KENT, Ohio – The Miami University volleyball team fell, 0-3 (21-25, 22-25, 26-28) to Kent State Saturday evening. The RedHawks are now 8-8 overall and 0-4 in the Mid-American Conference. The Golden Flashes are 8-9 overall and 2-2 in the MAC.
The loss spoiled the second straight solid match from freshman outside hitter Maris Below. She led Miami with 12 kills and made only three errors in 27 attempts for a hitting percentage of .296.
Kent State built a 14-8 lead during the first half of set one. A team effort led by kills from freshman middle hitter Paige Hill and junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley was part of a 7-5 run that cut the deficit to 15-19 and forced a Golden Flash timeout. Out of the break, a KSU attack error, a service ace by Riley and kills from Below and sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle tied the score at 19. From there, a 4-1 run gave the Golden Flashes a 23-20 advantage. Ingle put down another kill off of Riley’s assist, but Kent State responded with two straight points to finish off a 25-21 victory.
Tied at six in set two the Golden Flashes scored three straight points. Undaunted, Miami fought right back with four straight of their own, highlighted by a kill and block from Hill, as well as a service ace from sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig. Tied at 13, a 6-2 run put the Golden Flashes in front, 19-15. The RedHawks kept battling as kills from Below and Reiswig were part of a 6-2 run that tied the score once again at 21. Unfortunately, Kent State was able to answer with a 4-1 closing run to take a 25-22 win.
The Golden Flashes appeared as if they were going to run away with the third set, eventually opening up a seven point advantage at 20-13. As was the case in the previous sets, Miami fought back. Two kills from Reiswig, along with kills from freshman setter Krista Brakauskas and Riley were part of six straight points that cut the deficit to one at 20-19. Kent State scored three of the next four points to go in front, 23-20, but a kill from Riley, a Golden Flash attack error and two blocks by Reiswig and junior middle hitter Chelsea Visk gave Miami set point at 24-23. Kent State fought it off with two straight points to create match point at 25-24. The ‘Hawks were able to fight off match points twice, but the Golden Flashes eventually scored two in a row to earn a 28-26 win.
Ingle finished with seven kills, while Riley, Reiswig and Hill had six apiece. Riley finished with a double-double of 14 assists and 12 digs. Brakauskas led Miami with 17 assists, while Hill had five blocks.
The RedHawks return home next week to begin a four-match homestand. It begins on Friday when Miami hosts Akron at 7 p.m.