Ohio Extends Win Streak To Eight

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Ohio increased its winning streak to eight and gained a two-game Mid-American Conference East Division lead with a 3-1 victory over Ball State (25-8, 20-25, 25-20, 25-18) in Muncie, Ind., Friday night.

The Bobcats started the night with their most dominant set of the season so far, defeating the Cardinals 25-8. Ball State only posted a total of four kills in set one while Karin Bull recorded that number of kills individually.

“Set one was a shocker in that we played almost unbelievably well, and Ball State seemed to be tight to start the match,” Ohio coach Deane Webb said. “We knew the rest of the match would be more competitive, and it was.”

Bull, a junior middle blocker, had a career night for the Bobcats (14-4,7-0 MAC) recording the third best attack percentage in program history. She connected at a .812 clip and notched a season-high 13 kills.

“Karin was just incredible attacking,” Webb said. “And our passers got us in system enough that she could not only hit for a high average, but also generate a great deal of offense.”

Ohio has experienced trouble all season shutting down opponents in the second set and this match was no different as Ball State jumped out to an early 12-3 lead. Ohio retaliated with a 5-2 run behind kills from Bull and back-to-back service aces from Kelly Lamberti. The Cats’ continued their fight back to cut the lead to four, 24-20, but a quick kill from the Cardinals evened the match, 1-all.

Lamberti had a slow start in the match, but ended with a solid performance, recording her third straight double-double with 15 kills and 10 digs. She also added a career-high four service aces.

In sets three and four, the Bobcats and Cardinals battled back and forth each hoping to gain and early edge and surge to a victory. Set three was tied at 15 and then again at 18 before Ohio would go on a 4-1 run. Back-to-back kills from sophomore outside hitter/libero gave Ohio the set two victory.

The Bobcats reached their 13th victory out of their last 14 matches with a 7-point win in the fourth and final set against the Cardinals. The ‘Cats contained Ball State middle power hitter Hayley Benson to only 10 kills in the match, while out hitting the Cardinals .265 to .134.

Ball State was within reach of extending the match trailing 18-17, but it would be all Ohio from there. The ‘Cats ended on a 7-1 run with Bull and Gilleland each tallying two kills and Coleman recording back-to-back service aces during the final set.

“Tonight’s win over Ball State was a very good one,” Webb said. “They are well coached, [they control the ball] well and have shown the ability to be great attacking with their middles.”