Ohio Drops First MAC Contest in Straight Sets

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The Ohio Bobcats volleyball team suffered just their second loss to Bowling Green since 2001 in a 3-0 shutout Friday night. Bowling Green (5-7) dominated the stat lines and had firm control over most of the match.

“I don’t think we were clicking on all cylinders and I thought we looked a little slow,” Bobcats coach Ryan Theis said.  “We didn’t finish games and we didn’t pull ahead in games.”

The turning point in the match was in the second set when the Falcons took complete control and never relinquished it.

The Bobcats( 5-8) took an early 9-6 lead in the second set before Bowling Green ran off eight straight points to take a 14-9 lead.  After a kill by Ohio’s Chelsea Bilger to break up the point streak, the Falcons rallied for three more points to extend their advantage to what proved to be an insurmountable 17-10 lead.  The Falcons would go on to take the set 25-15.

The first set was back and forth between the two teams as points continued to be traded throughout the set, which ended in a 25-23 victory for Bowling Green.

The final set was more like the first set than the second up until the last few points.  It was 21-20 Bowling Green, but the Falcons finished off the game with three straight kills and a block to win the last set 25-20 and the match.

Overall, it was a tough night for the Bobcats offensively.  The leading point scorer was Chelsea Bilger with nine points, followed by Serena Warner with 8.5 points.  Setter Abby Gilleland had 20 assists for the Bobcats and Kelly Lamberti, last week’s MAC Co-Offensive Player of the Week, had 12 digs, but only recorded five kills.  The Bobcats only had 12 team errors on defense, but the offense could only muster 38 points and 29 kills.

“I thought just about everybody on their team played pretty well,” Theis added.  “I thought their plan was very effective because I don’t think any of our players played very well.”

Bowling Green more than doubled the Bobcats in kills, with 51, and scored 63 points.  Leading the way for the Falcons was Paige Penrod with 15 points, 14 kills and 13 digs.  Teammate Lauren Avila had 37 assists for the Falcons on a .800 hit percentage.  The Falcons has 17 errors as a team with Penrod having eight herself.

The ‘Cats will look to bounce back quickly as they stay on the road, traveling to Miami (Ohio) for a match with the RedHawks at 7 p.m. Saturday evening.