Flashes March To Five-Set Triumph Over Colonials
Four Flashes finish in double figures in kills.
KENT, Ohio -- The first day of the Kent State/Mizuno Open was capped by a Friday night five setter, with, to the delight of the M.A.C. Center crowd, the good guys coming out on top.
The Kent State volleyball team outlasted Robert Morris, 3-2 (23-25, 25-22, 25-10, 21-25, 15-7) Friday (Sept. 9) in the fourth match of the fourth annual tournament on the Kent State campus.
The Golden Flashes (6-5), who have participated in six five-set matches in 11 matches this season, improved to 4-2 in contests that go the distance. Kent State is also now 3-1 at home and has won five of its last six matches on its home court dating back to 2010 thanks to the triumph over the Colonials (1-8).
Four Flashes finished in double figures in kills and the team outhit the opposition by a .371-.188 margin. The squad was led by a match-high 23 by senior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis.) to go along with a match-high three service aces. She also recorded her fifth double-double of the season with 11 digs. Freshman Jenny Buczek (Orland Park, Ill.) chipped in 16 to match her career high and recorded her first-career double-double with 10 digs, while classmates Liz Reikow (Holland, Mich.) and Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola (Ellicott City, Md.) each finished with 10 kills. Sophomore Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) set a new career-high with her match-leading 62 set assists. Junior Kathy Krupa (Burbank, Ill.) tallied a match-high five blocks (five solo). Freshman Bridget Grdina (Mentor, Ohio) posted a team-high 13 digs.
After Robert Morris opened the match with a two-point victory in the first set, the Flashes responded by taking the next two.
After a six-all tie was broken by a kill by Larsen, the Flashes never relinquished the lead in the second set. Although the Colonials inched to within a point of the Golden Flashes on six occasions after that, Kent State finally broke away with the score at 20-19, closing the set on a 5-3 run that was highlighted by two kills by Larsen and a double block by Krupa and Nowak.
Kent State rolled to the set victory in the third. With score tied at five-all, the Flashes motored to an 11-4 run highlighted by two kills by Buczek and Aderemi-Ibitola, a triple block by Aderemi-Ibitola, Krupa and Buczek, a double block by Buczek and Reikow and service aces by Reikow and Larsen. After a kill by Robert Morris cut the Kent State lead to seven at 17-10, Kent State rattled off the next eight straight points to earn the 2-1 match lead. That run was sparked by kills by Larsen, Reikow and Buczek, a service ace by Grdina and a double block by Larsen and Reikow.
Robert Morris was not about to quit, though, earning a four-point win in the fourth set to push the match to the limit.
After breaking a three-all tie in the fifth set, Kent State never gave up the lead again and earned the match triumph thanks to four kills by Buczek and two by both Larsen and Aderemi-Ibitola in crunch time.
In the third match of the Kent State/Mizuno Open, IUPUI edged William & Mary, 3-2.
Tournament action Saturday (Sept. 10) closes with a 10 a.m. match between IUPUI and Robert Morris followed by the finale between the Golden Flashes and William & Mary.