Bobcats Win 13th Straight Match

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Outside hitter Chelsea Bilger played her first full match this season since returning to the team from a knee injury in Ohio’s 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-19, 25-20) win over Eastern Michigan University Saturday night at the Convocation Center.

“I would say I’m as 100 percent as I’m going to get,” the redshirt junior said.

Bilger recorded seven kills in Ohio’s 13th consecutive win.

The Bobcats (19-4, 12-0 MAC) had a sluggish start against EMU (15-11, 6-6). They had five service errors in the first set and hit a mere .100 in the second set loss.

“We had a battle with our own emotions and that was a struggle,” coach Deane Webb said. “Some things that we normally do really well we struggled with tonight.”

After leading all of the opening set, the ‘Cats trailed the Eagles the majority of set two. Ohio tied the game at 16, but a combination of Ohio errors and strong net play from the Eagles fueled a 9-3 run that gave EMU a set two victory.

Ohio rebounded in set three, maintaining the lead the entire set. All Ohio’s attackers were in sync, with 12 kills coming from seven different players.

“We really stressed communication, because that was one of our downfalls in the second game,” said junior middle blocker Karin Bull of the team’s discussion in the locker room following set two. “We made up for it in the third game and really talked and stressed that and I think that really helped in the front row.”

Bull had a solid performance at the net for the ‘Cats recording nine kills and contributing a match-high six blocks (one solo, five assisted). Additionally, five other Bobcats recorded over five kills in the match.

“We have a number of players that can come in and contribute,” Webb said. “And as long as people are willing to do that and help us win, we have a chance to be really good.”

With the win, Ohio remains undefeated in the Mid-American Conference and looks to remain perfect in conference play with only four conference matches remaining this season. Though pressure may come with staying the top team in the league and keeping their 13-game win streak alive, Bull and the Bobcats always keep their focus on the task at hand.

“We just take it game by game,” she said. “We try not to think about the big picture, and take it point by point.”