Hunt and Bobcats take care of business with sweep over Eastern Michigan

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ATHENS, Ohio (WOUB) — Frustrating. That is the word Ohio head coach Geoff Carlston used to describe the evening.  

“Eastern [Michigan] played well. But I just thought we played passive,” Carlston said. 

No matter what emotions others took with them from the Convo, the one thing devoid of any doubt was that Carlston’s team put the victory in its back pocket.  

Three tight sets. Three Ohio wins. 

Caitlin O’Farrell slotted home a kill to give the Bobcats a 19-13 advantage in the first set. Whatever push Ohio gave throughout the night, Eastern Michigan had an answer – many times through the efforts of freshman Ava Siefke. 

Siefke initiated three-straight sets that cut the Eagles’ deficit to three.  

But it was another first-year player who stepped up to the challenge – Ohio’s Kam Hunt. With the Ohio leading 21-17, Hunt finished the set with two kills, one of them being the set-clinching cannon that propelled the home team to a 25-18 win and a 1-0 series advantage.  

O’Farrell and Caroline Clippard led the way in the winding moments of the ensuing set, which ended in another 25-18 score favoring the Bobcats.  

Fans were at their most tense in the third set as Eastern Michigan jumped out to an early four-point lead. Another ace and five more kills provided the visitors with the breathing room they’d been gasping for the entire evening.  

“We didn’t have a lot of flow,” Carlston said.

However, the third-year head coach saw a key difference that proved pivotal. 

“We started serving tougher,” Carlston said. “They made some mistakes and we made some plays.”  

Clippard sparked Ohio’s comeback with three consecutive kills to eventually tie the game at 20. An attack error by Eastern Michigan’s Angel Baylark and another O’Farrell kill spurred the Bobcats to a 24-22 lead.  

Just one point away from victory, those in attendance at the Convo were hoping for someone to send them home happy. And once again – entered Kam Hunt.  

It was another tightly contested play between both teams, until the freshman out of Sylvania slammed home the game winner with her stamp of approval and 12th kill of the evening.  

“[She’s] been huge,” Carlston said. “She allows [our team] to run our system … Overall, she played well and made good plays.” 

Hunting Down Success 

Kam Hunt’s impact in her inaugural season in Athens has been monumental. Despite the victory, she knows that larger goals are on the horizon.  

“We just wanted to end [the regular season] on the best note possible and just keep progressing [heading into] the MAC tournament.” Hunt said. “We just want to get one percent better every time we play.” 

Hunt also credited those around her for her continued growth. 

“I’m getting constant feedback from my teammates and coaches. They relieve a lot of pressure that I might feel,” Hunt said.  

Staying ready for the big-time role is something Hunt has been very thankful for as she continues her young career and prepares for the postseason. 

“I’m really pleased that I’m starting to hit a stride towards the end of the season,” Hunt stated. “[The team] always talk[s] about playing great in November. Going out [of the regular season] with as much momentum as possible into the MAC Tournament is what we want.” 

Friday’s win was Hunt’s sixth consecutive match with at least ten kills.  

What’s Next?  

Ohio sits with an overall record of 14-12 (9-5 MAC). Ohio concludes its two-game series with Eastern Michigan on Saturday at the Convo. It will be the team’s final regular season home game of 2023. 

Game time is scheduled for 4 p.m.