The Owls hosted the Liberty University Flames on Oct. 1 at the KSU Convocation Center in a match that included a lot of back and forth blows.
“I’m super proud of the team tonight, that’s as consistent as we’ve played in a month,” head coach Keith Schunzel said. “Playing at home, this place has been great for us. This venue with a loud crowd tonight, it was fun for us and our players really love playing in this gym.”
The Owls received spectacular play from senior Lauren Chastang who recorded 14 kills in the match and had a hitting percentage of .343, leading the team in both categories. This was Chastang’s highest-hitting performance so far this season.
Other notable Owls were McKinley Ferguson, who recorded a game-high 33 assists, which was more than the entire Liberty team combined. Shelby Dennis led the game with 15 digs, and Claire Parsons led the defense with six blocks.
The match started off neck and neck resulting in 12 ties and four lead changes in just the first set. But once the Owls went on a 7-1 run to create some separation from the Flames, they ended up closing out the first set 25-18.
One factor that might have impacted the Owls was their serving. The Owls committed 15 service errors, 10 more than Liberty, which helped keep the Flames close in the match.
The Owls opened up the second set going up by as much as three points before Liberty took its first timeout to regroup. The Flames came out of the timeout and tied the match for the first time since early in set one. Kennesaw would go up by as much as seven points, but Liberty crept back into the set cutting the deficit down to as little as two scores. This was as close as the Flames would get as the Owls closed out the set 25-19.
The third set was not much different. The Owls came out with an early 14-8 lead and seemed like they were getting comfortable. Like the second set, Liberty called a timeout and came back more energized and focused, cutting the six-point deficit down to as little as three scores. The Owls sensed a comeback attempt brewing and closed out the third and final set 25-21.
The Owls tied their highest hitting percentage of the season at .320 and had their least amount of attack errors all season with just 11.
This is only Kennesaw’s second win at home this season giving them a home winning percentage of .500.
The Owls are now 2-2 in ASUN league play and have moved to 8-7 on the season record-wise.
Next, the Owls are set to head out on a two-game road trip against the FGCU Eagles next Friday in Fort Meyers, Fla.