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Sophomore setter Grace Balensiefer (left), Peyton Tilly, first-year outside-hitter, and junior middle blocker Kennedy Wallace celebrate after an NIU point against Kent State University during an eventual 3-1 win at Victor E. Court in the Convocation Center in DeKalb.

DeKALB — The Kent State University Golden Flashes came out very aggressive in the first set, gaining an 8-3 early. NIU edged closer late in the set, after a monster block by first-year outside hitter Peyton Tilly and sophomore middle blocker Jasmine Kemp making it 18-16. 

NIU completed the comeback, winning the first set 26-24 and taking a 1-0 set advantage in the match. First-year outside hitter Kaitlyn Bell led the way with 8 kills and a hitting percentage of .800%.

NIU could not carry over the momentum gained in the first set as Kent State took a 15-7 lead into the media time out. The Golden Flashes extended their lead to 20-12 after a kill by Danie Tyson. 

Kent State went on to win the second set 25-19 and tie up the match at 1-1 heading into intermission. Morgan Kopley led the way for the Golden Flashes with seven kills in the set, while Tilly and senior middle blocker Brinley Milbrath led the way for NIU with two kills each.

NIU took the third set 25-19. Milbrath added the final dagger with a match-winning kill.

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