Ohio met its match Friday night as it welcomed in the visiting Texas A&M Aggies and fell in straight sets in its 2014 home opener.
Ohio was coming home after going 1-2 in the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational in Hawaii last weekend.
The Bobcats started strong in the first set as they opened up and early 5-1 lead after three attack errors by A&M. But the Aggies would answer with a 9-1 run that would force Ohio to use its first timeout.
Ohio wasn’t able to make up any ground until late in the set when four consecutive points cut the Aggies lead to just one. However, the comeback was spoiled as the Aggies’ Emily Hardesty’s kill stayed inside the back line to win the first set.
Set No. 2 was more of the same as Ohio once again started strong. Opening up with a 3-0 lead, Ohio got that lead to four on a kill by Abby Gilleland to make it 17-13. Once more, Ohio couldn’t close as the Aggies finished the set on an 11-3 run to take a 2-0 lead going into the intermission.
The Green and White started strong in the third set. After opening up a 10-3 lead and later a 16-8 advantage after four kills from Kelly Lamberti, once again it was an Aggies run that sealed the Bobcats fate. A&M used an 11-3 run to tie up the third set at 19 and would go on to battle Ohio to a 24-all tie. Shelby Sullivan and Hardesty delivered back-to-back kills to win the set and the game for A&M, 3-0.
“Each set we started out strong and had trouble closing,” Ohio coach Deane Webb said. “We got mentally tight and froze up and we could see it from the bench.”
In her first game in at The Convo, Shelby Walker had a great game as she tied with Kelly Lamberti for the most kills on the night with ten.
“Shelby really connected today,” Webb said. “It takes some time to get into the swing of things with a new lineup and a new setter, but Shelby really found the feel for it today.”
“We really fed of the energy of the crowd and the atmosphere in general was great,” Walker said. “We started strong and I think had a lack of discipline and couldn’t close out any of the sets.”
Walker and Lamberti each had double digit kills and Abby Gilleland had a great game, finishing just one kill away from a triple double. She finished with nine kills, ten digs and ten assists. Meredith Ashy was her normal self as she had nine assists and 12 digs.
The Aggies were lead by Shelby Sullivan and Ashlie Reasor, who each put up ten kills.
Ohio (1-3) will have a quick turn around as it will have a double header Saturday. First at noon in The Convo against VCU. A team Coach Webb said, “maybe the quickest team we see all year.”
Ohio will cap off their night with a 7 p.m. matchup against Virginia Tech.