Dig for the Cure Match Highlights Volleyballs Weekend Homestand
The Kent State volleyball team begins the stretch run of its 2010 season, heading home to the M.A.C. Center to take on Northern Illinois Friday (Oct. 22) and Western Michigan Saturday (Oct. 23) in Mid-American Conference interdivision action. Both contests are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. The Golden Flashes will close out the regular season with six of their final eight matches being played at the friendly confines -- including a stretch of four straight at home beginning this weekend.
Saturday's showdown against the Broncos has been designated as the program's "Dig for the Cure" match. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the M.A.C. Center in support of breast cancer awareness. Pink ribbons will be handed out at the door in addition to a donation collection. Fans who donate will be entered into a raffle for a chance to win a prize for their generosity.
The Golden Flashes (10-13, 3-5 MAC) dropped two contests to MAC West foes on the road last weekend, falling to Toledo, 3-0, on Friday (Oct. 15) and losing to Ball State, 3-1, on Saturday (Oct. 16). Junior Liva Brivule (Riga, Latvia) led KSU with a combined 26 kills while sophomore Meredith Paskert added 22. Freshman Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) tallied 58 set assists and also led the way defensively with five blocks (five assisted). Senior Kristen Barr (Bowling Green, Ohio) piled up 29 digs.
The Huskies (21-2, 7-1 MAC) are pacing the West Division after extending their winning streak to seven with a 3-1 triumph over MAC East leader Akron last Friday and a 3-0 sweep of Buffalo the following day.
The Broncos (15-6, 6-2 MAC) are looking to push NIU for the West Division lead and have won four straight – including 3-0 sweeps of both Buffalo and Akron last weekend. Western Michigan knocked off Notre Dame, 3-1, in a non-conference match Tuesday (Oct. 19).
LIVA THE LEADER
SCOUTING THE OPPOSITION
NORTHERN ILLINOIS HUSKIES
All-Time Series: Northern Illinois leads, 23-6.
Last Season: The Huskies swept the Flashes, 3-0, on Oct. 24 in DeKalb, Ill.
Head Coach: Ray Gooden
2010 Record: 21-2 (7-1 MAC), First West
2009 Record: 14-16 (8-8 MAC), Fourth West
2010 MAC Preseason Poll Predicted Finish: Third West
WESTERN MICHIGAN BRONCOS
All-Time Series: Western Michigan leads, 29-10.
Last Season: The Broncos beat Kent State, 3-1, on Oct. 23 in Kalamazoo, Mich.
Head Coach: Colleen Munson
2010 Record: 15-6 (6-2 MAC), Tied-Second West
2009 Record: 24-11 (13-3 MAC), First West
2010 MAC Preseason Poll Predicted Finish: Second West
Brivule posted her team-best ninth double-double of the season with 15 kills and 14 digs against the Cardinals last weekend. She also achieved the feat Sept. 10 vs. Morgan State (15 kills, 10 digs), Sept. 14 at Youngstown State (14 kills, 11 digs), Sept. 17 against Duquesne (22 kills, 11 digs), Sept. 18 against Louisiana Monroe (11 kills, 11 digs) and Syracuse (20 kills, 14 digs), Sept. 25 at Eastern Michigan (12 kills, 11 digs), Oct. 1 against Akron (20 kills, 12 digs) and Oct. 2 against Buffalo (14 kills and 14 digs. Brivule leads the squad with 314 kills (3.61 per set, ranking fourth in the MAC) and 16 service aces this season. She is pacing the Golden Flashes on the defensive end with 85 blocks (eight solo, 77 assisted) and is averaging 0.98 blocks per set, which ranks fifth in the MAC. Brivule is also fourth in the conference in points per set with 4.33.
Nowak, senior Lauren Jones (Kentwood, Mich.) and sophomore Zuzana Markova (Csesky Krumlov, Czech Republic) have combined to tally 809 of KSU's 947 set assists this season. Jones, whose previous career season-best in the category was 63 last season, leads the way with 281. Markova has added 275 this season while Nowak has contributed 263 to Kent State's passing game her freshman season.
Barr is just four digs away from passing Carrie Patterson (1,115; 1996-99) for fourth place on the school's career digs list. She enters this weekend with 1,112 and has tallied 315 so far in 2010. Her career season-best total in digs is the 434 she tallied last year. Barr began 2010 with 797 digs in three seasons with the Golden Flashes, and has surpassed the likes of Nancy Winkler (956; 1988-90), Becky Neglia (963; 1995-98), Tarrin Pelton (966; 2000-03), Anne Butts (967; 2002-05), Stephanie Doran (1,062; 1998-01) and Carrie McEnery (1,068; 1997-00).
The Golden Flashes head home to the M.A.C. Center to square off with Northern Illinois next Friday (Oct. 22) and Western Michigan Saturday (Oct. 23). The weekend will begin a stretch of four straight home matches as KSU plays six of its final eight at the friendly confines.