Kent State Volleyball Displays Toughness In Five-Set Marathon Win At Canisius
Golden Flashes improve to 5-2 in five setters thanks to double digit kills from five players.
BUFFALO, N .Y. -- Five is fine with the Kent State volleyball team. The longer the match, the better the result in 2011.
The Golden Flashes stormed back from a 2-0 deficit to down host Canisius, 3-2 (19-25, 32-34, 25-16, 25-17, 20-18), Tuesday (Sept. 13) in NCAA non-conference action at Koessler Athletic Center.
Kent State (7-6) improved to 3-0 in road matches and 5-2 in five-set matches in 2011 with the victory over the Golden Griffins (4-6). Kent State was just 1-6 in five setters in 2010.
Kent State's rally was sparked by five players reaching double digits in kills. Senior Maigan Larsen (Lancaster, Wis.) led the charge with a match-high 19 kills, marking the 11th time she has hit double digits and third straight match. Freshman Jenny Buczek (Orland Park, Ill.) totaled 14 kills, reaching double figures for the third time in the last five matches. Freshman Liz Reikow (Holland, Mich.) contributed a career-high 13 kills and a match-high six blocks (one solo, five assisted), hitting double digits for the second time in the last three matches. Junior Kathy Krupa (Burbank, Ill.) added 11 kills and five blocks (two solo, three assisted), reaching double digits for the seventh time this season and second straight match. Freshman Tinuke Aderemi-Ibitola (Ellicott City, Md.) matched her career high for the second time in the last three matches with 10 kills. Sophomore Aleksandra Nowak (Damnica, Poland) tallied a match-high 59 set assists to go along with five blocks (five assisted). Senior Brooke Zeigler (Parkman, Ohio) and sophomore Hannah Herc (Eden, N.Y.) each totaled double digit digs on the defensive end with 17 and 14, respectively.
Kent State fell into a 2-0 hole after losing the first set by six points and squandering a 24-20 lead and coming up on the short end of a wild, back-and-forth second set.
The Flashes responded with strong attacks in the third and fourth sets to force the match to go the distance.
Kent State posted a .452 attack percentage in the third set to run away to a nine-point win. The Flashes raced ahead to an 20-9 lead thanks to three kills apiece by Larsen, Reikow and Krupa, a solo block by Reikow and a service ace by Herc. Kent State closed out the set triumph courtesy of kills by Larsen, Buczek and Aderemi-Ibitola and another solo block by Reikow.
The fourth set was more of the same for the Golden Flashes. Kent State outhit Canisius, .385-.037. The Golden Flashes took an early 11-4 lead in large part because of three kills by Larsen, two service aces by Nowak, a service ace by Herc and a double block by Reikow and Nowak. The Golden Griffins managed to shave Kent State's lead to three, but the Flashes closed out the match on a 12-7 run thanks to three kills apiece by Buczek and Aderemi-Ibitola and two more from Larsen.
The fifth set was a wild and fitting conclusion to a hard-fought battle between the two squads. Three kills and a solo block by Larsen and one kill apiece from Reikow and Buczek helped the Flashes keep pace with Canisius at 11-all. Kent State put the hosts on the ropes at 14-12 by forcing two errors, but the Golden Griffins responded by forcing a Kent State error and posting a kill to force extra volleyball. The squads traded points until, with the set knotted at 18-all, Reikow recorded a kill and the Kent State defense forced a Canisius attack error to close out the thrilling comeback win.
Kent State hosts IPFW Thursday (Sept. 15) at 7 p.m. at the M.A.C. Center in the final home non-conference match of the season for the Golden Flashes. Stop by the Athletic Ticket Office in the M.A.C. Center or call (330) 672-2244 for more information.