UA volleyball drops two games: Zips lose to NIU 3-2 and WMU 3-0 over the weekend

By: Jay Dukes

The Akron volleyball team fell in matches this weekend against Northern Illinois University and Western Michigan at the JAR to bring their record to 4-17 overall.

Friday, the Zips lost the matchup against Northern Illinois University, but won two of the five sets played, during one of which UA had zero errors and a hitting percentage of .615.

In the fourth set with the match favoring NIU 2-1, the Zips returned to the floor to an exciting set with plenty of back and forth, but neither team could gain an edge. With the score tied at 14, the Huskies came back with three consecutive points. Later in the set, with the score at 17-22, UA had a three-point run of their own.

The Huskies rallied back to a match point as the score read 24-20. As the set ended, the Zips earned five straight points and saved five match points to win the set 29-27, taking this match to a deciding fifth set. The Zips lost the fifth set 12-15.

“It is rough when we don’t come out with a win, but we have to keep things in perspective,” Arenz said. “One of the things that this team is good at in developing over the last rough weeks is being able to bounce back, and it is evident in our practice and focus and this is a group that is determined.”

With this loss, the Zips’ record fell to 4-16 overall and 1-6 in the MAC. NIU’s away record reached 7-1 in a 16-5 overall record, 5-2 in the MAC.

“The effort and attitude was good,” Akron Head Coach Ron Arenz said. “To play like we did against one of the top teams in the conference and the way we executed the game plan, I am pleased with our development.”

For the night, UA had 12 blocks, a hitting percentage of .263, 55 digs, 59 kills and four aces. The Huskies recorded five blocks, .301 hitting percentage, 62 digs, 80 kills and six aces.

Akron senior captain Courtney Jarvis had a season-high 19 kills, nine digs and a .292 hitting percentage. Junior Paiton Twitty led the team for the night with eight total blocks (one solo, seven assisted), a hitting percentage of .385 and seven kills. Junior Morgan Kuhn contributed four kills, 46 assists, two serving aces and a .300 hitting percentage.

The Zips lost in straight sets to Western Michigan Saturday in straight sets (21-25, 26-28, and 18-25).

“That was very disappointing; we didn’t come out and play at a consistent level,” Arenz said. “It comes down to effort and attitude and didn’t match in order for us to be successful.”

In the game, the Zips had a hitting percentage of .198 with eight blocks, 54 digs, 39 assists and one serving ace. The Broncos recorded a .246 hitting percentage with five blocks, 65 digs, 50 assists and four serving aces.

Performers of the game were Jarvis, who had 12 kills, five digs and a hitting percentage of .163; Kuhn added 35 assists, 13 digs and three assisted blocks and Kymberle Gordon had four assisted blocks, 10 kills and a hitting percentage of .529.