Ohio (11-8, 5-3 Mid-American Conference) is back on the road this week as it looks to better its conference record against Kent State (12-7, 3-5 MAC).
Ohio split its two matches with Buffalo last weekend, which were both five-set thrillers. The series split with Buffalo has Ohio sitting at 5-3 in MAC, which is good enough for the second-best record in the East Division. Meanwhile, Kent State has had an uneven start to MAC play and is 3-5 in the conference.
Despite their weaker conference record, the Golden Flashes are still third in the MAC East. With only a month to go in conference play, both teams will need to rack up wins if they want a chance to play in the MAC Tournament.
Opponent: Kent State
Location: Memorial Athletic and Convocation Center (Kent, OH)
Date and time: Oct. 18 at 6 p.m.
Kent State looked like an elite team going into conference play. After a mediocre start to the season, Kent State won the last five matches of its nonconference slate, including three wins at the Marshall Invite, and wins over Cleveland State and Youngstown State.
However, Kent State wasn't able to ease into conference play. Its first two matches against first-place Bowling Green ended in losses. and after losing its first match against Miami, Kent State was 0-3 to start conference play. It was able to even out its record with three wins in its last five matches heading into Tuesday's match against Ohio.
The rivalry between the Golden Flashes and the Bobcats hasn't been a very competitive one. Since 2009, the Bobcats have dominated the series, going 25-4. However, the Golden Flashes won the most recent match 3-1. The two teams played twice in 2021, and both won one match. The Bobcats' loss last season broke their nine-match win streak against the Golden Flashes.
Player to watch: Savannah Matthews
Matthews is one of Kent State's most experienced players and has had a career filled with accomplishments. She made the MAC All-Freshman team in 2019 and the All-MAC second team in 2020. Matthews was the only player at Kent State to be named to the East Division Preseason All-MAC Team, and so far she has not disappointed. Matthews is second on the team in kills and third in digs. In Kent State's last match against Akron, Matthews tied the team high with 11 kills, and her 10 digs were the second-highest on the team.