[Kyleigh Osko | WOUB]

Kharchynska and the Bobcats Volleyball Team record their first conference win of 2023

Posted on:

< < Back to

ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — A dominant fourth set led by Anna Kharchynska and Caitlin O’Farrell for Ohio was the nail in the coffin for Akron on Saturday.   

Kharchynska and O’Farrell, now in their second year playing alongside one another, combined for 29 kills – handing the Bobcats a 25-10 cushion to end the match. Revenge never sounded sweeter for head coach Geoff Carlston and his squad – who fell in four sets to Akron on Friday.  

“We’ve been playing some really good volleyball, but we just have lapses where our defensive effort [and] mental focus gets a little bit loose,” Carlston said. “We had some solid conversations as a team. I just wanted to let them play.” 

Carlston handed the keys to his players and they delivered by ending their four-game losing streak in the process. 

Ohio “Clips” the Zips in Set One

The first set was anything but comfortable for the Bobcats on Saturday. Akron jumped out to a 20-14 lead due to an offensive push by Faith Johnson and Melisa Tore – which proved to be the spark the home side was looking for. Ohio came back with an 8-2 scoring run to tie the preliminary set at 22. Third-year Bobcat Caroline Clippard took over from there, eventually ending the set with a ferocious kill to give her team the 1-0 series lead.  

Carlston knew he made the right decision. 

 “I was just trying to chill out, just breath, and entrust [the players] that they were going to go out and do what we talked about.” 

Clippard finished Saturday’s matinee with nine total kills. 

Frontline Firepower and a Sweet Sixteen 

Anna Kharchynska (6’4’’) and Caitlin O’Farrell (6’3’’) are the long arms of the law for Ohio.  

 O’Farrell’s blocking ability (three on Saturday) is the yin to Kharchynska’s yang on offense. Her additional five kills served as a major catalyst in the fourth and determining set.  

For Kharchynska, that success is a product of the team’s chemistry off the court. 

“Every member of our team leans on each other,” Kharchynska said. “[I] can just trust my team.” 

The second-year player from Kyiv had a game-high 16 kills, her third highest mark in that category so far this season.  

From the Sideline 

Geoff Carlston knew that his team would be in for a battle, and setting the tone from the serve itself was crucial. The Bobcats tallied nine service aces on Saturday.  

“We served [aggressively]. That got [Akron] stressed out and we didn’t let the foot off the gas,” Carlston said.

Despite the victory, Carlston knows that the grind of the regular season has only just begun. 

“There’s a weird pressure on the team right now,” Carlston said. “They’re at a space where they feel like they’re ready to win, but it’s hard. [The MAC] is a very strong volleyball conference.” 

Ohio (6-8 overall, 1-1 MAC) continues conference play when they welcome Kent State (4-9 overall, 0-2 MAC) to the Convo on Tuesday. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.