Ohio Volleyball celebrates after scoring a point (Ben Wielgopolski WOUB)

Ohio Volleyball: Ohio Sweeps Eastern Michigan to Get Back to .500 in MAC Play.

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Ohio Volleyball returned home to take on Eastern Michigan just 47 hours after sweeping Kent State on the road. Eastern Michigan was coming off a disappointing four set loss to Central Michigan and was looking to bounce back.

Ohio didn’t skip a beat from Thursday’s performance, sweeping the Eagles (25-14, 27-25, 25-13) to finish the week 2-0 with two sweeps. The Bobcats (11-14, 6-6) were dominant in every aspect of the game over Eastern Michigan (14-12, 6-6).

Ohio took the first set 25-14, holding the Eagles to a .026 hitting %. Tia Jimerson looked assertive offensively, with four kills on only five attempts. Stephanie Olman, Lizzie Stephens, Jaime Kosiorek, and Allyson Vaughn each had two or more kills to lead a balanced offensive effort.

The second set was much more of a back and forth contest, but Ohio was able to come out on top 27-25. The Bobcats were able to finish off the set by scoring the final three points after falling behind 25-24, giving the Eagles set point.

“We won the set by focusing at the end, sometimes players think they need more effort and more energy,” Coach webb said, “we actually need to focus more and have more attention to detail.”

The Bobcats unfortunately had ten attacking errors in the set, which led to a .122 hitting % in the set.

“We did a bad job of controlling our swings in the second set and that was why it was so close,” Webb said.

Eastern Michigan’s libero, Alyssa Laface, came into the match third in the nation in digs per set. Ohio knew coming in that she would be a problem for the Bobcats offense, but Stephens had five kills in the second set for the Bobcats, and avoided Laface at all costs.

“Our strategy offensively was to hit away from her,” Stephens said. “She would switch between zone five and six so we tried hitting where she wasn’t.”

The third set was a dominant performance from Ohio. The Bobcats took the set 25-13 and were in complete control for the entire time. Ohio had 13 kills to only three attack errors, had two aces, and four blocks to finish the match.

“Our servers and blockers were very aggressive in the first and third sets and their physicality set the tone for us,” Webb said.

Stephanie Olman had four kills on five attempts in the final set, and has looked terrific since being added to the starting lineup.

“Having Stephanie means that the defense doesn’t know where the ball is going when we are out of rotation,” setter Vera Giacomazzi said.

Ohio is now 6-6 in the MAC, but the team is catching fire at the right time to make a tournament run. Peaking at this time of the season is crucial to get positive momentum entering the tournament.

“It’s almost better that we won’t be going in as the top team because of what it did to us preseason,” Stephens said. “We’re not guaranteed anything and if we come in as an underdog that can help us.”

Ohio will return to action on Friday, when the Bobcats travel to Akron (11-12, 3-9) to take on the Zips. The next home game for the Bobcats will be November 9th when Bowling Green (15-10, 9-3) comes to Athens.