Bobcat Volleyball Drops Fifth Set Against Michigan

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Just over 14 hours after the Bobcat volleyball defeated the Xavier Musketeers in a five-set thriller, Ohio found itself in another five-set match against the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday.

This time around, the ‘Cats weren’t as fortunate, as they lost a 15-7 fifth set, and the Wolverines won 3-2 (25-17, 22-25, 15-25, 25-22, 7-15).

Michigan led 8-7 half way through the fifth, and then went on to score six straight points and win the set 15-7. Sophomore hitter Jaime Kosiorek and Shelby Walker led the Bobcats with 14 kills each. Abby Gilleland had 58 assists and three aces.

Like the night before the Bobcats found themselves 2-1 heading into the fourth set. In that set, the teams were tied at eight before Gilleland and middle-blocker Karin Bull had two blocks and a kill that forced the Wolverines to call a timeout. Michigan tied the game at 15, but Ohio went on a 4-1 run, to make it 19-16 game, forcing the Wolverines to call another timeout. Michigan cut it to a one-point deficit, but Ohio outlasted the Wolverines to force a fifth set.

The Bobcats played four matches in the past week, and three within two days. When asked whether she thought the team was feeling fatigued, senior libero Meredith Ashy said, “We don’t want to say that as an excuse, but yeah, I would say we were tired, but it’s not an excuse. We battled back and we have had many five setters in the past year and had one today but I think we are all tired.”

The Bobcats are disappointed over this loss but it was a solid week for the team and they learned plenty.

“The word being used a lot right now is ‘character’ and it’s a word that is hard to define , but I think its perseverance,” head coach Deane Webb said. “We played four top-60 teams and we were a few points in the fifth set away from winning all of them. That is a good week and it shows a lot about the toughness of this team.”

The weekend was the first time all season the Bobcats played at home, which can be a learning experience for the younger players on the team.

“We had some different people out on the court and played different roles,” Ashy said. “We know we can put people in and out and be a good team. Something we learned also was being at home and having a huge crowd, because we are not used to that. And I think at first it startled us a little bit and we needed to start focusing on the court. But obviously [Xavier] was a five-gamer and we won so it settled down in the end.”

Bull said she was excited to have a huge crowd for the weekend she hopes even more fans show up in the future.

The Bobcats will get some much needed rest and practice time before heading to Louisville, Ky., on Friday to take on Seton Hall, Utah and Louisville in the Active Ankle Challenge.