Bobcats cruise over Akron for ninth MAC win

Abby Gilleland rises to set the ball in Ohio's 3-game win over Akron. (Carl Fonticella)

Abby Gilleland rises to set the ball in Ohio’s 3-game win over Akron. (Carl Fonticella)

“Every match is just as important as the next one, can’t look past any opponent.” These were wise words said by Coach Theis as the Bobcats hosted an Akron team who has had a rough 2013 campaign.

Going into Friday’s game, these 2 teams couldn’t be more opposite, as the Bobcats came in with an 18-4 (8-2 MAC) record and Akron came in at a 6-15 mark and winless in 10 games against MAC opponents.

The Bobcats easily took care of the visiting Akron team, as expected, defeating them in straight sets (25-14,25-17, 25-13) to move to 19-4 (9-2 MAC),

The Bobcats started fast right on a 7-2 run to open the match, crushing any hopes the Zips had of playing spoiler. The Bobcats would add another extended run of 13-7 run to set up a win in the 1st set 25-14. Alexis Pinson, Mallory Salis and Katie Horton combined for 11 kills in the first set win.

The 2nd set continued with strong play from the Green and White. Akron did give some fight, going back and forth with Ohio at an 11 tie. Then, after the Bobcats rallied a 6-0 run, the Zips responded with their own 4-0 run to lower the deficit to 2. But the Bobcats were able to pull away, scoring 8 of the last 10 points to take the second set and a 2-0 lead in the match. The second set was highlighted by 2 aces by Gineva Yee who had perfect serve placement the entire game.

The Bobcats wasted no time putting the Zips away in the 3rd set, going on runs of 8-0 and 5-0 in route to a 25-13 win in the set.

In a losing effort, Akron’s one offensive stat to note was the team leading 9 kills by Julie Shallman and Ashley Holder accounted for 28 of the 30 kills for the Zips.

Defensively for Akron, Jill Paluch led the way with 18 digs.

For Ohio, they were without one of their leaders in killers Kelly Lamberti. Needing to step up, Mallory Salis led the way with 12 kills and Liis Kullerkann who had 9. Abby Gilleland had 33 of the Bobcats 40 kills.

Defensively, Meredith Ashy had 25 digs and Salis had 7 of her own.

“I think it was the most Meredith had in 1 game with the 25,” said Theis. “She really has had to play harder with Kelly out, and she has stepped up.”

After the match a delighted Coach Theis talked about his teams performance and in particular about Salis.

“She is just an exciting player, she goes out there and competes, does what she needs to do and is fun to watch,” said Theis

“Love playing with Mer,” said Salis. “It’s great to know we won’t let a ball hit the ground and that I have her back and she always has mine.”

The Bobcats victory will be short celebrated as they welcome in Buffalo tomorrow night at the Convo, a team that the Bobcats won in 4 sets against back on the road on September 27th.

“Buffalo blocked us 17 times last time we saw them so i’m excited to see how if we can avoid that with the adjustments we’ve prepared.”

First serve is at 7 p.m.

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