Ohio Tops Western Michigan

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Ohio contained Western Michigan University’s explosive hitters to a mere .142 clip Friday night as the Bobcats defeated the Broncos 3-1 (25-16, 25-20, 21-25, 25-14) at the Convocation Center.

The Broncos (15-9, 6-4 MAC) came into the match leading the Mid-American Conference in hitting percentage on the season, but their attacks were limited by the Cats’ tenacious and fluid defense.

“It was a little streaky, but overall our defense, blocking, floor defense and the serving piece were all very helpful to us,” Ohio coach Deane Webb said.

The ‘Cats (16-4, 9-0) recorded seven service aces and eleven blocks in the team’s tenth consecutive win.

Senior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti delivered an explosive offensive performance for Ohio. She tied her career-high in kills with 24 and added 17 digs, three service aces and four assisted blocks.

“She was just so good in every phase,” Webb said. “She attacked well, she served well, she blocked and she dug 17 balls. It was just a tremendous game for her.”

“I just want to win,” Lamberti said. “Everyone on our team wants to win extremely bad especially this weekend. It’s a huge weekend for us.”

After a dominating two sets, the ‘Cats had trouble containing Broncos in set three. WMU jumped out to an early 7-2 and maintained the lead despite a strong comeback effort from Ohio. The ‘Cats cut the lead to two twice and came within one, 16-15, late in the set. Multiple errors halted the momentum for the green and white and WMU was able to steal set three, 25-21.

“This a mature team and they were just as disciplined in the third set as we as coaches were,” Webb said. “It’s not that we were upset. They were disappointed, they were upset with that.”

The Bobcats rebounded from the loss by out-hitting the Broncos 14 to six in set four and holding them to a .033 clip to seal the match victory.

The ‘Cats will look to keep their positive momentum going into Saturday as Northern Illinois visits the Convo. The Huskies are the top ranked team in the MAC- East and the only undefeated team remaining in the conference.