The Ohio women’s volleyball team fell for the first time in their 2013 regular season Saturday night vs. No. 24 North Carolina, 23-25, 16-25, 25-18, 25-22, 15-8.
The Bobcats (4-1) led the Tar Heels (5-0) two sets to none, but UNC then reeled off three consecutive sets to defeat the ‘Cats.
This is the second consecutive loss for Ohio against UNC, the first coming on September 15 a season ago. That match also went five sets.
“It’s definitely a learning experience,” Bobcats’ head coach Ryan Theis said. “We can learn a lot from five games.”
Leading the way for the Green & White in the losing effort was sophomore setter Abby Gilleland with 43 assists and 9 kills in the match.
“They played really well,” Gilleland said of the Tar Heels. “Part of our game plan was executing the middle and I think they took that away.”
Ohio lost junior hitter Chelsea Bilger early in the first set, putting the Bobcats at a disadvantage from the start. She suffered a lower leg injury and the extent of her injury is still unknown.
Coach Theis voiced his concern for Bilger after the match. “She’s been a top point scorer for us and might be out a while.”
After a convincing 25-16 second set by the Bobcats, UNC took over the match with pinpoint serves and a goal of eliminating Ohio’s middle attack.
“I thought they served terrifically. They made it impossible to kill the ball and adjusted well on Abby,” Theis said.
Jovana Bjelica led a balanced UNC attack with 16 kills. Jordyn Schnabl sparked Carolina’s comeback with 3 aces.