AKRON, Ohio – With only three weeks remaining in the regular season, The University of Akron volleyball team travels to Buffalo and Toledo for a pair of important Mid-American Conference contests, as the Zips (4-19, 1-9) fight to keep their conference tournament hopes alive. Akron will face Buffalo on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. ET before taking on Toledo on Saturday, Oct. 29 at 5 p.m.
Last weekend, also on the road, UA fell in straight sets to both Central Michigan (22-25, 16-25, 20-25) and Eastern Michigan (18-25, 21-25, 21-25). Senior Courtney Jarvis and sophomore Alex Cocklin tallied eight kills apiece in each match to lead the offense, while sophomore Jill Paluch notched 29 digs, including a career-high 18 against the Eagles, to anchor the defense.
Jarvis ranks sixth in the league with 3.15 kills/set, while junior Morgan Kuhn stands seventh with 9.78 assists/set. In MAC play, junior Paiton Twitty is fourth with 1.11 blocks/set, while Jarvis ranks ninth with 3.69 points/set and Paluch stands 10th with 3.80 digs/set. For her career, Jarvis has amassed 921 kills and could become the first Zip to reach the 1,000-kill milestone since 2008.
BUFFALO (9-15, 2-8)
In Akron's first meeting with the Bulls this season (Sept. 22), the Zips came back from 0-2 down to tie at 2-2 before falling 15-10 in the fifth set. Jarvis led the Zips with 15 kills, while Paluch recorded 17 digs. Since that victory, Buffalo has won just one conference match, at Bowling Green in another five-set thriller on Oct. 1.
The Bulls have been swept in their last four contests, last winning a set against Ohio on Oct. 8. In the MAC, Buffalo ranks second in blocks (2.11/set) and last in hitting percentage (.177). The last time Akron visited Alumni Arena, the Zips came away with a straight-set victory.
TOLEDO (8-14, 3-7)
Head Coach: Greg Smith (Westmont College, '90)
Series: Toledo leads, 23-22
Last Meeting: Oct. 9, 2010 at Akron, Ohio (UT W, 3-2)
The Rockets are coming off a split last weekend at home, as they lost to Bowling Green in four sets but bounced back to defeat Miami (Ohio) in five. In its last eight matches, UT is 2-6 and currently stands at the bottom of the West division. In the MAC, the Rockets are eighth in hitting percentage (.195), 11th in opponent hitting percentage (.236) and 11th in blocks (1.76/set).
Individually, senior setter Kassie Kadera ranks third in the league with 10.84 assists/set. The series between the Zips and Rockets is nearly even, with Toledo holding the slight edge at 23-22. The last time UA visited Savage Arena, Akron gave up a 2-0 lead and fell 15-11 in the fifth.