Ohio drops five-set nail bitter against UTEP

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Ohio kicked off the 27th Bobcat Invitational in a five-set nail bitter against UTEP Thursday night.  

Ohio meets at the middle of the court during its match against UTEP
Ohio meets at the middle of the court during its match against UTEP [Meg Kuczinski | WOUB]
In the first set, the Bobcats came out hot going up 6-0 against the Miners. UTEP came crawling back after a challenge called by Ohio. The Bobcats started to find their groove and went on an 8-2 run against the Miners. Forcing UTEP’s second timeout, Ohio went up 23-13. The Bobcats came out on top going up one set to none.  

The Bobcats were taking charge in the first set, head coach Geoff Carlston was happy with the result from his team.  

“They weren’t passing very well, and we were serving better,” Carlston said. “They were spraying balls all over the place. So, they gave us a bunch of points.” 

Starting off the second set, UTEP came back with a chip on their shoulder. The Bobcats and the Miners kept trading points all set. UTEP goes up by three points and Ohio called a time-out. After some errors from the Miners, the Bobcats start making their way back. UTEP called their first timeout of the set when Ohio takes the lead 18-17. UTEP ends up taking the second set tying it up one set a piece.  

UTEP’s challenge was reversed to kick off the third set. Points were traded back and forth between the two teams until Ohio went up 13-11. Ohio capitalized and took the third set 25-21. 

The miners started to take control late in the fourth set going up 23-20, but the Miners came back and won 25-20.

Challenges were called all game by the Bobcats, as they called another one in the start of the fifth set. Ohio lost the challenge putting UTEP up 5-3. After the challenge call, Ohio went on a 5-1 run putting the Bobcats up 8-6. The Miners came back tying it up 10-10. After some close calls, UTEP is forced to call a timeout. Heading into extra points, UTEP came out on top taking the fifth set 16-14.  

Despite the loss, Carlston is still happy with the way his team performed.  

“The message is were playing really good volleyball and it’s tough that we’ve lost three five setters like heartbreakers,” Carlston said. “It’s hard because we played such a high level of volleyball for a long period of time.” 

Ohio is back in action against NC State Friday night at 6 p.m. at the Convo.