Volleyball: Ohio Volleyball loses its first conference match to Ball State

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Ohio’s streak is done.

The ‘Cats lost their first conference match since mid-way through the 2010 season tonight to the Ball State Cardinals 3-1.

Giving up the first point of the set proved to be the Achilles heel for the Bobcats tonight in their match against the Ball State Cardinals. After dropping the first point to the Cardinals, Ohio came back with back-to-back kills from Kelly Lamberti and Chelsea Bilger. After gaining an early six-point run, the Bobcats appeared to be off to the right start. Ball State had some scoring runs of its own, but never scored more than four points at a time, thanks to the Bobcats. Ohio held the lead until the very end of the set when the Cardinals caught up to the Bobcats at 22-22. The fight for the final points was aggressive, and the Cardinals came from behind to take the first set 25-23.

Losing the first point for the second set in a row, Ohio had a rough start in the second set. The Bobcats allowed Ball State the first three points, while earning only one point for a service error by Ball State. Chelsea Bilger finally gave the Bobcats their first non-forced error point of the set with a kill, bringing the score to 6-3, Ball State. The Bobcats continued to fall behind, and were down 11 points near the end of the set. But Ohio didn’t go down without a fight and led an aggressive four-point run to bring the score to 22-15. Ball State closed out the second set 25-16.

Ohio got first point in the third set thanks to a kill by Katie Post. After a three point run, Ohio gives up a service error giving the Cardinals their first point.  Ohio quickly took back the momentum and pushed Ball State into a time out at 6-2, Bobcats. Despite this early push, it was not enough to hold off the Cardinals long. They closed the Bobcats’ lead to a one-point gap, and manage to keep the rest of the set a close match. As the Bobcats fight to keep their lead, Ball State caught up at 16-16, only to give up a service error. Ohio was able to keep the lead the remainder of the set and thanks to a final kill by Kelly Lamberti, Ohio wins their first set of the night 25-20.

Ball State came into the fourth set swinging, earning the first two points with a kill by Jennifer Boyd and a service ace from Jaqui Seidel. Ohio couldn’t catch up to the early deficit and was behind for the rest of the set. After a frustrating final set for the Bobcats, Ball State takes the final set 25-15 and the game 3-1.

“They played better than us tonight,” said Bobcat Coach Ryan Theis. “I think both teams had spurts of good play, [Ball State] I think they had more of them.”

Theis hopes that the team can take this loss and use it as motivation for a win Saturday night at home against Toledo. Although tonight was the team’s first conference loss, Theis is not concerned about losing their undefeated title.

“I certainly didn’t have the impression at the beginning of the year that we would be an undefeated team, I don’t know that any player on our team did.”

The Bobcats will try again for a win Saturday night on their home court against Toledo.