Ohio Volleyball: Bobcats Begin MAC Play with Win Over Kent State

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ATHENS, OH — After winning only one match in the Missouri Invitational last weekend, the Ohio Bobcats (6-8 (1-0 MAC)) were able to start off their Mid-American Conference schedule with a win over Kent State (7-8 (0-1 MAC)) at the Convocation Center Thursday night. Ohio defeated the Golden Flashes in a four-set match 21-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-20.
“(Kent State’s) a really good defensive team. They always have been,” Bobcats’ head coach Deane Webb said. “We thought we would have some advantages serving, passing, and blocking,and we did

Deane Webb and the Bobcats start MAC play with a much needed win over Kent State Thursday night.

. We knew they would be very good in the back row, and they were.”
Stellar offensive performances from several Bobcats led to the win, as three players had double-digit kill totals. Senior Outside Hitter Jaime Kosiorek had 14 kills, while juniors Lizzie Stephens and Sara Januszewski had 12 and 11 kills, respectively. The 11 kills by Januszewski was a career-high. Vera Giacomazzi also had an impressive game — accounting for 39 of the Bobcats’ 42 assists.
Kosiorek also had two aces tonight, and she is now only 10 aces shy of the school record.
Ohio’s defense also played well throughout the game. The Bobcats dominated Kent State with 13 blocks — Simone Miller accounted for three solo blocks and eight assisted blocks. Senior Katie Nelson added six assisted blocks.
Kent State took the first set 25-21. There were many contributors to the Golden Flashes’ offense. Freshman Outside Hitter Kathryn Ellison led the team with four kills, while Senior Amy Kober and freshman Danie Tyson accounted for three kills each. The Golden Flashes also held the Bobcats to a .186 hit percentage. The Bobcats’ Middle Blocker Sara Januszewski had four kills.
Ohio took over the momentum of the game in the second set, dominating Kent State 25-16. The Bobcats had four aces, with freshman Emily Walsh and Kosiorek accounting for two kills each. The Bobcats’ defense was also impressive in this set, as Kosiorek and Stephens had six digs each.
The third set was back-and-forth for most of the way, as there were three lead-changes. After being tied at 17, the Bobcats pulled away and took the set 25-19. The Bobcats had five aces — Stephens had three of them with  Meredith Howe and Giacomazzi also adding an ace each. Giacomazzi also accounted for 11 of the Bobcats’ 12 assists in the set.
After trailing 9-14 in the fourth set, Ohio would make a comeback to defeat Kent State 25-20. Kosiorek took control of the set for the Bobcats with a team-leading six kills. This set propelled the Bobcats to an important first conference win.
“In non-conference, sometimes you can say maybe a good loss is better than a bad win,” Webb said. “That’s never true when you get to conference play. Every win is important. Every win is celebrated.”
Ohio will continue MAC play when they travel to Central Michigan on Saturday to face the Chippewas at 7 p.m. The Bobcats will return to the Convocation Center next weekend when they host Buffalo on Friday and Akron on Saturday.