Ohio Volleyball Back to Winning Ways, Sweeps Central Michigan

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Heading into Saturday’s match against Central Michigan, the Ohio Bobcats had lost three of their last four games and they were searching for a spark. They found one in junior outside hitter Mallory Salis, and Ohio rolled to a win in three sets (25-18, 25-23, 25-20)

Salis said she was told on Friday’s practice that a lineup change would happen, and that she would be playing all the way around. Her job was to be an emotional presence out on the floor and she did just that.

Head coach Deane Webb said the difference was “six rotations having Mal on the court.

“She’s just a spark. You can’t measure what she does in stats but the energy she brings, the effort on defense and the experience and having another captain out there for six rotations. Just the intangibles [she has]. She makes everything work.”

The first set started off with the teams trading points to a 2-2 score. The ‘Cats scored six of the next seven points and forced Central Michigan to call a time out, down 3-8. Ohio continued to roll after a block by redshirt sophomore Ali Lake made it 14-7. A big block by senior setter Abby Gilleland gave Ohio a 22-14 lead. Central Michigan would not go away. Finally a missed serve and then a huge kill by Salis ended their momentum. Sophomore, Jaime Kosiorek, had a kill and gave Ohio the 25-18 set win.

Central Michigan had all the momentum to start the second set. A Kosiorek service error gave Central Michigan a 12-7 lead. Senior Shelby Walker had a huge block the next play that turned the entire set around. Salis had three kills as the Bobcats scored the next four points to tie the set at 12. Salis then tied the set up at 15 with an ace. Karin Bull ended the set with a kill.

The third set was all Ohio. The Bobcats got out to a 16-10 lead and did not look back. Central Michigan put up a fight and made it 20-18 but more Salis ended the Chippewas chances and gave Ohio the win.

Salis led the team with 15 kills, tied for the lead in digs with 10 and she had an ace. Gilleland had 40 assists and 10 digs.  Ohio also had eight team blocks. Bull had one solo block and five assisted blocks.

“Obviously we came off a tough loss on Thursday and tonight it was all about focusing on ourselves … we played like we normally play, and when we’re on, we’re on, and we’re good,” Salis said about the team regaining its identity.

The win improves Ohio’s record to 21-6 overall and 11-3 in conference play. Ohio will play two more games at home, next week before the Mid-American Conference tournament begins. The first matchup is set for Friday at 7 p.m. against Buffalo.