Ohio Downs Syracuse, Takes Tournament Title

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The Ohio University volleyball team took the title of the Millennium Hotel Invitational with a 3-1 win over Syracuse University (25-22, 25-15, 16-25, 25-13) on Saturday in Cincinnati.

"Every time we go out and do something really well, it just gets our team a little more confident that we're moving toward their potential," Ohio coach Deane Webb said. "They keep getting an idea of how good of a team we can be."

Senior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player, posting double-double with a match-high 15 kills and 11 digs.  She reached double-digit kills for the seventh straight match and ended the weekend with 43 kills, eight blocks and six service aces.

With the first set knotted at 12-all, the Bobcats (6-3) took command and never looked back, building a five-point advantage at 18-13. A 6-2 run by the Orange (5-4) cut Ohio’s lead to 20-19, but the 'Cats responded back with a 4-1 swing thanks to the net play of junior Shelby Walker, senior Hannah Burkle and Lamberti. Syracuse cut Ohio’s lead to 24-22, but a kill by Lamberti would clinch the first set for the Bobcats.

Ohio set the tone early in the second set, gaining a 14-8 lead with the help of two Jaime Kosiorek kills and ace. The freshman ended the match with nine kills and three aces. Syracuse would cut the Ohio lead to two four times, but the Bobcats would close the set on an 8-0 run.

The Bobcats were unable to sweep the Orange, who took control of the third set immediately and rallied to win the game with a 9-point cushion.

The Green and White bounced back, taking the fourth set with a 12-point advantage to seal their fifth straight victory.

Junior setter Abby Gilleland and junior libero Meredith Ashy joined Lamberti on the All-2014 Millennium Hotel Invitational Team. Gilleland matched her season high 45 assists in the match and finished the weekend with 123 assists. Ashy put forth another solid effort on defense with 13 digs.

Burkle posted double-digit kills for the first time in her career with 10. Junior middle blocker Karin Bull contributed eight kills and three blocks.

“I would say this weekend we gained a little more balance. Seeing several players have good matches, it was great to see,” Webb said.