Volleyball Falls in Four to Ball State
MUNCIE, Ind. -- The Kent State volleyball team fell to Ball State, 3-1 (14-25, 25-14, 15-25, 20-25), today (Oct. 16) in a Mid-American Conference interdivision match at Worthen Arena.
Junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) and sophomore Meredith Paskert (Brecksville, Ohio) each posted 15 kills to lead KSU (10-13, 3-5), and Brivule achieved a double-double by matching senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) for a team-high 14 digs. Senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.) also reached double figures in digs with 12. Freshman Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) tallied 33 set assists.
The first set began with the Golden Flashes and Cardinals (16-4, 6-2) trading points until a 6-2 run by Ball State forced KSU to call timeout trailing 9-5. Ball State's offensive attack remained hot, though, as the Cardinals extended their lead to 17-9. Two kills by Paskert and one by fifth-year senior Brianne Wille (Metamora, Ill.) shaved Ball State's lead to seven at 20-13, but the Cardinals took the 1-0 match lead with a 5-1 run.
The second set had the same feel as the first, as the two squads traded points to tie the score at eight-all. The Cardinals went up 11-9, but a kill by Brivule and a service ace by Jones helped even the score. A kill by Paskert and a double block by Brivule and sophomore Kathy Krupa (Burbank, Ill.) kept things tied at 13-all. The Flashes broke through for a 16-14 advantage with kills by Brivule and Paskert and a triple block by Paskert, Nowak and Krupa. Kent State then rolled to the set win with nine unanswered points to even match, highlighted by three kills by Paskert and one apiece by Jones and Barr.
The Cardinals responded in the third set by opening with a 13-7 lead. Kills by Paskert and Brivule helped KSU cut the deficit to four at 14-10, but Ball State increased its lead to 17-11 and forced the Golden Flashes to take a timeout. Ball State closed the set win on an 8-4 run.
It looked as though Ball State was going to take control from the start of the fourth set, but the Flashes did not go away without a fight. After the Cardinals jumped out to a 10-5 advantage, a double by block by Paskert and Nowak and kills by Larsen and Brivule shaved Ball State's lead to 12-8. The Cardinals extended their lead to 16-11, but a bad set by Ball State and a double block by Brivule and senior Celia Sabo (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.) pulled the Flashes within three at 17-14. That's as close as KSU got though, as Ball State edged the Flashes in scoring, 8-6, down the stretch to seal the match win.
KSU heads home next weekend for two more matches against MAC West schools, facing Northern Illinois Friday (Oct. 22) and Western Michigan Saturday (Oct. 23). Both matches are slated to begin at 7 p.m. at the M.A.C. Center.