Tom Downey, For The Miami Student

Senior Amy Raseman follows through on a swing on Sept -. 9 against Florida Gulf Coast University. Raseman and the RedHawks start their MAC schedule on the road this weekend. (JESSI THORNE | The Miami Student)

The Miami University women’s volleyball team enters Mid-American Conference (MAC) play after three tough losses against St. Louis University, the University of North Carolina and the University of Tulsa in the Tar Heel Classic. Their current record stands at 9-5, good for second in the MAC East right now. The Red and White road record stands at 2-2 as they prepare for the Kent State University Golden Flashes and the Ohio University Bobcats.

The ‘Hawks travel to Kent State to open MAC play 7 p.m. Friday. The Golden Flashes record currently stands at 7-8, with two straight losses against Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne and the University of Delaware. Kent State typically has a very good serving team, with one or two go-to players. However, Kent lost several seniors so their team is still a work in progress and it’s not quite clear who those go-to players are quite yet.

Senior Amy Raseman said that Kent State is “very scrappy” and the team has to “never give up and play better defense” in order to beat them. Coach Carolyn Condit echoed similar thoughts. “Our team defense has to prove itself against both Ohio and Kent,” she said.

In order for the team to win, they’ll need sophomore defensive specialist Madison Hardy to continue to play like she did in the Tar Heel Classic, where she averaged just over 19 digs per game.

Following their match against Kent, the Red and White then travel to Athens, Ohio for a match against the Ohio Bobcats at 7 p.m. Saturday. The Bobcats’ current record stands 8-6, with wins over the University of Maryland, Villanova University, Virginia Tech and the University of Pittsburgh. Much like Kent, Ohio lost several key seniors, but Raseman says the Bobcats will be a tough team.

“Ohio typically has a strong team and we expect them to be strong as usual,” Raseman said. “In order to beat Ohio, we need to have a strong offense.”

The Bobcats have been one of the better MAC teams over the recent years, demonstrated by the fact they are celebrating their “decade of dominance” this year. In order to win, the RedHawks will need to be on their best game offensively and need Raseman to continue her strong play, as she has averaged just over two kills per set this year.

After two road games, the Red and White will return for their MAC home opening weekend. On Sept. 30 the ‘Hawks welcome the University at Buffalo and then on Oct. 1 they will host the University of Akron.