YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Kent State dominated the fifth set to earn a hard-fought 3-2 (22-25, 25-20, 25-22, 16-25, 15-7) victory at Youngstown State to close out non-league action on Friday.
Winners of six straight victories, the Golden Flashes (9-2) have the most wins in Mid-American Conference games since 2008.
Senior Savannah Matthews had a big night with a season-high 20 kills and 18 recoveries. Graduate student Daniel Tyson matched his season high with 13 kills while hitting a .591 clip and totaling four blocks. First-year student Mackenzie McGuire also had 13 wins. Graduate student Alex Haffner registered 54 assists in an attack that reached .274 as a team.
Graduate student Erin Gardner led all players with 28 digs. Junior Bryn Roberts counted 12 excavations.
How did it happen…
Set 1: Kent State trailed 15-12 at media timeout before cutting the deficit to one point on playoffs by Savannah Matthews and Mia Soerensen. Three consecutive offensive errors followed and Youngstown State took the biggest lead of the set, 18-14. The Golden Flashes managed to equalize at 19-19 before falling behind again by four and dropping the opener, 25-22.
Set 2: After the teams split the first 18 points, the Flashes began to split and took a 21-15 lead. YSU made a run to be within 22-20 and force the timeout to be called. Matthews ended it with kills on all three points after the timeout.
Set 3: Kent State trailed up to four points midway through the set, but fought back to draw even at 21-21. The teams traded service errors before killing by Alex Haffner and Daniel Tyson gave the Flashes a set point opportunity. Bryn Roberts then ended the set with a sinking serve for an ace.
Set 4: The Flashes went 5-4 after dropping the first three points, but YSU found an offensive rhythm to pull away. The Penguins recorded a .343 hit percentage with 14 kills and just two errors in the set.
Set 5: A killing by Lana Strejcek and YSU’s offensive error gave Kent State a 2-0 lead that it refused to relinquish. The Flashes recorded 11 kills from 19 error-free swings for a dominating 15-7 win in the deciding set.
To be continued for the flashes
Kent State will begin conference play at the MAC Center next week against MAC East Division favorite Bowling Green. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN3.
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