The Ohio Bobcats pushed their winning streak to 13 games on Saturday when they rolled over Eastern Michigan in four sets: 25-20, 19-25, 25-19, 25-20.
Ohio once again started the match hot, opening up a 9-4 advantage with five different Bobcats getting involved in the scoring. The Green and White held a four-point lead throughout the entire set before scoring the final two points to take an early 1-0 set lead at 25-20.
It was then Eastern Michigan who got off to a quick start in set No. 2, opening up a 5-1 lead thanks to two Ohio errors. Ohio was able to take the lead later in the set with a 4-0 run that forced an Eastern Michigan timeout. After the timeout, Eastern Michigan responded to Ohio’s surge by scoring 11 of the final 15 points to win the set 25-19 and go into the half tied 1-1.
Ohio’s second half play was pure dominance from the start. In the third set, the Bobcats had three different 3-0 runs that gave them a 15-7 lead, a lead they would not surrender. Eastern Michigan gave its best come back attempt with a 6-0 run that forced Ohio coach Deane Webb to call a timeout, which was proceeded by a 5-0 Bobcat run that set them up for a 25-19 set win of their own to go up 2-1.
Set No. 4 was more of the same as once again Ohio got out to a hot start. After battling to a 7-7 tie, Ohio rallied off four consecutive points to once again force an Eagles timeout. Ohio would lead by as much as eight after multiple kills by Abby Gilleland and Chelsea Bilger. Eastern Michigan cut the Ohio lead to four after a 5-0 run, but once again it was Bilger, whose kill finished off the set and the match.
EMU (15-11,6-6 MAC) was lead by Jill Briner, who finished just three kills away from a triple double (7 kills, 35 assists, 20 digs), while Stacy Perinar led the team with 13 kills of her own.
Ohio (19-4,12-0 MAC) was lead by Chelsea Bilger, who missed a majority of the 2013 season due to injury. She was one of two Bobcats to total double digit kills with 12.
“Chelsea has been advancing each week and we noticed a few weeks ago she was ready to attack,” Ohio coach Deane Webb said. “It was great to see a kid getting back out there.”
Kelly Lamberti led the way in kills for Ohio with 14 as well as digs with 18. Libero Meredith Ashy finished with 15 digs and Brooke Coleman once again chipped in with double digit digs, finishing with 11.
“We’re very fortunate to have a lot of chemistry on the team,” Bilger said. “There’s great energy out there.”
Karin Bull, who finished with nine kills and three digs, said about Bilger’s return, “It was so great to play with Chelsea again, she brings a lot of energy to the floor.”
Ohio will now go on the road for the final time in the regular season, as it travels to face Akron (8-19, 2-10 MAC) on Friday, and Buffalo (14-12, 4-8) on Saturday. Both games are scheduled for 7 p.m. start times.