Sept. 3, 2010
ATHENS, Ohio -The Ohio University volleyball team dropped its opening match this afternoon at the JQH Invitational in Springfield, Mo. The Bobcats were bested by North Carolina, 3-0 (16-25, 22-25, 23-25).
"When you have as many kills as your opponent and out-block them, it comes down to the little things in matches," Head Coach Ryan Theis said. "UNC was just better at converting and capitalizing on those little things than we were today. If we can learn how to convert on those chances I still think we're going to be a very good team. We're just not experienced enough."
Sue Jacobi and Mandy Nichols led the Bobcats with 14 and 10 kills respectively. Katie Post had nine kills while hitting a team-high .429 for the match and adding a team-high four block solos. Faith Robins chipped in with four kills and three block solos. Jacobi, with her effort today, passed former teammate Meghan Simons and moved into ninth place during the rally-scoring era with 725 career kills.
In her 100th career match, Michelle Jantsch had 31 assists for the Green & White and tied Jacobi for the team lead in digs with nine. Nichols also set a career-high with seven digs in the match.
Ohio led 6-3 in the first set on five kills and a service ace by Jantsch, but UNC rallied to take nine of the next 12 points and gain a 12-9 advantage. The Tarheels continued to pull away and finished the set with their largest margin of victory on the day at 25-16. UNC also held a large edge in hitting percentage, .308 to Ohio's .081.
In the second set, UNC jumped out to a 15-8 lead and appeared to have things in control. However, Ohio put together a 9-0 run that featured two kills each from Robins and Post to take a 16-15 lead. The set reamined tight with the score knotted at 21 in the later stages. Consecutive Tarheel points were countered by a Lexie Hartnett kill to cut the deficit to one at 23-22. After a UNC timeout, a Tarheel kill and an Ohio attack error ended the set.
"UNC had runs of points and our errors continued to pile up today," Theis said. "I'm proud of the way our team fought back during the second and third sets. We would get behind and then string together good play after good play to draw even and take a small lead. However, it again comes down to converting at the end of sets. We were close today. To use a baseball analogy, I would compare today to throwing a bases-loaded, 3-2 pitch. Sets two and three we missed the plate by an inch or two. Instead of getting the strikeout, we walked in the run."
In the third set, UNC scored eight of the first 10 points and still led 12-6 before Ohio once again made a charge. The Bobcats scored 12 of the next 18 points to even the set at 18 apiece. Once again, the end of the set saw both teams battling furiously but the 'Cats could never grab the lead. After tying the set yet again, 23-23, consecutive kills by UNC ended the Bobcat hopes of mounting a comeback on the afternoon.
Christine Vaughen led UNC with nine kills and led a balanced attack of five players recording seven kills or more. All-ACC player Courtney Johnston had eight kills and hit .444 for the match, one of four players to hit over .400 for the Tarheels
The Bobcats will play two matches tomorrow starting with Southeast Missouri State at 11 a.m. and followed by a contest with Texas A&M at 6:30. Missouri State will provide live stats throughout the weekend. Links to those matches can be found by clicking here.