Defending MAC Champ Central Michigan Snaps Ohio’s 12-Match Win Streak

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Despite mid-match efforts, Ohio Volleyball (17-9, 12-2) fell short on the night, losing to Central Michigan (13-12, 7-7) in five sets, 20-25, 24-26, 25-20, 25-23, 12-15. The loss puts an end to Ohio’s 12-match winning streak. However, the Bobcats remain in first place in the league with one weekend left to play in the regular season.

“I never fully know how much of a factor crowd noise is or another team with energy playing affects our ability to kill. I do know they played great on defense and that made it hard,” said Head Coach Ryan Theis. “I think it was a defensive battle that in the end they got a three point run because their defense was playing really well. I think (CMU outside hitter Val) Deweerd came through in the clutch and gave them the offense one team needed. We needed to have someone do that back and we just didn’t.”

Kelly Lamberti turned in a strong performance with 19 kills and 19 digs. Faith Robins landed double-digits as well, completing 10 kills for the Bobcats. Meredith Ashy was a strong focal point for the defense, with a team-high 21 digs. Abby Gilleland finished the match with 33 assists for the second game in a row. Ohio set its highest total of the season in blocks with 17. Nine of those came from Karin Bull, who had five in the third set.

In game one, the Chippewas took the lead and never looked back. Central Michigan went on to win that set, 25-20.

The second game proved to be more of a fight for both teams as they endured a back-and-forth battle. Central Michigan barely edged Ohio with a 26-24 victory.

Set three looked to be in the Bobcats favor as they only trailed once, in early play. Ohio volleyball would go on to be triumphant in games three and four with scores of 25-20 and 25-23 respectively.

In the fifth and final set, Central Michigan outlasted Ohio as they went on to win 15-12.

When asked about upcoming road trips, Head Coach Ryan Theis responded, “I don’t know how we will approach it yet. Right now we are just reflecting. We want to learn from this loss and hopefully go into next week a little bit higher in energy, a little bit more hungry and maybe play a little bit better on the road next weekend than we did this weekend.”

Ohio will round out regular season play with trips to Buffalo and Akron. The Bobcats play the Bulls Friday night before facing the Zips on Saturday at 5 p.m.