'Hawks drops seventh straight match
Published: Monday, October 7, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 01:10
The Miami University volleyball team has dropped seven straight matches after suffering defeats at the hands of Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division foes No. 20 Ohio University and Kent State University. The RedHawks (8-8, 0-4 MAC) have lost seven straight matches in MAC play dating back to last season.
Miami would hold its own in the first set until the Bobcats (13-2, 3-0 MAC) went on an 8-1 run, to go up 17-9. The Bobcats went on to take the set 25-18.
The second set began like the first with the RedHawks keeping within striking distance of Ohio before a 7-0 run by the 'Hawks, put them out in front 20-17, an advantage that they would not surrender on their way to winning the set 25-21.
The Bobcats would assert themselves early in the third set with a 7-2 lead that the RedHawks could not recover from as Ohio claimed the set 25-18. Miami would keep on competing in the fourth set, drawing even at 8-8, but the Bobcats finished off the match on a 17-7 run to take the match and their third straight win.
Freshman outside hitter Maris Below led the team in kills with 12, to go with her seven digs and two block assists, while senior libero Madison Hardy racked up 22 digs to elevate her past the 1,500 dig mark in her career.
“Ohio is the biggest team we faced this season,” head coach Carolyn Condit said. “They had a quick, effective offense and passed well. It was good for us to compete and take a set away from them, but we couldn't compete with their experience. We were younger than we wanted to be.”
The first set against Kent State (8-9, 2-2 MAC) was a tight-knit affair, with both teams withstanding each other's runs until the score was tied at 19. The Golden Flashes won the set by going on a 6-2.
A similar set of events would transpire in the second set, with the Flashes going on a 6-1 run, to take a 19-15 advantage on their way to taking the set 25-22.
An 8-3 run by Kent State to go up 20-13 in the third set was not enough to finish off the RedHawks, as Miami rallied to tie the score on four separate occasions, but the Flashes would cap the sweep with a 28-26 set win.
Below had another strong performance with a team-high 11 kills to go with her .296 hitting percentage, while fellow freshman middle hitter Paige Hill tallied six kills and five block assists. Riley had a near triple-double with six kills, 14 assists and 12 digs.
“We played a hot Kent State team,” Condit said. “They had some breaks and they had a good defense. Our passing really broke down in the match. I'm pleased with how Below has played this weekend. We need to work on running an effective offense, growing up fast, putting in good practices, and getting that first MAC win.”
Riley said the weekend was not what Miami wanted.
“This weekend was clearly a frustrating weekend," Riley said. “We had moments of greatness and then some not so good moments. It's important to take the good and learn from the bad. We need to find some consistency and a way to get back to winning.”
The RedHawks return to Oxford this weekend to face the University of Akron 7 p.m. Friday and the University at Buffalo 5 p.m. Saturday.