In the first conference match of the season, Kennesaw State University’s volleyball team won its sixth straight match against the Lipscomb University Bisons in Nashville, Tennessee on Friday, Sept. 23.
Senior outside hitter Kelly Marcinek recorded the 1,000th kill of her career, which helped rally her team in a come-from-behind win. The Illinois native became the second player in KSU history to reach the 1,000-kill mark and adds it to her already long list of accolades she has recorded in her time at KSU.
After a poor first set for KSU, the Owls sprang to life. Down 22-18, Kennesaw put together a 6-1 run and eventually took the second set 28-26.
“To our players’ credit, and what I’m most proud of, is that from set two on we started competing at the level we’re capable of and made a match out of it,” head coach Keith Schunzel said in a press release Friday.
The Bisons came back and won the third set 25-23. The Owls responded by battling out another tough win in the fourth period, taking it 25-22. This forced the match into a fifth set — the Achilles’ heel for Kennesaw this season. The team has lost the last three times the match entered the fifth set.
Despite prior experience with the ominous fifth set, the Owls came out strong and established a 9-3 lead and looked as if they would cruise to the finish line. A rally from the Bison following a timeout, however, tied the match at 9-9. Lipscomb committed four errors and lost momentum, helping KSU edge out a 15-13 set win and sealing the match 3-2.
“That was a battle that could’ve gone either way,” Schunzel said, “but because we shifted our mentality and aggressiveness after that opening set, we put ourselves in position to pull out a huge road win to open conference play.”
Anaiah Boyer who recorded a double-double with 17 kills and 15 digs and added five blocks. Boyer’s outstanding performance earned her ASUN Conference Player of the Week.
The Owls will travel to Jacksonville, Florida for a pair of matches against Jacksonville University at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 30 and the University of North Florida at 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1.