Calvin Mattheis | Ohio Athletics

Ohio Volleyball Loses Five-Set Heartbreaker

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For the first time this season, Ohio led a game in sets and seemed to be on its way to the first victory as well.  Thirty-seven ties and 16 lead changes later, however, the Bobcats fell in five sets (21-25, 26-24, 26-24, 18-25, 12-15) to Marshall.

Ohio (0-4) was underwhelming to begin the year, but key players Mallory Salis and Katie Nelson returned Tuesday against Marshall.  Salis, who is a co-captain, and Nelson in the lineup brought some maturity that wasn’t with the Bobcats to begin the season.  The team played well at first, but slowly lost steam and reverted back to poor play.

After losing set one, the ‘Cats took consecutive close sets, but the blocking and hitting that had been present to begin the game slipped away.  Ohio took set three 26-24, but had its worst hitting percentage of the game (.064) and Marshall received free points multiple times when Ohio failed to send a blocker in the middle.

“There was one rotation that they ran, just a crossing pattern that we should’ve ID’d,” coach Deane Webb said.  “We should’ve communicated and we’re supposed.  If a hitter leaves your zone your job is to communicate to the other blocker and that communication didn’t happen.  The same play happened twice where the player from Marshall swung around and had a free swing at an open net.”

Marshall dominated set four, but Ohio had an early lead and kept ties in the final set.  Ohio gained a 5-3 lead early in the set and traded points back and forth until Marshall took a 10-9 lead and never lost it.

The Thundering Herd played with a stronger mental game and outlasted the Bobcats despite key players returning and putting in some better performances.

In the return, Salis had 15 digs and 12 kills, but also 10 errors and a paltry .034 hitting percentage.  Nelson tacked on seven kills and six block assists.

Jaime Kosiorek’s last performance only saw her put in three kills.  Kosiorek stormed back against Marshall for a team leading 16 kills, but Kosiorek, as well as the rest of the Bobcats, had trouble hitting out of the back line.

“I think she had her moments.  I think when it was in system she hit well.  I think we just struggled all day just connecting in the back row.  Normally we’re pretty good attacking out of the back row historically and even last weekend,” said Coach Webb.  “I think today we really struggled finding the timing, finding the tempo and so I think part of our hitting percentage being so low was I bet our hitting percentage out of the back row was negative.  It was really not good.”

Marshall was the first of nine consecutive away games for the Bobcats.  Ohio will compete in the Black and Gold Invitational starting Friday against Wofford, UNC-Wilmington and Appalachian State.