AKRON, Ohio - The Miami University volleyball team once again found itself in a battle, playing in its seventh five-set match of the season. Unfortunately, the RedHawks fell just short in the end, falling, 2-3 (25-23, 22-25, 25-18, 21-25, 8-15), to Akron Saturday evening. Miami falls to 5-12 overall and 0-4 in the Mid-American Conference. The Zips improve to 9-7 and 2-2 in the MAC.
Meg Riley finished another strong weekend for the RedHawks, falling only one dig short of another triple-double. She had 18 kills, 19 assists and nine digs, recording her 12th double-double of the season. Riley hit .368 for the match to lead the Red and White.
It didn't start out well for Miami in set one as it quickly fell behind, 3-8. Riley answered with a kill. That was followed by a Madison Dodd service ace, but Akron was able to maintain the lead stretching it out to 13-7. Trailing 14-19, Riley would record three kills off of Amy Kendall's assist to help pull the 'Hawks to within two at 19-21. A solo block by Christina Menche would cut the deficit to one and force the Zips to take timeout. After the break Akron scored the next point, but Miami responded with two straight to tie the score at 22. The Zips answered with another kill, but a solo block by Sarah Chaney, followed by back-to-back kills from Riley and Dodd allowed the Red and White to complete the comeback and take a 25-23 win.
Two kills from Riley helped the RedHawks open a 7-5 lead in set two. A 5-3 run by Akron would tie the score at 10. The Zips would eventually extend the advantage to five at 18-13. Four more kills from Riley created a 4-2 run that cut the deficit to three at 17-20. Akron responded with the next four points to create set point. Undeterred, Miami would force a service error and four straight attack errors to fight it off five times. The Zips then would finally put down the winning kill and take a 25-22 victory.
Other than an early 3-1 lead for Miami, neither team could establish an advantage of more than one through the first 22 points of set three. Tied at 11, the RedHawks began to make their move. Two kills from Dodd began a 7-1 run that made it 18-12. After the Zips scored the next two points, a 5-3 run gave Miami a 23-17 lead. Akron scored next, but Chelsea Visk answered with a kill off of Riley's assist and followed it by teaming with Chaney on a block to give the 'Hawks a 25-18 win.
Set four began as a carbon copy of the third set as neither team established a lead of more than one in the first 22 points. Kendall put down a service ace as Miami scored the next three points, but Akron quickly rallied with the next four to take a 15-14 lead. Trailing 15-17, the RedHawks went on a 5-2 run to take the advantage back at 20-19. Miami's offensive attack went cold from there, as the Zips finished with a 6-1 run to take a 25-21 win and send the match to a fifth and deciding set.
Akron scored the first five points of the fifth set to take command. An attack error by the Zips and a block by Visk and Dodd would cut the deficit to three at 2-5, but Akron quickly answered with the next three points to put the score out of reach at 8-2. Riley would record two more kills during the frame, but the Zips would eventually go on to win, 15-8.
The RedHawks remain on the road when they travel to Bowling Green on Thursday for a 7 p.m. match. They return home to host Northern Illinois next Saturday at 5 p.m. as part of the Miami Athletic Department's Title IX 40th anniversary weekend.