Aug. 31, 2008
Despite a second-straight double-digit kill performance by junior outside hitter Ellen Herman, the Ohio University volleyball team was handed a 3-0 (15-25, 19-25, 9-25) defeat on Sunday by top-ranked Penn State on the final day of the Hawaiian Airlines Wahine Volleyball Classic.
Herman (Toledo, Ohio) finished the day with a team-high 11 kills on 32 swings to conclude the three-match tournament with an average of nearly four kills per set. She also added a pair of digs and a block solo on the afternoon. Junior middle blocker Jane Sytsma (Madison, Wis.) chipped in with three kills, while sophomore outside hitter Sue Jacobi (Louisville, Ky.) and freshman opposite hitter Katie Post (Streamwood, Ill.) had two each.
"We showed a high level of volleyball at times today," Ohio head coach Ryan Theis said. "It's hard to sustain high levels of play against a team like that. It would have been nice to come away with a win, but it will be a good weekend if we got better. We got to try some different things out, and we now have a better feel for what works."
Junior libero Sarah Petrulis (Westlake, Ohio) and freshman defensive specialist Nicole Staverman (Edgewood, Ky.) shared the team lead with four digs apiece. Sophomore setter Michelle Jantsch (Mission Hills, Kan.) dished out a team-best 14 assists on the afternoon.
Herman got the Bobcats (0-3) going early in the opening set with a block solo and a kill, and a service ace by senior defensive specialist Molly Mangan (Claire, Ill.) sparked Ohio to a quick 4-1 lead. Kills by Herman and Sytsma helped keep the count even through the first 16 points before a series of Penn State miscues allowed Ohio to move ahead by a pair, 11-9. The Nittany Lions surged ahead by a score of 15-12 at the media timeout, and, despite late kills by Herman and Jacobi, would not relinquish the advantage on the way to a 25-15 victory in the opener. Herman's three kills paced Ohio in set one, while Jacobi and Sytsma posted two apiece in the first stanza. Staverman tallied a team-high three digs in the opener.
The early going of set two was tightly contested thanks to a pair of kills by Herman and a double block by junior middle blocker Meghan Simons (Lancaster, Ohio) and sophomore setter Michelle Jantsch (Mission Hills, Kan.). Post ripped a kill to tie the score at 6-6, and the squads traded points until PSU was able to open up a 12-10 edge. After a pair of Penn State errors helped Ohio tie the score at 14-14, Herman sent a kill off hands in the deep right corner to send the set into the media timeout with the Bobcats holding a 15-14 advantage. PSU took five of the first six points after the stoppage to assume a 19-16 lead, and a pair of late kills off of Herman's hand were not enough to prevent a 25-19 Penn State win in set two. Herman went for a team-high seven kills, and Post added a pair, in the second set, while Petrulis collected a trio of digs to spearhead the defensive effort.
Ohio got kills from Herman, Jantsch and Simons in the third set, but Penn State rode its momentum after the break to a match-clinching 25-9 victory.
Ohio will hit the road again next weekend, heading to the Steel City for the University of Pittsburgh Invitational. The Bobcats will face Binghamton and Eastern Kentucky at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. ET, respectively, on Friday before wrapping up against the host Panthers at 1:30 p.m. ET on Saturday.