Volleyball: Big Game from Lamberti Can’t Stop Broncos

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A big weekend for the Ohio volleyball team opened with a rocky start, as the Western Michigan Broncos swept the Bobcats 25-19, 25-14, 25-19.

The win for the Broncos kept alive a four-game regular season winning streak against Bobcats dating back to 2007. Western improved to 18-5 (7-2 MAC) and Ohio dropped to 15-8 (7-2).

Despite the sweep, Ohio kept it close for the first half of game one. Led by six early kills by Kelly Lamberti, Ohio held even with the Broncos through 16 points. However, a run of three straight points by Western, including a service ace from Nicole Straverman, put the Bobcats into a hole from which they would never recover. Three additional kills from Western’s Ashley Turnage helped the Broncos close out the set 25-19.

The story was not much different in set two. Ohio held close with the Broncos for the first half of the set, and even led 10-8. Kelly Lamberti led the way again for the Bobcats with four kills, but after a Katie Post service error, the wheels fell off. Jessica Brown had four straight kills for the Broncos as Western Michigan pulled away. They took 13 of the next 15 points to win game two 25-14.

Ohio could not dig itself out of the hole. Both teams traded points early in game three and were tied at eight. The momentum shifted when a Bailey Karst attack error opened the door for five straight Western Michigan points. Ohio attempted to climb back in the game on three more Lamberti kills, but the Broncos wouldn’t be denied. Two Turnage blocks sealed the deal for the Broncos, and they took the final set 25-19.

Despite the loss, Kelly Lamberti continued her stellar freshman campaign, leading the team with 18 kills and 10 digs. However, it was another great defensive performance from Western Michigan libero Lena Oliver (17 digs) that allowed the Broncos to at least retain a share of second place in the MAC West.

The road trip continues Saturday for the Bobcats, who will make the three-hour trip to DeKalb to take on Northern Illinois to take on the Huskies.