(Daniel Rader/WOUB)

Cougars Top Bobcats of First Round of NCAA Tournament

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The Ohio Volleyball team gave 13 seed BYU all they could handle and then some Friday night, but it came up a bit short, losing 3-1. (25-19, 25-23, 25-17 and 26-24).

Ohio came out firing in the first set. In fact, the team played nearly flawlessly.  The Bobcats had 18 kills to just two errors and hit a remarkable .679. The Cougars led 6-5 early in the first set, but junior Mallory Salis tied the match at six with one of her match-high 21 kills. Two straight Cougar attack errors gave Ohio an 8-6 lead, a lead they would not give up.  Ohio went on a 7-5 run and led 15-11 going into the media timeout. During the run, Abby Gilleland, Shelby Walker, Ali Lake and Salis all had kills. A kill by Karin Bull gave Ohio a 19-15 lead. An attack error gave Ohio its 25th point and ended the set. During the set, Ohio held BYU to zero services aces and zero blocks, which is rare considering BYU is a great serving team and one of the best blocking teams in the country.

The second set started off with BYU scoring four of the first five points. The cougars began to turn things around when they started to get their hands on the hits by Ohio. Then the serving came along. They had back-to-back service aces and led 10-6. But Ohio would not go away. It scored the next four points thanks to kills by Bull and Gilleland as well as two errors by BYU. The Cougars responded with five straight points of their own and led 15-10 going into the media timeout. The theme of runs continued after the timeout when Ohio scored the next four points thanks in part to Jaime Kosiorek’s two kills.  The two teams traded points until a kill by Alexa Gray gave BYU a 20-18 lead. Ohio scored two straight points and trailed 21-20, but that is all the closer it got. After two sets, the match was tied 1-1. Salis had 11 kills. However, for BYU Amy Boswell made her presence known with 13 kills and zero hitting errors.

The third set was all BYU. Two straight aces gave them a 6-4 lead. BYU led 15-10 at the media timeout. The two teams traded the next 10 points, and BYU held a 20-15 lead. Ohio could not get any closer. During that set Ohio had six hitting errors and hit only .184. BYU also had three aces in that set.

Headed into the fourth, BYU got out to a 7-5 lead and it looked like they had Ohio figured out and would roll to another victory. But Ohio would have none of it. A kill by Bull tied it at eight. The two teams traded points until two straight BYU errors made it 15-12 at the media timeout. After the timeout, BYU scored the next three points to tie it. The two teams traded the next 10 points and the match was tied at 20. Ohio trailed 22-20, but Kills by Kosiorek and Salis tied it again. One last Salis kill fended off a match point and tied it at 24, but BYU scored the next two points and won the match 3-1.

The loss ends Ohio’s season in the first round of the tournament. It also ends the careers of Abby Gilleland, Meredith Ashy, Karin Bull, Shelby Walker and Aubree Hord.