After an impressive victory in their MAC home opener against Kent State, the Ohio Bobcats women’s volleyball team (7-7, 3-1 MAC) took their home floor again Friday night against the Eagles of Eastern Michigan (11-9, 1-3 MAC). The Bobcats again won in straight sets, beating the Eagles in straight sets by scores of 25-20, 25-17, and 25-13.
Outside of slow starts in sets one and three, the ‘Cats controlled the game from start to finish. In set one, Ohio took a 8-7 lead in and did not trail again until falling behind 5-4 in the third set. They would finish the game on a 18-9 run. Sophomores Kelly Lamberti and Chelsea Bilger led the Bobcats with fourteen kills apiece, while freshman libero Meredith Ashy lead the team with twenty-one digs. Rachel Iaquaniello led Eastern Michigan with ten kills and Sierra Reed lead the Eagles with fourteen digs.
“I thought the biggest keys were tonight that we were able to score points and we were able to stop them from scoring. They had ten kills or less per game and I mean, it sounds silly but I mean it,” said Coach Ryan Theis.
The ‘Cats started slow early until roaring back with four straight points to take a 9-7 lead. From then on, Ohio was in control looking like the far superior team. Set two was more of the same, the Bobcats cruised to a 25-17 set win. Bilger, in particular, played well in set two, leading the team with six kills.
Set three was the one point in the match all where the Bobcats looked vulnerable. They fell behind early and often, and had to keep battling back. In the end, they ripped off three straight points to finish of Eastern Michigan. Ashy, in particular, played an outstanding third period, registering nine digs in the frame, many of which came at crucial times when Ohio really needed a point. Her 21 digs were one more than she registered against Kent State. Ashy, as well as her team, seems to be hitting their
“[ We ] work hard in every single practice that we have. Work hard at getting better, my digging, hitting , blocking, and doing better at every little thing,” Ashy said.
With the win, Ohio remains in the thick of the MAC conference race. And having won nine straight sets, the Bobcats are also among the hottest teams in the league. “
Let’s worry about ten before we get eleven or twelve,” said Coach Theis was asked about the streak. “We are back at home that weeks, that helps, hopefully get a good turn out, make it a fun match. We got Akron and Buffalo coming here, so let’s see how it goes. It’s a weird season right now. I don’t know if BG won tonight, but we have one team undefeated in the league. Lots of parity, so it’s going to be a fun season to watch the race and hopefully, in the end, we are in position to compete for a championship.”