Flashes Soar Past RedHawks
OXFORD, Ohio -- The Kent State volleyball team used its strongest offensive outing of the 2010 season to collect a key Mid-American Conference East Division victory, downing host Miami, 3-1 (21-25, 25-15, 25-22, 25-16), today (Oct. 8) at Millett Hall.
The Golden Flashes (9-11, 2-3) posted a team season-best .328 attack percentage as junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) sparked the offensive onslaught with a team season-high 24 kills. Brivule totaled a personal hitting percentage of .340. Sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) joined her in double-digit kills with 12 and achieved a double-double with 10 digs. Freshman Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) directed the attack with 42 set assists. Senior Celia Sabo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) led the defensive effort with five blocks (five assisted) as KSU outblocked the RedHawks (6-12, 1-4), 10-4. Senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) tallied a team-high 11 digs while Sabo chipped in 10. The Flashes held Miami to a .183 attack percentage.
Miami began the first set with a 10-5 edge, but the Flashes cut the deficit to three at 12-9 with kills by Brivule and redshirt freshman Jessica Ronyak (Burton, Ohio). Two kills and another attack error by the Flashes increased the RedHawks' lead to 15-10, but the Flashes used a 6-4 run highlighted by two kills by Brivule, one apiece by junior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis. and Nowak and a service ace and a kill by Paskert to pull within three at 19-16. A kill and a ball handling error by Kent State forced the Flashes to talk things over. The Flashes countered out of the timeout with kills by Brivule and Paskert and a double block by Sabo and Brivule, leading the RedHawks to call timeout holding a 22-19 edge. A solo block by Nowak shaved Miami's lead to 22-20, but three more kills by the RedHawks secured the 1-0 match lead.
The Flashes came out flying in the second set, taking a 7-3 advantage and forcing the RedHawks to call timeout with two kills by Nowak, one apiece by Paskert, Sabo and Brivule and a double block by Nowak and Sabo. Kent State used six kills by Brivule to help put together a 10-6 run that put the Flashes ahead 17-9. A double block by Sabo and Jones, another by Paskert and fifth-year senior Brianne Wille (Metamora, Ill.) and kills by Brivule, Nowak and Paskert allowed the Golden Flashes to outscore the RedHawks 8-6 down the stretch and secure the 10-point set win to tie the match at one-all.
Miami took control of the pivotal third set by taking a 12-6 lead in the early going as six errors plagued the Flashes. Back-to-back kills by Brivule and Sabo cut Miami's advantage to 12-8, but the RedHawks answered with a 5-3 scoring stretch that put them up 17-11 and forced KSU to call timeout. KSU came out of the break on fire, as kills by Wille, Sabo and Brivule and a double block by Jones and Sabo made it a three-point set at 19-16. Two kills by the RedHawks put Miami back up by four at 21-17, but a kill and a service ace by Brivule with a Miami attack error in between had the RedHawks clinging to a one-point edge at 21-20. The RedHawks took a timeout, but momentum had decidedly swung in favor of KSU as another Miami attack error made things square. A kill by Nowak gave the Flashes their first lead of the set. Miami knotted the score again thanks to an attack error by the Flashes, but two attack errors with a service ace by Nowak sandwiched in between gave Kent State a huge come-from-behind set victory and a 2-1 match lead.
The Flashes made sure the fourth set wasn't nearly as dramatic as the previous one, breaking a four-all tie with a kill by Larsen to take the lead for good. The RedHawks managed to pull to within one at 9-8, but that's as close as they got as two kills by Paskert, one by Brivule and a double block by Brivule and Nowak put the Flashes ahead 15-11. KSU built its lead up to eight at 21-13 with kills by Paskert, Wille and Brivule. Miami tried to stop the bleeding with a timeout, but it was too late. Two kills by Brivule and another by Paskert secured the big divisional road win for Kent State.
The Flashes head to Bowling Green, Ohio, to take part in another key MAC East clash, facing the Falcons at 3 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 9).