Updated Sat, Nov 23, 2013 12:04 am
It was business as usual for Ohio Volleyball on Friday. The Bobcats executed their way to a sweep of Kent State in the first round of the Mid-American Conference Tournamanet in Geneva, Ohio, 25-21, 25-23, 25-19, extending their sets-won streak to 10.
Ohio has not dropped a set in more than three matches -- not since winning back-to-back five-setters on the road against Bowling Green and Miami two weekends ago.
In those matches, Ohio struggled with consistency. Bowling Green and Miami provided stiff tests, keeping up with the MAC's top team in almost every statistical category. Head coach Ryan Theis said that weekend required a couple gutsy performances to make it through without a loss.
Since then, Ohio has played at a highly efficient level, cruising by a Kent State team that had already beated the Bobcats and the always-pesky Central Michigan Chippewas in three sets each.
The first round of the MAC Championship was no different.
An 11-4 run in the middle of a tight first set gave Ohio an edge.
An 8-1 run in the second brought the 'Cats back from a deficit. And though Kent stormed back with a 5-0 run of its own to take an 18-17 lead, the Bobcats rallied to win four of the next five for a 21-19 lead. A 4-2 run closed the set and put Ohio up 2-0 at the break.
An 11-1 run early in the third set sealed the deal.
Junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti led the way with 13 kills as All-MAC Freshman team honoree Katie Horton followed with 11.
2013 MAC Player of the Year Abby Gilleland had 37 assists.
Ohio out-killed Kent State 44-33 (.252-.152), and landed eight service aces.
The Bobcats will play five-seed Northern Illinois in the second round of the MAC Championship Saturday at 2:30 p.m.