ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball swept its second match of the day, defeating the Belmont Bruins in three sets, 25-20, 25-11 and 25-18. Chelsea Bilger paced the `Cats with 13 kills, one shy of her season high.
"We focused on what we needed to do and did that well today in both matches," Bilger commented.
Freshman Abby Gilleland contributed with an all-around effort of five kills, 20 assists and six digs. She made way for Leah Petrovich in the third set and the senior racked up 13 assists. Kelly Lamberti's nine kills were second on the team, and four different Bobcats had five or more digs led by Meredith Ashy's 11.
Bilger's five blocks were tops on the team and a season-high for the sophomore. Lexie Hartnett and Serena Warner each had four blocks and the redshirt junior also tacked on seven kills while hitting .385 for the match.
Ohio and Belmont battled back forth in the first set, going point for point. Tied 11-11, the Bobcats scored the next four points for a little cushion. After the Bruins evened things at 16-16, Hartnett single-handedly scored the next four points for a 20-16 Green & White lead. She finished the set with four kills and two blocks.
Belmont got within one at 21-20 but Gilleland and Warner scored consecutive kills before the sophomore combined with Bilger on a block attempt to win the set 25-20.
"After the first set, we were able to figure out their hitters and settled in," Head Coach Ryan Theis said.
Ohio never trailed in the second set, jumping out to a 19-9 lead. Lamberti notched three kills and two of the squad's four aces on the night. Bilger and Gilleland each added three kills while Hartnett blocked two more attempts. The 11 Belmont points were the fewest allowed in a set this year by the Bobcats.
In the final set, Ohio led 9-8 before going on a five-point run that culminated with a resounding solo block from Bilger. The Bruins would climb within three but could get no closer as the `Cats won comfortably, 25-18. Bilger had seven kills in the final set with Lamberti adding four. As a team, Ohio hit a match-best .341 in the frame.
The Bobcats play Montana State tomorrow afternoon at 4 p.m. in the final game of the Bobcat Invitational. Belmont and Niagara will face-off at 1 p.m. in the day's first match.