Zips volleyball travels to Miami and Bowling Green

By Parker Perry, Sports Editor

The Zips volleyball team (6-9, 0-4 MAC) has struggled in conference play this season. The team has not scored a win out of four matches against Mid-American Conference opponents.

Akron will attempt to win their first conference match this weekend when they travel to Miami University (8-8, 0-4 MAC) and Bowling Green State University (6-9, 3-1 MAC).

Miami University has also yet to win a conference match this season. Friday night, either the Zips or the Redhawks will capture their first win.

Akron has been led by senior Alex Cocklin. Cocklin has played well throughout her entire college career, but she has stepped up as a leader this year. According to Akron Athletics, Cocklin has 158 successful spikes, or kills, this season, which is 32 more than teammate Kelsey Wilson.

On the defensive side it has been senior Jill Paluch who has led the way. Paluch leads the team in defense against opponent’s spikes, or digs, and kill percentage. She has recorded 223 digs this season, over 100 more than Cocklin. She shares the lead in kill percentage with sophomore Ashley Holder at .333.

The Redhawks enter the match with an even record. According to the Redhawks’ website, they have been out-killed 885-812 throughout the season but they have been able to limit their errors. They have only committed 308 of them while their opponents have committed 392 on average.

The Akron Zips will have to limit their errors, as Miami is good at capitalizing off others’ mistakes.

Bowling Green is in second place in the MAC East after four games. BGSU has been considered one of the more dominate volleyball programs in recent Mid-American Conference history. This year they have continued their habits and are currently only behind Ohio.

Akron opened up their conference schedule against Kent State, and although they were able to fight back after falling behind two sets, they eventually fell three sets to two. They then faced a big challenge when they hosted Ohio, who was ranked No. 23 at the time, according to MAC statistics. Akron was swept quickly in the match.

The Zips continued their slow start the second week. They fell to Buffalo on Thursday and then were swept again, this time by Toledo, on Saturday. Akron, who started off the regular season with four straight wins, will look to turn their luck around this weekend.

The Zips could help themselves by winning both matches this weekend. Two wins would be enough to land them into the Mid-American Conference tournament picture.