[Jillian Sanders | WOUB]

Ohio sweeps Kent State, improves to 2-1 in MAC play

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) – Ohio hosted Kent State for a midweek Mid-American Conference showdown on Tuesday night. Coming off a weekend split in the MAC opener against Akron, the Bobcats came into the game looking to improve to 2-1 in conference play. Ohio won in dominating fashion, taking down Kent State for their first home sweep in 2023. 

Ohio controlled the first set early on, as it jumped out to an early 5-0 run to open the game. Ohio closed out the set with a 6-1 run to win 25-19 behind an ace from libero Sam Steele.

The Bobcats got off to a slow start in the second set, trailing early on. They rallied back behind a 7-1 run that was led by middle blocker Caitlin O’Farrell, who went on a five-kill run herself. Ohio closed out the set strong, winning 25-17.

Ohio took the bull by the horns and never looked back in the third set. It carried its energy from the first two sets to get out to a 15-6 start. Ohio dominated and took the set 25-17 to help it improve to 2-1 in MAC play. 

Ohio’s winning efforts were led by stellar play from its middle blockers, specifically O’Farrell with 14 kills on 18 swings. O’Farrell had quite the supporting cast tonight amongst the rest of the middle blockers.

“I’m really proud of the work that everyone’s put in and how everyone’s been playing like Makenna Shafer, she’s the most energetic teammate we have and now I’m excited she gets to show that on the floor,” O’Farrell said. 

The defense was also key tonight, and head coach Geoff Carlston knows the importance of his defensive leaders clicking.

“Sam (Steele) and Maci (Watrous) are the cornerstones of our defense this year, Carlston said. “We’ve expected that from our libero and our right side and setters have done a much better job defending as well.”

Ohio travels for a series at Buffalo on Friday and Saturday, which holds significance after the Bulls eliminated Ohio from the MAC Tournament early last year.