0
Duquesne 3, Kent State 1
Saturday, Sept. 18
Kent State 3, Louisiana Monroe 0
Syracuse 3, Duquesne 0
Duquesne 3, Louisiana Monroe 0
Syracuse 3, Kent State 2
Tournament Champion: Syracuse
Kent State/Mizuno Open All-Tournament Team
Loeme Lefebvre, Syracuse
Mindy Stanislovaitis, Syracuse
Liva Brivule, Kent State
Meredith Paskert, Kent State
Liz Homan, Duquesne
Blanca Ocana, Louisiana Monroe