[Bryan Kurp | WOUB]

Geoff Carlston Ready To Lead OU Volleyball To Successful 2021 Season

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Volleyball is back and a familiar face is leading the Bobcats again.

Geoff Carlston returns to Ohio for his second stint as head coach.  He previously coached the Bobcats from 2003 to 2007.

Carlston built the volleyball program into a Mid-American Conference powerhouse in his five seasons.  He led the Bobcats to the NCAA Tournament every season, won five-straight regular season titles and four MAC Tournament crowns.

Carlston then went on to Ohio State to spend 12 seasons as head coach of the Buckeyes.  Carlston went 220-153 in his time at OSU.

Ohio athletic director Julie Cromer named Carlston the head coach of the Bobcats on July 12.  Carlston is pleased with how his players responded and the relationships that have been built in his first month and a half.

Ohio volleyball head coach Geoff Carlston talks with Caitlin O'Farrell (12) on the sideline in Ohio's exhibition match with Duquesne on August, 21, 2021 at the Convocation Center
Geoff Carlston chats with Caitlin O’Farrell (12) in Ohio’s exhibition match with Duquesne on Aug. 21, 2021. [Bryan Kurp | WOUB]
“It’s been powerful,” Carlston said.  “It’s been really humbling just how much (the players) have given.  It’s been their willingness and their trust in me and my whole staff as well.  It’s been really transformative for me too and invigorating for me.”

The Bobcats finally had a chance to play against another team on Saturday, Sept. 21 as they hosted Duquesne for a scrimmage.  The Bobcats dropped the first set, 37-35, but dominated the next three sets to defeat the Dukes.

With Ohio playing mostly intra-squad scrimmages, Carlston was grateful for the opportunity to play against another opponent.

“(It was great) just for our players to feel the normalcy of a real match,” Carlston said.  “(Friday night) was great with our green and white scrimmage but it’s definitely different to play (Duquesne) and they’re a great team.  We’ll be playing a lot of teams like that all year long.”

Ohio will open up its season with four-straight road trips.  As the Bobcats are hoping to reach the NCAA Tournament, Carlston pointed out that it is important to feel comfortable playing on the road because the tournaments have road matches.

“While it’s not ideal to be on the road for four weekends in a row, there are lessons to be learned,” Carlston said.  “The better we can be on the road, the better we’re going to be overall.  You have to take care of business at home but you need to win on the road.

Ohio opens up the 2021 season in the Sports Import Classic in Columbus this weekend.

The Bobcats fell to nationally ranked Washington on Friday in three sets and lost in five sets to Northern Kentucky on Saturday.