Lizzie Stephens (3) had a senior night to remember against Akron. Photo: Ben Wielgopolski, WOUB visuals

Ohio Volleyball: Stephens ace caps senior night victory

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It was only fitting that on her senior night, Lizzie Stephens ended Ohio’s victory over Akron with a service ace.

“I don’t think I could’ve asked for a better ending to that game,” Stephens said.

Stephens was top twenty in the nation in service aces her sophomore and junior seasons. To go out of the Convo with an ace was a special moment for the senior.

“It was great for her, it’s something she will remember for a long, long time,” Ohio Head Coach Deane Webb said.

The senior had been out since October 5th at Eastern Michigan. She came back with three aces, including the game clinching one for her senior night.

“It feels awesome and it couldn’t have been better timing with it being senior night,” Stephens said. “You kinda forget the feeling playing out there with them.”

It was an emotional senior night for the Ohio Volleyball team as they prepared for a MAC contest against Akron.

Seniors Shayla Phillip, Stephens, Sara Januszewski, Allyson Vaughn, and Meredith Howe were all playing in their final game in the Convo in their careers.

“I think we knew there would be some emotional barriers because it’s such a big night for us,” Howe said. “I think we got into a rhythm after that (first set defeat) and it was much better after that.”

Akron stole the first set from Ohio 25-21. The Bobcats led the set 21-19 before conceding the final six points of the set.

Junior outside hitter Maggie Nedoma led Ohio with six kills on 10 attempts in the first set.

Ohio then picked up the intensity in the second set, winning it 29-27.

The set went back and forth, with both teams having multiple set point chances.

“My coach looked at me and was like we gotta get this going,” Howe said. “I think when we pick up the pace and speed of the game to pick up the energy it’s easy to get going.”

The third set was close, but not as tight as the previous one. Ohio took that set 25-21 to take a 2-1 lead.

Olivia Margolies led a balanced offensive effort with 4.5 points in the set.

The fourth set was all Bobcats as they left no doubt who would be coming away with the victory.

Ohio got up 17-8 on the Zips before Akron made a comeback to make it competitive on the final scoreboard.

“We let our foot off the gas maybe 10 minutes too early there at the end, regardless we found a way to get the win.” Webb said.

Tia Jimerson and Phillip both had double-digit kills for the Bobcats in the win.

Ohio steamrolls into the MAC tournament with four straight victories.

“It’s a fine line having confidence, it’s a great thing, we need to remain hungry,” Webb said. “We need to go into practice and ready to improve on the things we struggled with a bit this weekend.”