Volleyball: Ohio beats VCU in straight sets

Ohio's Kelly Lamberti goes up for a spike on Friday night. Lamberti starred on Saturday as Ohio beat VCU in straight sets. Photo by Carl Fonticella.

Ohio’s Kelly Lamberti goes up for a spike on Friday night. Lamberti starred on Saturday as Ohio beat VCU in straight sets. Photo by Carl Fonticella.

After losing in three consecutive sets to Texas A&M on Friday, Ohio didn’t want to repeat that effort as it sought out its first home victory against the Virginia Commonwealth Rams.

The Convo was buzzing with energy Saturday afternoon as the Bobcats battled the Rams through a total of three sets, each of which Ohio came out victorious.

The first set, Ohio’s most dominant of the three, started off with a quick 2-0 lead by Ohio after an attack error by VCU and a kill by Kelly Lamberti. The Bobcats then went on a 4-1 run after three more attack errors by the Rams.

VCU was not about to give up, though, as they cut down the lead to three later in the set. A lead of three was plenty for Ohio as the Bobcats then dominated their way to a 25-17 victory.

The second set seemed to have the same atmosphere as the first as Ohio blanked the Rams to a 4-0 lead after two attack errors and two aces by Abby Gilleland. However, the rest of the set would be a battle back and forth as each team had their eyes set on winning.

The Rams took a 14-13 lead after an attack error by Ali Lake. VCU then continued to not back down as the Rams’ Nora Reid racked up multiple kills. Ohio did not help its cause by committing several service errors.

With the Bobcats trailing 23-21, the team went on a 5-1 run to win the second set and headed into the break with a 2-0 lead.

The third set had no clear dominant team early on as the score was constantly shifting between VCU and Ohio. The Rams’ Janelle Sykes then produced several kills to give VCU a 12-9 lead. That would be the last time a definite lead would occur as the rest of the set went back to being an all-out battle. With the score tied at 20, Ohio went on a 5-0 run to secure a 3-0 win after kills by Lamberti and Mallory Salis.

“We attacked well, we attacked efficiently,” Ohio coach Deane Webb said. “A number of players did a great job.

“There are still some things we need to work on as a team, but overall, we are trending upwards.”

Kelly Lamberti had a outstanding day. She  finished the game with 15 kills and was one dig away from a double double.

“We are excited to finally have our first win at home,” Lamberti said. “There are a couple things we still need to work on, but I think they kind of progressively got better.”

“Kelly had a great match and we are glad that she is able to provide that for us,” Webb said.

Lamberti was the only Bobcat to finish with double digit kills, and Meredith Ashy and Brooke Coleman both finished the match with ten digs.

The Rams were led by Janelle Sykes, who put up ten kills in three sets.

Ohio (2-3) will finish off Saturday with a game at 7 p.m. against Virginia Tech, a team Coach Webb calls, “the most balanced team that we have played yet.”

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