Written by: Parker Perry
The UA volleyball team started the Mid-American Conference portion of their schedule last Thursday.
Akron defeated the Buffalo Bulls in straight sets, but fell in their second MAC match at Ball State.
These games put Akron in a tie for second place in the MAC East division standings. They sit a game behind Bowling Green State University, who opened up 2-0 with wins over the Ohio Bobcats and the Kent State Golden Flashes. They are tied with Ohio, who beat their rival Miami (Ohio).
UA head coach Ron Arenz said that they relied on a group effort in their opening victory.
“Overall, I thought it was a real group effort,” Arenz said. “We did a good job in the back row, in terms of picking up balls and engaging in long rallies. We played a pretty well-balanced match.”
Statistically, fifth-year senior Tina Dimitrijevs once again stole the show. She led her team both in kills (13) and in blocks (4).
Paiton Twitty also played a major role in the Zips’ victory. She threw down three balls that slowly made their way over the net. Not giving the Bulls any chances, her spikes uplifted the Zips and kept Buffalo behind.
Arenz predicted before the Saturday match that Ball State was going to be competitive. Ball State brought a different type of play to the court than the Bulls, and Akron was unable to adjust.
With the match tied at one set apiece, Ball State was able to outlast the Zips and took home the third set 25-17 and the fourth set 25-16. In the loss, it was not Dimitrijevs who pulled the load. Instead, Alex Cocklin (11) and Chelsea Harvey (12) picked up most of the kills.
Akron will next face Bowling Green on Friday, and Ball State on Saturday, at the James A. Rhodes Arena.