AKRON, Ohio – The Miami University volleyball team closed the season on a winning note, defeating Akron, 3-1 (33-31, 25-23, 22-25, 25-10) on Saturday evening. The RedHawks finish the year at 12-16 overall and 4-12 in the Mid-American Conference. The Zips are 8-19 overall and 2-14 in the MAC.
Senior libero Madison Hardy recorded 28 digs in her final match. That gave her 501 on the season, only the fifth time in school history that a Miami player has passed the 500-dig mark for a season. It is the second time Hardy has done it; she had the school record of 529 in 2011.
Senior outside hitter Madison Dodd also had a solid final match. She finished with nine kills, two digs, one block and a .280 hitting percentage.
At 64 total points, set one was the longest set the RedHawks participated in this season. The first half was extremely tight, as neither team was able to establish a lead of more than two points. Tied at 14, back-to-back kills from Dodd put Miami in front by two. Akron fought back to score the next two points, but a kill by freshman middle hitter Paige Hill and a service ace by freshman setter Krista Brakauskas gave the RedHawks an 18-16 lead. The Zips responded with a 7-2 run that put them in front, 23-20, and seemingly in control of the set.
After a Miami timeout, kills from sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle and Dodd, along with two Akron attack errors were part of a 4-0 run that gave the ‘Hawks set point at 24-23. The Zips fought it off, but Ingle and freshman outside hitter Maris Below put down kills to give MU a couple more chances. Each time Akron answered to tie the score. The Zips got three chances of their own to win the set, but kills by junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley, Hill and Ingle fought them off. After Ingle’s kill had tied the score at 31, Akron had an attack error to give Miami its fifth try to win the set. This time Riley recorded a service ace to give the ‘Hawks a hard-fought, 33-31, win.
Akron built an 8-5 lead to begin set two. Kills by sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig, Dodd and Below, along with a block from Dodd and Hill were part of a 5-1 run that put Miami in front, 10-9. Tied at 14, two kills from Ingle along with a kill and a service ace by Hill were part of a run of five straight points that made it 19-14. The Zips answered back with a 5-1 run to pull within one at 19-20. Ingle continued her strong offensive play, putting down three kills as Miami went back up by three at 23-20. Akron scored the next three points in a row to tie the score. The ‘Hawks did not fold however, as back-to-back kills by Dodd and Below gave them a 25-23 victory.
Kills by Hill and Reiswig helped Miami to a 5-2 advantage to start set three. The Zips answered with a 9-2 run to take control at 11-7. Hill recorded a pair of kills, while Brakauskas had a service ace as Miami was able get as close as one point at 13-14. Akron pushed the lead back to four at 18-14 with a 4-1 run. Despite two more kills from Riley, the ‘Hawks were never able to get closer than two points again as the Zips earned a 25-22 win.
Set four seemed as if it would be close early, with Akron jumping to a 4-3 advantage. The Zips made a service error on their next point to tie the score. It started a run of 10 straight points for the RedHawks to give them a 13-4 lead. During the run, Ingle had three kills, while Dodd and Reiswig each had two. After a Zip kill ended the rally, Ingle put down back-to-back kills to start a 7-2 run that gave Miami a 21-7 advantage. During that run, Ingle, Below and Hill each had two kills. That lead proved to be more than enough, as a service ace by Hill and one final kill from Ingle off of Brakauskas’ assist gave Miami a 25-10 victory and a 3-1 win in the match.
Ingle led Miami with 15 kills. She made only five errors in 23 attempts for a hitting percentage of .435, which also led the ‘Hawks. Below finished with 13 kills, and made it a double-double with 14 digs. Hill had 12 kills and Reiswig had 11.
Riley had a double-double with 31 assists and 10 digs. She also contributed seven kills and two solo blocks. Brakauskas just missed a double-double with 26 assists and nine digs. Miami hit .278 as a team, while holding Akron to a .167 hitting percentage.