Bobcats Beat Ohio State, 3-1

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Ohio volleyball won its second match of the Millennium Hotel Invitational in Cincinnati after defeating in-state rival Ohio State University, 3-1 (28-26, 25-22, 24-26, 25-21) Saturday morning.

“It was an interesting match,” said Coach Webb. “The first set was a defensive struggle.”

The ‘Cats (5-3) held a 18-12 lead in the first set, only to see OSU (5-3) gnaw away at the lead to come within one 22-21. The teams traded 15 lead changes until a kill by setter Abby Gilleland ended the first set in Ohio’s favor, 28-26.

Each set was a struggle, as the Bobcats never really shook the hindering Buckeyes. Ohio persevered though, increasing their hitting percentage at the net each set and utilizing a more balanced approach.

“We achieved a little more balance with our kills, got our middle (blockers) involved,” said Webb.

Senior Hannah Burkle and junior Karin Bull saw most of the action in the middle position as they combined for 20 of the team’s 54 kills. They also were credited with five of the team’s ten blocks.

Even though Ohio State beat the Bobcats on some aspects of the stat sheet, Ohio executed effectively during long volleys and in the late points of the game. The Green and White also recorded nine aces to the Buckeye’s five.

“Our win percentage of those long rallies was high today,” said Webb. “All points on the score board are worth one, but there are some that are worth more, and we won the big points.”

After falling in a close third set, 26-24, the Bobcats regrouped to take the lead in the fourth. The Buckeyes brought the score to 18-all, but Ohio ended the match on a 7-3 run.

The win was the first against a member of the Big Ten — one of Division I volleyball’s premier conferences — for all of the players on Ohio’s roster.

Coach Webb’s key to success resides within perseverance and discipline.

“We have to be the harder working team and I think our kids really, really worked hard today,” he said.