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Miami volleyball team fights to stay afloat in the difficult Mid-American Conference

The Miami RedHawks volleyball team will play the Ohio University Bobcats Oct. 20 and Oct. 21.
The Miami RedHawks volleyball team will play the Ohio University Bobcats Oct. 20 and Oct. 21.

The Miami University volleyball team has struggled this year. The team is last in the Mid-American Conference (MAC) East division with a little over a month left in its schedule.

Last weekend, the RedHawks battled Kent State University and Bowling Green State University for a three-game set.

Miami opened up the weekend by visiting the Kent State Golden Flashes who sat below the 0-6 RedHawks in Conference Play at 0-7.

Both sides desperately needed wins, and the Flashes set the tone early on Friday night.

Game one on Friday was decided convincingly by the Flashes, who won 3-0 at Memorial Athletic Center.

Kent State controlled the pace right as the match started by winning the first set 25-12. The RedHawks rallied back and nearly had the Flashes in the second set but finished off by falling 25-22. The third set demonstrated more of that Golden Flash domination, as Kent State won 25-17.

Miami had good moments against Kent State but ultimately fell short, a consistent storyline throughout the season for the Red and White.

The leaders for the RedHawks in game one were sophomore outside hitter Brooke Jackson, who led with 7 kills; junior libero Margo Lawson, who shined with 2 aces and 11 digs; and sophomore Middle Hitter Gentry Warrick, who had 4 blocks.

Match two showed a much different side for Miami. The RedHawks won their first conference match of the year 3-1 on Saturday night. Overall, it was their fourth road win of the year.

This time, the RedHawks came out with a newfound intensity on the road and edged the first set 25-21. In the next set, Kent State came back and won an absolute thriller 28-26 to tie the match at 1-1. Miami would continue to ride the momentum they set earlier by winning the last two sets 25-19 and 26-24 in a classic at Kent State. 

The RedHawks saw contributions from sophomore outside hitter Ellie Hanson who had 12 kills, and Warrick with seven blocks plus Lawson who had an absurd 22 digs.

The RedHawks returned home hoping to ride their road-gained momentum, hosting the Bowling Green Falcons on Monday night.

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The visiting Falcons stormed into Millett Hall and took care of business,winning 3-0 against the RedHawks.

This match was absolute domination for the Falcons who held the RedHawks under 17 points across each of the three sets. 

Bowling Green won the first two sets in a very strong showing: 25-12, 25-13. The third set was closer for Miami, but the Falcons continued to apply pressure by winning 25-16, escaping with a solid road win.

First-year outside hitter Chelsea Williams had eight kills. Sophomore setter Hayden Hicks had 14 assists and Lawson had eight digs.

Miami head coach Carolyn Condit mentioned postgame that she was disappointed in the team’s performance Monday night.

“I saw a team that didn’t use the tools and the mindset that we’ve been working on and that they ended the last match with on the weekend,” Condit said.

The Miami RedHawks’ record after a tough week sits at 5-16 overall, and 1-8 in conference play, tied for last in the MAC East division.

Miami will host its in-state rival Ohio University this weekend for the always exciting Battle of the Bricks on Friday and Saturday night.

The last two years, the RedHawks have dropped all four matchups against the Bobcats. They will hope to have some homecourt luck at Millett Hall this weekend in order to break the streak.