Ohio came into a Thursday night matchup at home vs. Kent State with the hopes of taking the No. 1 seed in the MAC Tournament with a win.
Ohio didn’t waste anytime putting away Kent as they pounced the Golden Flashes in 3 straight sets (25-13, 25-15, 25-17) to take the top seed.
The Bobcats jumped to an early 6-2 lead in the first set, which set the tone for the rest of the match. The Bobcats totaled 15 kills and Katie Horton led Ohio with 5 in the dominating set.
The 2nd set was more of the same for Ohio, The Golden Flashes cut the Bobcat lead to 2 at 10-8, but Ohio quickly put the set away scoring the next 13 of 17 points. Karin Bull later put the set to bed with an enormous kill that put the Bobcats up 2-0 into the match going into halftime.
The Bobcats were looking to stop Liz Reikow, who had totaled 7 kills in the first two sets combined and had been giving Ohio fits so far. The third set she was held to just a single kill, while six different Bobcats racked up kills of their own, including five from Liis Kullerkann. It was Abby Gilleland and Mallory Salis who finished off the Golden Flashes in the final set with back-to-back kills that gave the Bobcats the win in three sets, as well as the No. 1 seed in the MAC Tournament.
Offensively for the Golden Flashes, Reikow and Bridget Wilhelm each had 8 kills. While Aleksandra Nowak had 27 of Kent’State’s 30 assists.
Leading the way for Kent in the digs department was Nowak who tallied 8 and Hannah Herc with 7.
In their 23rd win of the season, Ohio did not have a single player with double digit kills. Katie Horton and Kelly Lamberti led the way with eight, Alexis Pinson with seven, and Karin Bull along with Abby Gilleland each had 6.
Coach Theis was impressed with the diversity in the stat column.
“That’s the fun part about this team, a different night somebody can get you,” he said. “On a night like tonight where everyone is efficient, it’s like clockwork.”
Gilleland dominated the assists column however with 34 of Ohio’s 43 assists. It’s also worth noting that Gilleland’s .667 kill percentage was 2nd on the team for any Bobcat with over 2 kills.
The Bobcat defensive leaders included Meredith Ashy who had a solid 14 dig performance. Brooke Coleman was 2nd on the team with 7 digs.
Ohio was greeted with a nice size crowd, as ESPN 3 was also there to televise the match. Gilleland explained how great that was too see.
“We love it, we love winning in front of them,” she said. “We love earning their respect and hoping they will come back.”
The season isn’t over yet for the Bobcats, as they finish off the regular season Saturday by welcoming in Central Michigan to the convo.
“The Regular Season isn’t over yet, and we’re still gonna play hard,” said Pinson