Michael Solomon, Staff Writer

The Miami University volleyball team returned to Oxford Sept. 4 after a tough weekend, which saw the RedHawks lose three matches against top teams in Lexington, Ky.

Miami dropped contests to Ohio State, Kentucky and South Florida, moving their record to 1-5 on the season.

“It has been a great weekend for experience,” Head Coach Carolyn Condit said. “We played some really tough competition this weekend. Kentucky and Ohio State both had a ranked spot in the country when we played them.”

The Red and White met the hosts, No. 16-ranked Kentucky on Friday night, looking to play well against another top team in their non-conference schedule. After dropping the first game 25-22, Miami battled tough in the second set, hoping to even up the match at 1-1. Miami had a set point lead at 24-23 late in the match, but Kentucky fought it off. With the score tied at 27, the Wildcats took advantage of a RedHawk mistake to take control of the match and win the game 29-27.

Junior outside hitter Amy Raseman led the RedHawks with seven kills in game two against Kentucky. Miami fell behind early in the third set at 12-5, but went on a 7-3 run to get within three points of the Wildcats at 15-12. That would be the closest they got, as Kentucky closed the set on a 10-5 run that gave them a 25-17 win and the match against the ‘Hawks.

The first test Sept. 4 for the RedHawks was against undefeated Ohio State. Miami fell behind early in set one 6-2, but kills from Raseman and junior Colleen Loftus got the ‘Hawks within one at 7-6. Miami kept the score close throughout, tying the Buckeyes at 20.

Ohio State took five out of the last eight points to take the set and give the RedHawks another close game loss. An early 3-2 lead in set two was the only lead Miami would see in the second frame, and Ohio State went on an early 16-4 run that put the game away.

The RedHawks rebounded in set three after a 25-12 loss in game two, earning a set point at 25-24. The Buckeyes fought it off though, and took another close-set 29-27, leaving the RedHawks at 1-4 on the year.

“Our passing game broke down this weekend, and we also saw some tougher servers,” Condit said. “We have young setters who are starting for the first time and trying to figure out what their roles on the team are. We had a hard time connecting without hitters, especially the middles this weekend.”

Miami concluded play in the Kentucky Classic against the South Florida Bulls Sept. 4.

Although they won their first game, the RedHawks couldn’t hang on as the Bulls took the match 3-1 (25-20, 25-27, 22-25, 23-25). Loftus led the way for the Red and White in the third match, totaling 12 kills and 14 digs. Sophomore Lisa Treadway and senior Michelle Mangia each added 12 digs for Miami, who fell to 1-5 on the season.

After a tough weekend, the RedHawks can look ahead to Sept. 8, when they have their first home match of the season against Wright State at 7 p.m.