Miami upsets Kent State, comes up short vs. Ohio
The Miami University volleyball team downed Kent State University 3-1 (25-23, 25-18, 26-28, 25-21) and took the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division-leading Ohio University to five sets in a 3-2 (27-25, 17-25, 24-26, 25-17, 12-15) decision. The RedHawks (11-15, 3-11 MAC) are mathematically in the postseason picture with the University at Buffalo sitting at fourth place in the East with a 4-10 conference record.
The first set against Kent State (12-15, 6-8 MAC) featured the two teams trading points until Miami went on a 4-0 run to go up 12-8. The Golden Flashes responded with an 8-4 spurt of their own to knot things up at 16-16, but the 'Hawks showed their resiliency as they reeled off four consecutive points on their way to a 25-23 finish.
The RedHawks exploded on a 5-1 run to start the second set, as they would maintain their lead as they took the set 25-18.
The following set had the two teams exchanging blows until Kent State took a 14-10 advantage after a 6-0 run. The RedHawks fought valiantly, tied the set at 17-17 and continued trading points until Kent closed the set on a 3-0 spree to win 28-26.
The two teams bartered points for most of the fourth set, prior to Miami closing the match on a 6-1 spurt.
Junior setter/outside hitter Meg Riley had a near triple-double on the night with 19 kills, 27 assists, eight digs and a .679 hitting percentage while freshman outside hitter Maris Below also had a double-double with 10 kills and 12 digs. Freshman middle hitter Paige Hill had a strong outing with 12 kills and a .458 hitting percentage.
The first set against Ohio (22-4, 12-2 MAC) was a back-and-forth contest for much of the set, culminating with the Red and White clinching it 27-25 with a Bobcat attack error and a Miami kill.
In the second set with the score tied 7-7; the Bobcats went on an 18-10 run to take the set.
Things heated up in the third set as both teams battled, with Ohio coming out the victor with a 26-24 decision.
Miami got off to a fast start with a 10-5 advantage in the following set, as it would hold on to its lead and take the set 25-17.
The RedHawks jumped out to an early 8-4 lead in the deciding set. Ohio responded and the two sides duked it out until a couple of errors and a kill ended the match 15-12 in favor of Ohio.
"It was a very emotional match," senior libero Madison Hardy said. "We have to think positive. We gave it all we had tonight. We had some untimely errors and Ohio is a good team. Next week will be hard... We have to do what we're supposed to do."
Riley again had a near triple-double with 12 kills, 22 assists and nine digs, while Below had a double-double with 16 kills and 16 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig finished the match with 13 kills and Hardy tallied 27 digs.
"We had our finest front balls tonight," head coach Carolyn Condit said. "We were barely outhit, had a good defense, but they had great experience and ball control... Below did amazing, but our middles were not effective and we could have pulled it out [if they were]. We're learning everyday. Both of our seniors played well."
The 'Hawks close out the regular season on the road as they face Buffalo and the University of Akron 7 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday, respectively.
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