Ohio Looks to Get Over .500 at Nike Invitational

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The Ohio Bobcats have started off the Nike Invitational with a split, beating the Lamar Cardinals and losing to host Oklahoma Sooners. On Saturday they will take on the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) Roadrunners.

UTSA (5-3) is coming off two straight wins in the Nike Invitational. They defeated Lamar in straight sets and Oklahoma in a five set thriller. Senior outside hitter Dajana Boskovic leads the Roadrunners. Coming at you from the left side, Boskovic is a two-time, first team All-Conference USA. As a junior, she recorded her 1,000th career kill one month into the season. Boskovic has reached the 20-kill plateau three times already this season.

“We haven’t really played a dominant lefty and the kid tomorrow [Boskovic] is the definition of dominant as a player so we have to be really good defending that cross court,” coach Dean Webb said. “Our zone-one defender has to be really good because we can’t block all of that.”

Ali Lake, Ohio’s leader in hit percentage (.331), has been very good all year. The problem is getting her the swings. She has over 100 fewer swings than Jaime Kosiorek and Mallory Salis. Getting her more swings is something Webb has said the Bobcats have to do. Against Oklahoma, Lake had 1o kills on just 21 swings. Production and efficiency like that is why Webb is trying to get her more involved.

For Ohio, Saturday is more than a chance to pick up a win against the preseason runner-up in Conference USA. It is a test of their heart.

“UTSA is a big physical team obviously they beat Oklahoma and tomorrow is going to be a big test of our heart,” senior captain Brooke Coleman said. “If we fight back and show we can fight with these teams it’s going to be good for us in the long run. We have one week left of tournaments and then we go into conference play so tomorrow is a big step for us”

The match starts at 11 a.m. EST.