Kent State used 15 blocks and came from behind in the final two sets to beat the Youngstown State volleyball team 3-1 on Tuesday evening at the M.A.C. Center. The set scores were 22-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-23.
Aleah Hughes was one dig shy of posting YSU's first 20-20 match in 11 years, finishing with a career-high 20 kills to go along with 19 digs. Margaux Thompson also notched a double-double with 11 kills and 13 digs. The Golden Flashes forced each of them into 13 attack errors, and the Penguins had 42 errors as a team.
Youngstown State had a 49-42 edge in kills in the match, but the Golden Flashes held the edge in attack percentage at .146-.036. Kent State didn't have more than 11 kills in any set, but it also had six or fewer errors in each set.
YSU dropped to 3-1 on the young season with the loss, and Kent State improved to 3-1.
Youngstown State had a pair of five-point leads midway through the opening set, and it rallied late to take a 25-22 victory. The Golden Flashes led 20-18 when YSU had five straight kills, including three consecutive terminations by Hughes, in a 6-0 run that put it ahead 24-20.
Kent State jumped out to a 9-3 lead in the second set and held the upper hand by at least the rest of the set as it won 25-16.
Youngstown State led 5-1 early in the third, but Kent State rallied with a 6-1 spurt and took a 7-6 lead. The score was within two points until back-to-back aces by Byrnes put the Penguins ahead 18-14. Kent State flipped the match by scoring nine straight points as part of an 11-2 run to end the set. The Golden Flashes had four kills, three blocks and a pair of aces in that 9-0 run.
YSU led 10-5 early in the fourth set, and the lead was five again later when a Thompson kill made the score 17-12. Kent State had runs of 4-0 and 3-0 as it tied the score at 19, and YSU's final lead came at 20-19 on a Hughes kill. Kent State scored five of the next six points to go up 24-21 and set up three match points. YSU staved off the first two on Hughes' 20th kill of the night and a block by Hughes and Sarah Varcolla, but Amy Kober's kill gave Kent State the 25-23 win.
Youngstown State will play three matches this weekend at the Duquesne Invitational. The Penguins will compete against UNLV and Bowling Green on Friday, and they'll play Duquesne on Saturday.