Ohio Defeats Ball State for Seventh Straight Win

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Ohio extended its winning streak to seven in straight sets against Ball State, winning 25-23, 25-22 and 25-12 on Saturday night. Ohio’s win was fueled by a strong finish, as the Bobcats pulled away from Ball State in the third set.

The Bobcats were led by freshman Karin Bull and sophomore Kelly Lamberti, who each amassed nine kills in the match. Bull played especially well, hitting 60 percent for the night. 
Ohio took an early 2-0 lead on Ball State on a kill by Chelsea Bilger and an attack error by Ball State. 
After taking the lead the Bobcats fell behind, until finally tying up the set at 15-15. The teams tied two more times before taking the lead at 20-19 on a kill by Leah Petrovich. The Bobcats were able to win the first set 25- 23 on a kill by Serena Warner.
“We blocked really well in the first set, which won it for us,” said Ohio head coach Ryan Theis.
Playing from behind or tied for most of the first set, the second set played out much better for the Bobcats as they never trailed the Cardinals after being down 0-1. 
Ball State played well with a lineup thinned by injury. The Cardinals kept within only a few points of Ohio until the Bobcats jumped ahead 18-12, on a service ace by freshman libero Meredith Ashy. Ball State fought back to 24-22, but lost the set 25-22 on a kill by freshman setter Abby Gilleland. 
Gilleland was noted for having a great game by her coach, with 28 assists. 
Theis said it was a challenge to prepare for the banged up Cardinals. 
“We had to learn on the fly against the new lineup,” said Theis. “It was not the lineup we prepared for.”
The extent of the weakened Cardinals became clear in the decisive third set victory for Ohio. The Bobcats took the lead at 3-2 on an ace by Warner, and jumped ahead to 10-3 on another kill by Karin Bull. Ball State rallied, coming within four of Ohio at 13-9, but were outscored 12-3 the rest of the set as Ohio won the set 25-12 on a combined block by Bull and Bilger. 
The Bobcats finished the night with 40 kills, 37 assists and 47 digs.
 “In a 3-0 win, the offense is rolling and hitting around .300,” said Theis, summing up the victory. 
Ohio takes on Northern Illinois on Oct. 19 at 7:00 P.M. in Athens.