Photo by Connor Moriarty
By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer
After winning its 10th straight match with a 3-2 (25-23, 24-26, 25-16, 25-27, 15-11) decision over Kent State University Friday night, the Miami University volleyball team saw the streak end emphatically at Ohio University Saturday with a 3-0 (13-25, 14-25, 15-25) defeat. The RedHawks (19-9, 12-4 Mid-American Conference) streak was their longest since the 1997 season.
"It was a good game against Kent State, but it took us a while to get acclimated," junior outside hitter Annie Reiswig, who picked up 25 kills over the weekend, said. "It didn't go the way we planned against Ohio, but it was a good learning experience for us. Against Kent State, we had good setter connections, [sophomore setter] Krista [Brakauskas] really put the ball out there, and I had some good swings. I also had some good swings against Ohio, but their defense was on and no one was able to put the ball down. We now know what it's like to play at Ohio against Ohio and it's going to be hard in every round of the tournament; hopefully we can get that ring."
Against Kent State, senior setter/outside hitter Meg Riley entered the Miami record books, as she recorded her 2,000th dig and 1,000th kill against the Flashes. She recorded a triple-double with 13 kills, 22 assists and 11 digs to go with a .423 hitting percentage and three service aces. She is the first player in program history to reach both milestones.
Also having a big night was junior outside hitter Annie Reiswig, with 16 kills, eight digs and three service aces to the tune of a. 341 hitting percentage. Sophomore setter Krista Brakauskas registered a double-double with 34 assists and 10 digs.
Sophomore middle blocker Paige Hill continued to roll as she had 11 kills, five digs, 5.5 total blocks and two service aces on the night. Freshman libero Maeve McDonald had a strong outing as well with 20 digs.
"It was a good weekend for us," head coach Carolyn Condit. "Kent State was much better than when we played them previously, but it should have been a four-set match and we let a few points slip away. It was a big weekend for Meg Riley with her getting her 2,000th assist from a kill by [senior outside hitter] Sarah Chaney and her 1,000th kill. Reiswig also played well in both matches and did a nice job of stepping up."
Miami struggled mightily on offense against Ohio, as no one broke double-digits in kills. Reiswig and Riley led the way with nine and seven kills, respectively. The Bobcats showed why they were unbeaten in MAC play by outperforming the 'Hawks in every statistical category.
"Ohio played a step above what they played five weeks ago," Condit said, referencing the five-set loss to the Bobcats in Millett. "They served extremely well and were quick in converting from offense to defense. We passed better in the second set, but it was not our best offense. We're glad to have our last match of the season here so that we know what to expect and hope we get to play them one more time. A loss like this can wake a team up and we know what we have to do. The experience is going to be good for our seven freshmen and three sophomores, because they're going to be our future."
The RedHawks return to action 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Athens for the MAC Tournament as they face the winner of the Eastern Michigan University and Kent State University contest. The winner of that matchup faces Northern Illinois University 7:30 p.m. Sunday in the semifinals. The championship match is set for 7:30 p.m. Monday.