Miami targets 4th straight win in weekend matches
Published: Thursday, October 25, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 25, 2012 21:10
After three consecutive wins, the Miami University volleyball team is now in fourth place in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East standings and has another opportunity to improve against division rivals Ohio University (OU) and Kent State University (KSU). This weekend is especially important for the Red and White as they dropped decisions to both teams earlier in the season, 2-3 against KSU Sept. 21 and 0-3 against OU Sept. 22.
The RedHawks (8-15, 3-7 MAC) lack no talent, with the emergence of redshirt freshman middle hitter Jenny Ingle and the sustained high level of play by sophomore outside hitter Meg Riley and junior libero Madison Hardy. Ingle was named the MAC East Division Offensive Player of the Week and, consequentially, the Miami Female Athlete of the Week for her performance last weekend against the University of Toledo and Ball State University, racking up 26 kills and a .478 hitting percentage in that span.
“I’m just excited and feel blessed by God [because of the awards],” she said.
Riley is sixth in the MAC in kills with 3.42 per set and 10th in hitting percentage at .282. The sophomore was also named the MAC Scholar Athlete of the Week Monday. Hardy is contributing 4.55 digs per set, sixth best in the conference. The Miami offense has seemingly come together during its recent winning streak with an average hitting percentage of .290 in that stretch, with a .385 performance against Toledo.
“Getting the wins were big for us,” Head Coach Carolyn Condit said. “They were proof that we can match up with any team in the MAC.”
Ohio (14-8, 9-1 MAC) is coming off of a nine match winning streak where the Bobcats swept their opponent seven times, the most recent a 3-0 triumph over Western Michigan University. The ’Cats are led by sophomore outside hitter Kelly Lamberti and middle blocker Serena Warner. Lamberti is third in the MAC in kills with 3.89 per set and third in service aces with 0.31 per set, while Warner has the third best hitting percentage in the conference and is the best when it comes to blocking (1.32 per set).
Ohio is also very effective offensively, recording the best hitting percentage in the MAC (.359), the lowest opponent’s hitting percentage in the conference (.173) and the most blocks per set (2.73).
The RedHawks then make their way to Kent, Ohio, to face Kent State (6-16, 3-7 MAC). KSU recently snapped a four match losing streak with a 3-1 win at home over Northern Illinois University. Sophomore outside hitter Tinuke Adremi-Ibitola is an offensive leader for the Golden Flashes, with her 3.11 kills per set and 1.50 digs per set. Despite this, they have struggled as a team on offense with a .186 hitting percentage on the season.
“We need to play with high energy and team cohesion,” Ingle said. “In practice, we’ve been working on keeping our hands high and mixing up our shots, which will help this weekend.”
Miami kicks of play in Athens, Ohio against the Bobcats 7 p.m. Friday, then heads west to face KSU 7 p.m. Saturday.