Two Crucial Matches in Ohio’s Final Homestand

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Ohio volleyball (14-8, 9-1 MAC) will play its two most important matches to date when rival Miami and MAC leader Bowling Green visit Athens Friday and Saturday night.

The Bobcats are playing their most consistent volleyball of the season, riding a nine-match win streak into the weekend.  Ohio has dominated its opponents over the course of the streak; winning 27 sets, while only dropping three. 

But despite their domination, the Bobcats are still in a dead heat for the top spot in the MAC-East standings with the Bowling Green Falcons (14-8, 9-1 MAC), the only MAC opponent to defeat Ohio this season.

The Bobcats dropped their first match of MAC competition when they lost in straight sets at Bowling Green.  The Falcons were undefeated in conference play until they were upset at home by Ball State on October 19. 

The loss knotted the record of the Falcons with the record of the streaking ‘Cats, setting up a marquee matchup on Saturday night for first place in the division.  Ohio has won the MAC-East every year that coach Ryan Theis has been at the helm of the program.

Despite the heated competition atop the MAC-East standings, coach Theis and his players are excited for the challenge.

“We’re excited to play against these two teams. We’re competing to try to win a championship,” said Theis.  “I think we are really fueled to do that.  We’re in it to win it and we’re excited to be at home against two really good teams.”

Before it can start thinking about the top position in the standings, Ohio will have to defeat the Miami RedHawks (8-15, 3-7 MAC) on Friday in its “Dig Pink” night to raise breast cancer awareness.

While Miami’s record may not look intimidating, the RedHawks are on a roll of their own, winning each of their last three matches.

Regardless, Theis and his team are excited to have the opportunity to play these two pivotal games in the friendly confines of the Convo.

“Our team loves [playing at home],” Theis said, “The fans provide a lot of energy.  This has been of the best years in terms of fan knowledge of the game.  Our community is really learning and growing in the sport of volleyball.”

Both Friday’s match against Miami and Saturday’s match against Bowling Green will take place at 7 p.m. at the Convocation Center. 

Wins in both of these contests will put the Bobcats in great position to defend their perennial division title going into the final four games of MAC play, all of which will be on the road.