Ohio Sweeps Cincy In Afternoon Tune-Up

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Ohio Volleyball increased its consecutive sets won streak to 12 Friday, winning its home opener over Cincinnati, 25-13, 25-14, 25-23. Friday’s early-afternoon match served as a tune-up of sorts for a night match with No. 24 North Carolina.

“It was good to keep the momentum rolling,” head coach Ryan Theis said after the game. “It was good to be efficient and beat a team 3-0 so we’re not too terribly fatigued for tonight.”

North Carolina swept Dayton (25-14, 25-19, 25-23) to begin the Baymont Inn Invatational at the Convo Friday morning. The Tar Heels (4-0) are 12-1 in sets played this season.

“I know (the team is) fired up for tonight,” Theis said. “They’re a proud group. They like competitive games.”

Ohio easily took the first two sets Friday afternoon on a string of runs, playing in front of a home crowd for the first time this season.

The Bobcats held a steady lead early in the first set before closing the game on a 10-4 run. Ohio proceeded to play the second set to an 8-8 tie but won 17 of the next 23 points to take a 2-0 lead into the locker room for intermission.

The two teams played a much tighter third set before Ohio finally closed the deal.

“We talked about trying not to get frustrated,” Theis said. “Clearly Cincinnati was trying to fire balls off hands and score as much as they could … We kind of just had to fight it off.”

As a team Ohio hit .292 for the match and nearly doubled the Bearcats’ kill output (39-20). Katie Horton, Alexis Pinson and Karin Bull had eight kills apiece to pace the Bobcat offense. Bull added four block assists, and Abby Gilleland kept up her strong play with 27 assists, four kills on five attempts and seven digs.

Ohio will take the court at the Convo a second time at 7 p.m. Friday to play against its second AVCA Top-25 team of the season.

“Physically we might be in a situation where we’re taking Sunday and Monday off,” Theis said. “Right now it’s game time so no matter how they feel they’ve got to gut it up and get out there.”