Ohio Volleyball Upsets No.10 Kentucky

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The Ohio Bobcats rebounded from their loss to Purdue in what is likely the biggest way possible, taking down the No. 10 Kentucky Wildcats in Lexington on Tuesday night in four sets (23-25, 25-19, 25-23, 30-28).

All tied up at 28-28 in the fourth set, the ‘Cats scored two straight to win three straight sets and the match on a Karin Bull kill and an attacking error by Kentucky’s Kaz Brown.

Heading into the fourth set, Ohio seemingly controlled all the momentum coming off a hard-fought 25-23 victory in the third set to go up 2-1. But Kentucky came out firing in the fourth set, taking a 15-9 lead on a 6-0 run halfway through the set. From that point on Ohio slowly closed the gap, as the team never fell behind by more than four points.

With the Wildcats leading 20-16, Shelby Walker cut the lead to three on a kill assisted by Abby Gilleland. Several points later Jaime Kosiorek drew the Bobcats to within one at 22-21, but Kentucky scored two straight points to make it set point at 24-21. Sensing the urgency of the moment, Ohio stormed back for four straight points to claim a 25-24 lead.

The Bobcats were unable to finish it off then and traded points with Kentucky until the two teams were tied at 28.

The victory marks the Bobcats’ first win over a ranked opponent since 2013 when Ohio defeated the then No. 21 Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.

Kosiorek led all players with 18 kills. Katie Nelson and Shelby Walker came in with nine and eight kills, respectively. Meredith Ashy led the team with 29 digs, and Gilleland led the team with 44 assists.

Ohio dropped the first set 25-23 after jumping out to a quick 4-0 lead, but after that, they were outscored 25 to 19. At one point, the ‘Cats trailed 24-17 before they went on a 6-0 run featuring a pair of back-to-back service aces from Gilleland to draw within one. Kentucky finished Ohio off on a Brooke Morgan kill.

Despite losing the first set, the momentum from its run carried over to the second set, as Ohio jumped out to an 8-3 lead, forcing a Kentucky timeout. Even after the timeout, the Bobcats continued to roll, going on a 6-1 and a 5-2 run. Ohio evened the match by taking the second set 25-19 on a Walker kill assisted by Gilleland.

After the Bobcat-dominated second set, both teams came out aggressively in the third set in an attempt to gain the control and momentum of the match. Ohio held a three-point lead early in the set at 6-3 and then again at 8-5 and 13-10.

Following that final three point lead, the two teams traded points until Kosiorek scored the set point on a kill from an Gilleland assist. Gilleland was impressive all match but no more than in the third set, totaling 12 assists and two kills. Kosiorek was also impressive in the third set, as the sophomore racked up seven kills.

Ohio returns to Athens on Friday to kick off the Bobcat Invitational with a pair of matches against LSU and Xavier.