Volleyball: Ohio Defeats Niagara To Open Bobcat Invitational

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After a slow start to its season, Ohio Volleyball opened the Bobcat Volleyball Invitational by downing the Niagara Purple Eagles, in straight sets, 25-13, 25-20, 25-23, for its second win of the season.

“I was pleased with our ability to finish games”, Head Coach Ryan Theis stated after the win. “We were offensively efficient today.”

That efficiency was thanks in part to the stellar play of Sophomore Kelly Lamberti. “I thought she played great today,” said a proud Coach Theis. “She certainly was competitive.” Lamberti recorded 17 kills and 11 digs, starting off early in the first set and never slowing down.

Ohio went on an early run to gain an 11-5 lead. After regrouping during a timeout, Niagara was able to cut the Bobcat’s lead to 13-10, but Ohio quickly regained momentum. Faith Robbins fired back with a kill that led to 5 unanswered points for Ohio.

After another timeout by Niagara, Kelly Lamberti took the game by the reigns. She led Ohio to win the first set 25-13 in commanding fashion, finishing the first set with 7 kills. “Everything was just flowing,” Lamberti said with a smile.

Lamberti picked up right where she left off in the first set with an ace to give Ohio a 1-0 lead. Taking a 15-9 lead in the second set, Ohio forced Niagara to take a timeout once more. The timeout seemed to help Niagara, as they tied the set up 19-19. But Ohio proved too much for the Purple Eagles, winning the set 25-20.

Determined not to go out easily, the Purple Eagles put up their best fight in the third set, controlling much of the first half of the set. The set was tied at 15 when Kelly Lamberti once again took control of the court. She sparked a three-point rally giving the Cat’s an 18-15 lead. Niagara responded with a three-point run tying it up 18-18. But, under Lamberti’s leadership the Cats’ took a close one, winning 25-23 in a battle that went down to the end.

The win improved Ohio’s record to 2-5. “It feels really good to start the tournament off 1-0,” said a visibly tired Lamberti after the game. The Cats’ don’t have much time to celebrate their win though, as they will take on Belmont tonight at 7 in the Convocation Center. “Hopefully they’ll get some rest,” Coach Theis said when asked about how hard it will be for his players to come back out on the court tonight. “The fact that we’ll be at home on a Friday night is hopefully motivation enough for us to come out with some energy.”