ATHENS, Ohio – The No. 20 Ohio University volleyball team (13-2, 3-0 MAC) used a superior blocking effort to knock off rival Miami (8-7, 0-3 MAC) by a score of 3-1 (25-18, 21-25, 25-18, 25-15) Friday evening inside the Convocation Center.
The Bobcats held a 15-7 edge over the RedHawks in total blocks, including an impressive 8-2 edge in the fourth and deciding set.
Ohio – the No. 20 hitting team in the nation - hit at a .252 clip for the night while limiting Miami to .099 from the floor. It marked the second time in the last three matches that Ohio held its opponent under .100 hitting. The ‘Cats also held advantages in kills (56-40), assists (51-37) and digs (69-62) for the match.
Junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) knocked down 19 kills and added 16 digs to post her team-leading seventh double-double of the season, while freshman outside hitter Katie Horton (Westland, Mich.) added 12 kills, four total blocks and hit a match-high .478 in the contest.
Sophomore setter Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) recorded a match-high 44 assists and chipped in nine digs, while sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) came up with a team-high 19 digs for Ohio.
Graduate middle blocker Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) posted a match-high nine total blocks and tallied six kills to pace Ohio defensively at the net.
The ‘Cats took an early 8-5 lead in the opening set and held a 9-8 advantage in the set. From there, the Green & White rattled off five-straight points, highlighted by kills from Lamberti and redshirt junior Liis Kullerkann, to build a 15-8 advantage. The ‘Cats stayed in front by seven at 22-15 and won the frame, 25-18, after Lamberti hammered home a kill on set point. The Cary, Ill., native notched nine of her 19 kills in the opening frame.
After Miami took set two, 25-21, Ohio raced out to a 7-2 lead in set three. Miami cut the lead to three at 12-9, but the ‘Cats answered back with two-straight to build the cushion back to five (14-9). After a service ace by freshman Mallory Salis (Oak Lawn, Ill.) made it 20-14, Ohio held on to win the third set in strong fashion (25-18).
In addition to the ace, Salis also posted 10 digs and added two kills in the match. The two teams played to an 8-8 tie in set four before the ‘Cats posted three-straight to go up, 11-8. With Ohio leading 16-13, the Green & White used another mini run of 3-0 to build six-point cushion at 19-13. From there, Ohio outscored Miami, 6-2, over the final eight points of the set to take it, 25-15, and win the match.
With the win, the ‘Cats have now won eight-straight matches against their rivals from Oxford, dating back to the 2010 season. The crowd of 1,437 marked Ohio’s second-largest in the Convo this season.
The Bobcats return to action Saturday night at 7 p.m. against MAC East foe Bowling Green (6-8, 3-0 MAC) inside the Convocation Center. It will mark Ohio’s annual “Dig Pink” match.