Aug. 26, 2012
DAYTON, Ohio - Lexie Hartnett finished one kill shy of matching her career-high and Serena Warner had a career-best 11 blocks but Ohio Volleyball dropped to 0-3 with a four-set loss to host Dayton in the final match of the Flyer Classic this afternoon, 18-25, 26-28, 26-24, 17-25.
"I thought we got better through the course of the weekend but we are not quite there as a team," Head Coach Ryan Theis said. "Two-and -a-half weeks into a long season, we aren't good enough to win against top-25 teams. I really do like this group and think they can do great things but we just aren't quite there yet."
Hartnett tied for the team lead in kills with Chelsea Bilger. The sophomore also had seven digs and four blocks. Faith Robins had 10 kills and hit .529 while also racking up five blocks. Abby Gilleland notched a career-best 46 assists, while all-tournament team selection Meredith Ashy set a new career mark with 25 digs. Kelly Lamberti narrowly missed her 21st double-double with nine kills and 18 digs.
"I thought Lexie and Fairh really kept us in the match and played with passion, Serena blocked well and Meredith dug a lot of balls," Theis added. "I was pleased to see us up around 14 kills against a good defensive team. I see glimpses of very good play, especially in that third set, but just not a consistent effort. We need to be a better team, and I emphasize the word `team."'
Ohio opened a three-point edge at 8-5 after a UD attack error but the home side responded with four in a row to gain a 9-8 edge in the first set. After the `Cats went ahead 11-10 on a block, UD would score three in a row to re-take a 13-11 lead.
Ohio would get one back out of a timeout but Dayton scored four successive points to open up a 17-12 lead and force another timeout. The Bobcats scored four of the next five to climb within two points at 18-16 but Dayton re-energized and scored seven of the final nine points of the set to win 25-18. Ohio notched a tournament-best 4.5 blocks during the first stanza.
The Bobcats started the second set with a 4-1 lead but Dayton would eventually even things at 7-7. After trading volleys, Ohio finally broke ahead by two on a kill by Bilger at 12-10. However, UD scored three times in a row to force a timeout at 13-12.
The Bobcats would quickly retake the lead on an attack error and led 15-14 before another three-point run for the Flyers. Ohio closed back within one at 19-18 on a kill by Hartnett but UD scored four of five to open a 23-19 cushion.
A kill by Lamberti was then followed by consecutive blocks from Warner and Bilger to bring the `Cats back to 23-22. Dayton scored out of a timeout but Ohio fought off consecutive set points to even things at 24-24. After dealing with two more set-point attempts by the home side, Ohio finally succumbed 28-26.
Ohio trailed by three early in the third set, but evened things at 8-8 on a UD attack error. The Bobcats would wash away another deficit with a three-point run of their own and take a 13-12 lead. After Dayton tied with the next volley, Ohio's Bilger and Warner notched kills either side of an attack error for a 16-13 Bobcat lead.
The home side responded out of a timeout and went on a four-point run to take a 17-16 lead before Ohio used one of its own to try and quell the rally. However, UD notched three of the next four points for a 20-17 lead and forced another Ohio timeout.
Dayton led 22-19 before Hartnett registered a kill and then assisted on a block with Petrovich to cut the gap to one. Another kill by Hartnett forced a UD timeout before an attack error tied the score 23-23. Another attack error gave Ohio a lead at 25-24 and Warner closed things out with a kill to get Ohio back in the match at two sets to one.
Ohio limited Dayton to a match-low .026 hitting percentage as Hartnett notched six kills on eight swings and the Bobcats accumulated five blocks in the set.
Ohio jumped on Dayton in the fourth set, scoring the first three points and taking a 5-1 lead. However, the flyers rallied and took the lead for a first time at 9-8. UD could only muster a two-point lead before consecutive kills from Bilger gave Ohio the lead once more at 14-13. However, the Flyers scored six in a row for a 19-14 lead and never looked back, winning 25-17.
The Bobcats open their home schedule next weekend with the Baymont Invitational. Ohio hosts No. 13 Kentucky, No. 20 Oregon and Western Carolina. The Green and White plays UK on Friday at 7 p.m. after UO takes on WCU.