OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami University volleyball team hosts its final two home matches of the season this week. On Friday, the RedHawks take on Kent State at 7 p.m. On Saturday, Ohio comes to Oxford for a 5 p.m. match. Prior to that contest, seniors Madison Dodd and Madison Hardy will be honored in a pre-match ceremony.
HONORING THE SENIORS: Two very important student-athletes in Dodd and Hardy will be playing their final matches at Millett Hall this weekend. Dodd has been a very versatile player during her career, playing the roles of defensive specialist, libero and outside hitter. She often plays all six rotations and has appeared in 111 career matches. Dodd has 432 kills, 528 digs and 100 total blocks during her career.
Hardy has put up the best numbers of any defensive player to ever play for Miami. Serving as the team’s libero the past four years, Hardy has stabilized the team with fine passing, and has always shown the willingness to sacrifice her body to get a key dig. Earlier this season, Hardy became Miami’s all-time leader in digs for all players, regardless of position. Her career-high of 39 digs set on Oct. 17 in a win over Eastern Michigan was only six digs short of tying the school record. She now has 1,685 career digs in 115 career matches, an average of 4.05 digs per set.
ABOUT KENT STATE: The Golden Flashes are 12-13 overall and 6-6 in the MAC. They won a pair of dramatic, five-set matches last week at home, defeating Buffalo on Friday and Akron on Saturday. Kent State features a balanced offense that has seen four players record more than 175 kills this season. Its top player offensively has been sophomore outside hitter Kelly Hutchison, who has 265 kills in 2013, an average of 2.76 per set.
THE SERIES AGAINST THE GOLDEN FLASHES: Miami leads the all-time series with Kent State, 54-16. The Golden Flashes won the first meeting between the two schools, 3-0, on Oct. 5 in Kent. They are the only MAC team to defeat the RedHawks in straight sets this season. Maris Below led Miami with 11 kills in that match.
ABOUT OHIO: The Bobcats are 20-4 overall and are tied for the MAC lead with a 10-2 conference record. Earlier this season, they spent time in the AVCA Top 25. Last weekend, Ohio defeated Akron in straight sets on Friday and followed it up with a 3-1 victory over Buffalo on Saturday. The Bobcats are led offensively by junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti. She has 267 kills on the season, an average of 3.22 per set. They also have one of the top setters in the MAC in sophomore Abby Gilleland. She has 946 assists in 2013, an average of 10.51 per set.
THE SERIES AGAINST THE BOBCATS: Miami leads the all-time series, 44-30. Ohio has won seven straight matches in the series however, including a 3-1 victory in Athens on Oct. 4. Maris Below led the RedHawks with 12 kills, while Madison Hardy had 22 digs.