The RedHawks were swept off their home court on Tuesday night after injuries and an inability to swing momentum became their downfall.
Miami (2-2) looked off as the Dayton Flyers took all three sets at Millett Hall; the ghost of the RedHawks’ Saturday loss against Northwestern remained prevalent. A few banged up players forced head coach Carolyn Condit to give more playing time to some of the younger players on the roster.
“Gotta give [junior right side hitter] Avarie Powell credit coming from an ACL tear and going back to the middle for the first time in three years,” Condit said. “She’s really working hard.”
A service ace by junior setter Morgan Seaman to start the first set became a false omen, as the RedHawks gave up six of the next eight points and continued to struggle from there.
Never scoring more than two possessions in a row, Miami would give up a 5-0 run and then surrender seven of eight to lose the first set, 25-14.
The Flyers (1-3) struck first in the second set, but back-to-back kills from sophomore outside hitter Gaby Harper and freshman outside hitter Allyson Severance gave the RedHawks their first lead of the match. After falling behind, Miami surged back in front with its own 5-0 run.
All told, the set lead switched hands four times before Dayton ultimately took the second battle, 25-21.
A challenge won by Miami got it on the board in the third set. From there, Miami was able to tie the score three times, including a late attack error that put the set at 18-18, but fell short in the end, losing the final set, 25-21.
“Beating Dayton is one of our goals,” senior middle hitter Margaret Payne said following the loss. “Tonight’s loss definitely hurt, but I think we learned a lot from it, and I think we know next time we play them at Ohio State, we’re going to come back stronger.”
Payne led the RedHawks with nine kills and a solo block. Seaman chipped in with 18 assists, and freshman outside hitter Lindsay Taylor was credited with six kills.
Dayton redshirt freshman middle hitter Amelia Moore led the match with 13 kills. Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Jamie Peterson earned 12 kills, while sophomore libero Maura Collins tallied nine digs.
Miami hopes to get back in the left-hand column, as they take on Tennessee on Friday in East Lansing, Michigan. Tipoff is set for 5:30 p.m.