Ohio’s Tia Jimerson (15) returns the ball over the net. (Photo by Charles Hatcher)

Ohio Volleyball: Bobcats knock off rival Miami in four sets

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ATHENS, Ohio – About 20 hours after losing a heart-breaking match to Bowling Green in five sets on Friday night, the Bobcats returned to the court at the Convocation Center on Saturday to face another competitive team and MAC East division foe – the Miami Redhawks.

The Redhawks won the previous four meetings of “The Battle of the Bricks” dating back to the 2017-18 season.  Ohio (9-6, 1-1 MAC) ended that four-game skid against Miami (6-7, 1-1 MAC) with a four-set victory, 25-22, 22-25, 25-14 and 25-18.

“Just getting this win overall, winning this match meant a great deal to our kids just to prove we are good and one of the best teams in the MAC,” head coach Deane Webb said.  “Last night, we can’t get that one back but you have to come back today and do something that was really good.”

Offensively, Ohio was led by freshman Olivia Margolies, who had a team-high 13 kills with a .344 hit percentage.

“I was feeling good,” Margolies said.  “Our defense was putting the balls into Vera (Giacomazzi), which was very good, and Vera was pushing them out, which was what we need, so it was fun.  It was good.”

Maggie Nedoma and Tia Jimerson also had double-digit kills.  Defensively, Jimerson led the team with three solo blocks and eight assisted blocks.

Ohio never trailed in the opening set and led by as many as seven points.  Ohio hit .256 in the set and held Miami to a .106 hit percentage.  Lizzie Stephens, Jimerson and Nedoma each had three kills.  The Bobcats took set one, 25-22.

The second set was tied 13 times and had four lead changes, but Miami came away with the win.  Ohio’s offense struggled in the set – only hitting .122 with just ten kills, with four belonging to Margolies.  Miami’s offense only hit .171, led by five kills from Taylor Daignault.

After being tied at ten in set three, the Bobcats finished the set on a 15-4 run that was ignited by a Miami service error.  Nedoma had four kills and two service aces for the Bobcats.

Ohio took the match with a set four victory, 25-18.  The Bobcats hit a scorching .419 in the decisive set with 15 kills.

The Bobcats finish the opening weekend of conference play with a 1-1 record against two solid opponents in Bowling Green and Miami.

“We played two great teams,” Webb said.  “They expect and they demand your best to have a chance to win.  Now the challenge for us is we have to take that level of intensity with everyone we play, regardless of if they’ve won championships recently like (Bowling Green and Miami) have, or they haven’t.  We have shown that we can play at a higher level and that is something that we have to do.”

The Bobcats will continue conference play on Thursday when they travel to Kent State.