Perhaps it was the hype of the crowd and the Bobcat’s Alumni Band displaying their their new, “We are Ohio” scarves, or just the drive of a determined team to win at home, but the Bobcats (10-8, 5-1) continued their winning streak tonight, blanking the Buffalo Bulls and have now won five straight matches. The Bobcats have also increased their season record of consecutive set wins to 15, having swept their opponents in five straight games.
“We know we have to defend our home court, so when we are here, we just know we have to play extremely hard,” said sophomore Kelly Lamberti who finished with 12 kills.
Going into the match, Ohio knew that Buffalo would not be an easy opponent, as they are ranked second in the MAC in blocks per set, trailing only the Bobcats.This fact held true, as both teams are strong defensively and the beginning of the set remained consistently back and forth. However, as the set continued, Ohio gained a steady lead and finished the set with a victory of 25-18. Coach Ryan Theis said getting ahead early was pivotal to the Bobcat success.
“Typically pulling ahead of teams you have to be playing pretty good defense and pretty good transition offense. So if both of those get rolling, you have a good chance to get ahead.” Theis said.
Senior Leah Petrovich, played particularly well and ended the first set with 12 assists, a kill and a block. She finished the game leading her team with 25 assists total.
After having played their last four games at home, the Bobcats are now preparing to put their winning streak to the test, facing their next two opponents, Toledo and Ball State, on the road. Even with this new change in environment, however, their strategy remains the same.
“As simple as it sounds, I said it last weekend, if we can score, we are pretty good at stopping teams from scoring. We have one of the better defenses in the league and if can get our offense going, we are pretty good,” Theis said.