EUGENE, Ore. – The Ohio University volleyball team (1-0) opened the 2013 season with a strong 3-0 victory (25-15, 25-10, 25-14) over Bryant University (0-1) Friday at the Oregon Classic in Eugene, Ore.
The Bobcats hit .521 as a team – the team’s highest combined mark in more than four years – and held Bryant to .116 from the floor. The Cats knocked down 44 kills to Bryant’s 22 and notched eight service aces on the night.
Junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) – the 2012 MAC Player of the Year - led the Bobcat offense with a match-high 13 kills while hitting .500 and chipping in three digs. Freshman outside hitter Katie Horton (Westland, Mich.) impressed in her Ohio debut, knocking down 10 kills at a clip of .471 and adding three block assists, while redshirt junior Liis Kullerkann (Keila, Estonia) posted eight kills (.538) and added a service ace for Ohio.
Sophomore setter Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) – a preseason All-MAC selection - contributed a match-high 29 assists and added four kills and five digs, while sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) chipped in a match-high seven digs.
Freshman outside hitter/libero Mallory Salis (Oak Lawn, Ill.) aided the Bobcats in her debut with a match-high three service aces while pitching in three digs.
Ohio raced out to a 7-3 lead in the opening set before the Bulldogs rallied with a 6-1 run to pull ahead, 13-11. From there, the Bobcats ramped up their offensive game, with eight kills over their final 12 points of the set. Lamberti posted four of those kills en route to a first set in which she contributed five kills, two digs and hit at .625. The Bobcats also notched four aces in the set, including two from Salis.
The Bobcats picked up where they left off in set one by scoring six of the first seven points of the second frame. In all, after closing the first set on a 14-2 run, the Bobcats at one point had claimed 20 of 23 points early in the second frame.
A kill by Lamberti increased the Ohio advantage to nine (13-4) in the second set and the lead swelled to 11 (17-6) on a kill from sophomore Karin Bull (Bloomington, Minn.). With the score at 23-8, the Bobcats were hitting at an impressive .939, and ultimately finished the frame with a .824 hitting percentage en route to the 25-10 set victory. The ‘Cats limited the Bulldogs to just a .045 clip in the set.
Ohio notched nine of the third set’s first 12 points and took a 14-6 lead on a kill by Horton. Bryant cut the Bobcat edge to six at 17-11, but Ohio notched eight of the set’s last 11 points to clinch the match victory.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday at 4 p.m. against Eastern Washington in the second match of the Oregon Classic. Ohio wraps up the tournament with a 10 p.m. contest against No. 8 Oregon.
For more information on the Ohio volleyball program, like the team’s Facebook page or follow the ‘Cats on Twitter (@ohio_volleyball) and Instagram (@ohio_volleyball).