OXFORD, Ohio - The Miami University volleyball team fell in a tough, 2-3 (25-19, 23-25, 25-15, 13-25, 7-15) defeat to Kent State Friday night at Millett Hall. The loss in the first conference match of the season brings the RedHawks overall record down to 5-9. The Golden Flashes improve to 4-9 and are 1-0 in the MAC.
Meg Riley notched a career high 21 kills in the game along with 21 assists and eight digs. Madison Dodd also contributed a double-double (11 kills and 12 digs). Christina Menche tallied her career high in assists with 15 while Amy Kendall added 30 assists and Madison Hardy contributed 20 digs.
Miami fell behind early in the first set by a score of 2-4, but the RedHawks gained the lead after a couple of kills from Riley and one from Menche to make the score 6-5. The RedHawks did not look back from there, never giving up the lead for the rest of the first set, which they captured by a score of 25-19. Riley led the RedHawks in set one with eight kills and Menche was right behind her with five of her own.
The second set of the evening started with kills from various RedHawks including Hardy, Riley, Chelsea Visk, Annie Reiswig, and Menche to put the Red and White up 9-4. From there the two teams traded points and the RedHawks slowly extended their lead to 20-14. After that Kent State went on a 10-3 run to claim their first lead of the set at 22-21. That was the first Kent State lead since they led 2-1 right off the bat. The RedHawks won two of the next three points with both kills coming from Riley, but that was not enough as the Golden Flashes grabbed the final two points, putting the RedHawks away 25-23 in the second set.
Miami came out of the break with lots of firepower, receiving two kills to begin the third set from Dodd and jumping out to a 5-1 lead. Over the course of the next several points, the RedHawks went on non-consecutive 7-4 and 7-3 runs to gain a 19-11 lead. The RedHawks had little trouble finishing off the Golden Flashes in set two, and won the second set 25-15 with the 25th point coming off a lengthy rally that ended with a kill from Visk.
Kent State jumped out to an early 9-4 lead in set four. The RedHawks replied immediately with a 5-2 run to bring the score to 9-11. That attempt from Miami was their last push in set four as the Golden Flashes went on an impressive 14-4 run to capture set three by a score of 25-13. By the end of the fourth set, both Riley (19 kills, 19 assists) and Dodd (10 kills and 11 digs) had double-doubles for the RedHawks.
A lone kill from Riley was all the Red and White could muster as Kent State jumped out to a commanding 7-1 lead in set five. Riley's next kill brought her over her previous career high of 20 kills in a game, but Miami was unable to pull off the comeback as the Golden Flashes finished the RedHawks off 15-7 in set five.
Miami volleyball will attempt to improve their conference record tomorrow night at 5 pm when Ohio University comes to Oxford.