After beginning the season with six consecutive victories, the Kennesaw State volleyball team lost three straight matches over the weekend to difficult opponents.
The Owls started off the week on a positive note, coming back from a set down to defeat Clemson on Tuesday, Sept. 4, to retain their perfect season. With the win, KSU matched their best start to a season and extended their home court winning streak to 15 games.
Lauren Chastang and Maddie Jones highlighted the victory as they both recorded at least 10 kills and digs each.
Clemson was the team to come out fast, taking a 7-3 lead in the first set. The Tigers continued to expand their lead until a timeout was called by Owls coach Keith Schunzel. After the break, KSU made a great run to climb back into the set making it 18-15 but that would be the closest score as Clemson took the opening set 25-20.
The Owls were much more clinical in the second set, taking a 7-3 lead that they would not lose for the rest of the set. Back-to-back kills from Jones put the set away 25-21 to tie the match.
Both teams traded points in the third set as the score tied 11-11 midway through. KSU then took control as a kill from senior Sydni Shelton and two Clemson errors ignited an 8-1 run. The Owls took the set 25-18 as Chastang recorded seven of her 18 kills in the third set alone.
KSU continued their momentum in the fourth set, holding Clemson to a .037 hitting percentage on the way to a 25-15 set victory.
“Both of our left sides are just playing terrific volleyball and they both have gotten a lot better here as this month has gone on,” Schunzel said. “They are two different kind of players — Lauren is a lot more power, Maddie has got to really move the ball around, and they are both learning who they are and how they have to be to be successful.”
The team traveled to Pittsburgh, Pa. over the weekend to play in a tournament where they faced off against hosts Pittsburgh as well as Dayton and the University of Washington.
A full five sets were played in the opening match against the No. 13 Panthers on Friday, Sept. 7, as the Owls won the first and fourth sets. The final set was close early on, but the Panthers went on a 7-1 run after the teams switched sides to win 15-7.
The following two matches saw the Owls lose despite admirable efforts, as a tight three-set loss to the Flyers frustrated the team and a four-set loss to the No. 12 Huskies continued their struggles.
The volleyball team will be back in action this weekend as they travel to Troy, Al. to play in a tournament against Florida A&M, Troy and Jacksonville State.