Ohio Volleyball: Bobcats Fall in Thriller to Northern Illinois< < Back to
The Ohio volleyball team looked to record their third consecutive win at the Convocation Center on Saturday night and get back to .500 in the Mid-American Conference. The only thing standing in their way was the Northern Illinois Huskies.
The Bobcats (9-14, 4-6) battled the entire game and were able to build up a 2-1 lead with an opportunity to take the fourth set and walk away with the victory. The Bobcats effort would fall just short though, as they would drop the set to the Huskies (8-17, 6-4) 32-30 and ultimately lose the match after dropping the fifth set 15-7.
“We had our chances at the end of set four and we didn’t take it,” Ohio head coach Deane Webb said. “We had a couple significant opportunities that were right there for us and we didn’t take advantage of it. Then you get to a fifth set and anything can happen at that point.”
From the very first set it was clear that this match had the potential to do the distance.
With the score knotted at 23, Northern Illinois was able to grab the match point chance after a kill by Jori Radtke, and take the set 25-23 after a bad set for the Bobcats. The Huskies finished the set with 14 kills and were led by Jori Radtke and Kennedy Wallace with four kills apiece. Grace Balensiefer led the Huskies in assists with 11.
The second set would also come down to the wire. After another kill from Radtke, the score was tied at 25 and the Bobcats looked to even up the set score at one. Junior Lizzie Stevens would get a huge kill for Ohio to grab the advantage, and then add on to that with a service ace to close out the set 27-25. Tia Jimerson would lead the Bobcats in kills with five and an impressive .571 hit percentage.
The Bobcats would take charge in the third set. They never trailed during the entire set and coasted to a 25-17 victory. Lizzie Stevens lead the charge for Ohio with six kills, and the Bobcats picked up three service aces throughout the set. Vera Giacomazzi would be a key factor as well as she assisted on 10 points for the Bobcats.
Ohio tried to finish off the Huskies in the fourth set. They had a chance to do so after a service ace by Virginia Natale that put the Bobcats on top 25-24. After a Northern Illinois timeout Ohio was looking to close the deal, but they failed in doing so. Jori Radtke smashed a kill that knotted the score back up at 25. The teams would then trade points until the score was 30-30.
The Huskies would grad the next two points of a kill and attack error that gave them the set 32-30. The set finished with 16 ties and seven lead changes.
The Huskies would prove too much for Ohio in the decisive set as they went on a 8-2 run after leading 7-5 to finish off the Bobcats in set five 15-7.
Redshirt senior Jaime Kosiorek would lead Ohio in kills with 24 on the match, and Vera Giacomazzi led the assist totals with 55.
The Bobcats travel to Kent State to take on the Golden Flashes on Thursday at 6 p.m. and will try and bounce back after the tough loss.