Miami splits weekend matches
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 29, 2012 23:10
After winning three consecutive matches in the Mid-American Conference (MAC), the Miami University volleyball team split its matches against MAC East foes, falling to Ohio University (OU) 1-3 Friday night and earning a 3-1 victory over Kent State University (KSU) Saturday.
With the win against KSU, the RedHawks (9-16, 4-8 MAC) remain in fourth place in the MAC East and three games back of the University of Akron with only four games to go in the regular season.
In their first matchup of the weekend, the ’Hawks dropped a 1-3 (21-25, 25-15, 15-25, 22-25) decision to first place Ohio (16-8, 11-1 MAC), as OU clinched a bid in the MAC Tournament. With the win, the Bobcats swept the season series with the Red and White won their 10th straight.
In the first set, Ohio got out to an early 10-2 lead the ’Hawks could not recover from, as OU took the set point. Miami’s offense picked up in the next set with runs of 5-2, 5-2 and 6-0 to draw even with the ’Cats. Ohio responded by closing out the third set on a 9-2 run and building a 21-14 lead in what would be the deciding set.
Several RedHawks had strong outings against perhaps the best team in the MAC. Sophomore setter/outside hitter Meg Riley had a near triple-double with 12 kills, 17 assists and eight digs. Senior outside hitter Lisa Treadway almost recorded a double-double with seven kills and 11 digs. Senior outside hitter/middle hitter Christina Menche had a solid performance against the Bobcats with 10 kills and a team-best .360 hitting percentage.
Despite these efforts, Miami only managed a .146 hitting percentage, whereas OU recorded a .247 percentage. Bobcats’ sophomore outside hitters Kelly Lamberti and Chelsea Bilger accounted for 34 of Ohio’s 56 kills and freshman libero Ashy Meredith recorded a match-high 25 digs.
“We fought hard but OU served very well and our passing didn’t hold up,” Head Coach Carolyn Condit said.
The RedHawks rebounded Saturday with a 3-1 (22-25, 25-14, 25-17, 25-19) triumph at Kent State (6-18, 3-9 MAC). Runs of 6-2 and 7-0 helped KSU take the first set, while Miami tied the match by getting out to a 19-7 lead in the second set. Coming out of the intermission, the Red and White had runs of 6-3, 6-0 and 5-2 to get its second point of the match and jumped out to an early 10-5 lead en route to the victory.
“It was the best, most aggressive serving we have done all season,” Condit said. “We did a good job of containing their quick offense. We had a balanced offense with four solid hitters. Our backcourt defense needs to improve, though.”
One of those hitters, junior middle hitter Kayleigh Cox, elaborated on the effort and growth of the team.
“We played pretty consistently this weekend despite some key players being out from sickness,” she said. “It's obvious that we're a different team than we were at the beginning of the season and we’re not done proving it. We’ve worked too hard to give up and we’re not going anywhere, especially without a fight.”
Several ’Hawks made key contributions to get the win over the Golden Flashes. Sophomore setter/outside hitter Meg Riley had a near triple double on the night with 14 kills, 18 assists and five digs, while senior outside hitter Amy Kendall, Cox and redshirt freshman middle hitter Jenny Ingle recorded 31 assists, eight kills and 13 kills, respectively. Miami junior libero Madison Hardy also had another strong outing, picking up 23 digs. As a team, the RedHawks outhit and out blocked Kent State .291-.150 and 10-7, respectively.
After the first set, Kent State recorded an average hitting percentage of .071.
The RedHawks return to Oxford 7 p.m. Friday to host the University of Akron. They then face the University at Buffalo 5 p.m. Saturday.