Written by: Parker Perry
The University of Akron hosted its second volleyball tournament over the past weekend.
The home team came through to sweep the field and improved its record to above .500.
The Zips played in two competitive matches; their first match was a 3-0 sweep. They played teams from SIU Edwardsville, Binghamton and Youngstown State.
In their first match of the Invitational, the Zips out-killed the Cougars 50 to 35, and out-aced them six to three. Leading the charge for Akron was senior Chelsea Harvey. Harvey collected 14 kills and contributed two aces in the sweep. In addition to the charge was fifth-year senior Tina Dimitrijevs, who came through with 13 kills of her own.
Head Coach Ron Arenz also gave a lot of credit to his back row for keeping balls alive and rebounding tough points. He also credited his team for their early efforts.
“What we focused on this week was coming out in our start, and we did a good job doing that today,” Arenz said.
However, that was not the case in their second match on Friday. Akron had to face Binghamton, a tough team despite their one and eight record, and fell behind early, two sets to zero. It was not their quick start that led them to victory, but their tenacity and never-quiet mentality that landed them their second win.
Akron was out-played in the first two sets, before Arenz decided to send in senior Janine Lawler. Lawler was Binghamton’s kryptonite.
“One of the things we did in game two, which I thought got us on the right track, was when we made some substitution, and we put Janine Lawler in to establish a block and kind of make them change their shot directions,” Arenz said. “She pulled off a couple blocks, and we started slowing the ball down and we were able to play defense around her.”
The final game was a titanic struggle against Youngstown State. Akron was able to clinch the first set 28-26, but lost the second set 25-20. Going back and forth the entire day, the Zips were able to pull out the next two sets to take the three-to-one victory. The third set was won 30-28, while the final set was more of a runaway win at 25-17.
In his postgame thoughts, Arnez wanted to look at the big picture of the weekend.
“It’s really good that we came out with a win. And to put together three matches over the course of a weekend is no small task,” Arnez said. “It feels good, and especially to do it on our home floor.”
One thing that remained constant in his postgame interview was his appreciation for the fans and the AK-ROWDIES.
Akron will compete in one more weekend tournament before starting their Mid-American Conference schedule.