Published Fri, Nov 9, 2012 9:54 pm Dateline
Coming off a five-set loss at Central Michigan last weekend, the Ohio Bobcats (18-9, 13-2) volleyball team hoped to get back in the win column Friday night as they headed to New York to take on the Buffalo Bulls (9-18, 3-12). The Bobcats won in straight sets for the fifteenth time this year: 25-12, 25-17, and 25-15.
Ohio jumped out to an early lead and found itself in front of the Bulls the entire night.
Midway through the first set, the ‘Cats racked up a comfortable 15-4 advantage that led to a Bulls timeout. The Bulls, however, failed to get much going after this break of play and finished the set producing only eight kills, while generating seven errors in the process. The Bobcats, on the other hand, closed the first set with 16 kills and only two errors.
“I thought we had offense and defense going,” said head coach Ryan Theis. “I thought we put great service pressure on them (and) I thought we established some blocks early. I think everything was clicking, both offense and defense. Passers were doing a great job, servers were doing a great job. It was a fun one.”
The story of the night for the Bobcats was freshman setter Abby Gilleland.
Gilleland accounted for 46 of the ‘Cats 48 assists, matching her season high. She also tacked on an additional nine digs while freshman libero Meredith Ashy contributed a team high 19 digs. The front row players also helped guide the ‘Cats to victory with sophomore hitters Kelly Lamberti and Chelsea Bilger tallying 15 and nine kills, respectively.
“In a match like that, I think everyone played well,” said head coach Ryan Theis. “I think that’s the key when you see scores like that, it’s that everyone has to be playing pretty well. I thought Abby set well, I thought that made all the hitters look good, and I thought our passers made Abby look good.”
It was an all-around team effort for Ohio as the Bobcats dominated the Bulls on both sides of the net. The ‘Cats out-killed the Bulls 49-30 and outperformed them 51-41 in the dig column. With a chip on their shoulder from last weekends loss and momentum from the first set, the Bobcats got off to quick starts in the second and third sets, which ultimately led to their sweep of the Bulls.
Tomorrow, the Bobcats look to close the regular season and enter MAC Tournament play on a two-match winning streak at the University of Akron (16-11, 9-6).
“Tomorrow is for a ring, and whether it’s co-champion or outright champions, tomorrow night we’re playing—it means a lot. We’re not looking to the MAC tournament yet,” said head coach Ryan Theis. “We set our goal this season of winning the MAC championship and the conference tournament is almost post-season, so for us, this one means a lot tomorrow. We’re definitely not looking past that, and our team wants to compete to get a chance to win a ring.”