Northwestern Snaps Ohio’s Streak

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Ohio’s five-match winning streak was broken Thursday as the Bobcats fell to Northwestern University in five sets (24-26, 25-22, 21-25, 25-20, 17-15) in their first game of the Wildcat Challenge in Evanston, Ill.

While the eight kills the Green and White recorded in the fifth set kept them competitive on the scoreboard, it was the nine errors in the set that ultimately sealed Ohio’s fate. The Bobcats had two match-point opportunities, leading 14-13 and 15-14, but the Huskie attackers always had an answer.

Northwestern hitter Yewande Akanbi recorded two of her total 21 kills on consecutive points to give Northwestern their first match point, 16-15. An attack error by freshman Jamie Kosiorek gave the Huskies the fifth set victory and a 3-2 match win.

The Bobcats matched the Huskies point for point in set one, never letting Northwestern gain more than a four-point lead.  Ohio tied the set at 18-all and exchanged points until a 24-24 tie. Back-to-back attack errors from outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek and right side hitter Hannah Burkle gave the Huskies the opening set and early match advantage.

Ohio’s offense came back strong in the second set, jumping to an early 15-7 lead behind strong net play from outside hitters Kosiorek and Kelly Lamberti. Together they combined for 45 of the team’s 68 kills, Lamberti with a match-high 23 and Kosiorek a career-high 21.  The Huskies would put together a 6-0 run late in the set to cut the lead to one, 22-21. Three attack errors from Northwestern’s front line would seal the second set for the green and white.

The Bobcats found the situation reversed in set three, as the Huskies were the ones to surge to an early 13-6 lead.  Two consecutive kills would bring Ohio within one, 21-20, but a 4-1 run by Northwestern ends the set 25-21 and give the Huskies 2-1 match lead.

Momentum would change yet again in set four with Lamberti doing all she could to push the match to set five. She recorded eights kills in the set alone and had a solid defensive night as well collecting 13 digs behind libero Meredith Ashy who had a team-high 20. Trailing 20-18, Ohio ended the match on a 7-0 run fueled by two kills from Kosiorek, one from Burkle and a service ace from setter Abby Gilleland to force a set five.

The Bobcats will look to bounce back Friday, Sept. 18 at 5:30 p.m. when they take on Green Bay in their final game of the Wildcat Challenge.