Recap of Ohio's win over Central Michigan on Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021. [Cameron Young | WOUB]

Ohio Volleyball Splits Homecoming Weekend Matches

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) —  Ohio volleyball played two Mid-American Conference matches inside the Convocation Center over homecoming weekend.

Ohio Drops Close Match To Eastern Michigan on Friday

The hope of beating another MAC opponent was diminished Friday night. The Bobcats volleyball team (1-15, 1-4 MAC) suffered a gut-wrenching 3-2 loss against the Eastern Michigan Eagles (7-9, 2-3 MAC).

This game was the definition of a back-and-forth kind of game. Besides the second set in which Ohio won 25-15, all of the other four sets were won by four points or less. In fact, in three out of the five sets the win margin was a meager two points, showing how much every point mattered in tonight’s contest.

The evening started in the wrong direction for the Bobcats as they dropped the first set 25-23, with the Eagles going on a 9-3 run throughout the middle of the set. Ohio didn’t fret and came back blazing as they won by double digits in a 25-15 pure domination. Similarly to the first set, Eastern Michigan came out quickly and were leading the Bobcats until the game was tied at 12. After the tie at 12, the Bobcats went on a scoring rampage which allowed them to comfortably win the set 25-21. A trend was starting to become prominent as yet again the Eagles started the fourth set with momentum. The set was back-and-forth but the Eagles survived the threat of a loss and stayed alive to play in the fifth set. Like all the other sets in the game, the fifth and final set started out neck-and-neck. However, late in the set the Bobcats defense started to quiver, letting the Eagles end the game on a 9-4 run.

Maggie Denoma embraces her teammates after a point is earned against Eastern Michigan University on October 8, 2021.
Maggie Nedoma embraces her teammates after a point is earned against Eastern Michigan University on October 8, 2021. [Pearl Spurlock | WOUB]
Games like these are ones that the Bobcats have to win if they want to make a run in the MAC tournament. Despite the loss, the Bobcats have many positives after tonight’s game. Graduate senior Maggie Nedoma had an incredible showing for Ohio. She ended her night with a .395 hitting percentage and 19 kills, second to EMU’s Samantha Basham. Although Basham had more kills, she had 11 errors compared to Nedoma’s two.

“Maggie’s play has just grown exponentially throughout the season,” Ohio assistant coach Amanda Peterson said.  “She’s just getting it done. I don’t know if I can say kicking butt, but she’s kicking butt out here.”

Nedoma leads the team in kills this season (188) as well as serve aces (13).

Not only Nedoma had a phenomenal game but Caitlin O’Farrell had her way of making an impact for the Bobcats.

O’Farrell, the tallest girl on the team, made her presence known as she racked up 10 kills for the Bobcats.  She had a solid game numbers wise, but watching her dance around the court then hammer the ball into sub 10 foot territory is something stats can’t show. O’Farrell and setter Tria McLean had a dynamic chemistry that allowed them to run gorgeous slides and “one balls” throughout the match.

Ohio Back In Win Column With Five-Set Win Over Central Michigan

The Bobcats once again encountered a back-and-forth affair on Saturday, this time it was against the Central Michigan Chippewas.

Tria McLean spikes the ball at a match against Eastern Michigan on October 8, 2021.
Tria McLean spikes the ball at a match against Eastern Michigan on October 8, 2021. [Pearl Spurlock | WOUB]
Ohio (2-15, 2-4 MAC) finally got back in the win column with a five-set thriller over Central Michigan (8-10, 2-4 MAC)

The Bobcats and Chippewas alternated victories in each of the five sets, but the decisive fifth set went in the Bobcats’ favor, 15-10.

Caitlin O’Farrell and Caroline Clippard each led the way for the Bobcats with 14 kills.  Tria McLean tallied 38 assists in the match to lead all Bobcats.

On the defensive side, Sam Steele had a team-high 29 digs.  O’Farrell put up six blocks as well.  Ohio held the Chippewas to just a .163 hit percentage.

The Bobcats also out-blocked the Chippewas, 25-14.

“We watched all the film.  [Central Michigan’s] a really good team,” Peterson said.  “We have to make sure that we match things up perfectly and our girls are going after it.  So much of blocking is about aggressiveness and getting out there and putting up a wall.”

The Bobcats are set to travel to Buffalo next weekend for two matches against the Bulls on Friday and Saturday.  Friday’s match will begin at 6 p.m. and Saturday’s match is set to start at 4 p.m.