ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament and remained in first place of the league with a 3-1 win over rival Miami this evening, 25-21, 15-25, 25-15, 25-22. The Bobcats have now won seven in a row against the RedHawks and 10 in a row overall.
"Miami defended us well early until our offense turned a corner coming out of the break," Head Coach Ryan Theis said. "Faith was solid all night and we finally got our left-side hitters going in the third and fourth sets. That got the offense really rolling."
Three players scored in double figures with Chelsea Bilger (18 kills), Kelly Lamberti (16 kills) and Faith Robins (13 kills) pacing the 'Cat attack. The senior hit an astounding .429 and also notched six blocks. Ohio was led by Serena Warner's eight blocks as the team collected 14.0, its most in a four-set match during MAC play.
Abby Gilleland had 42 assists for the second-consecutive match and her 19 digs gave her a third double-double on the season. In fact, two of the performances have come against Miami. Meredith Ashy notched 25 digs, her second-highest total in a match this year and Lamberti had 14 digs for a third-straight double-double.
"I was just happy to be an offensive option tonight," Robins added. "We wanted to come out strong and play with a lot of confidence. We did that early, then hit a bump in the second set. Luckily, we were able to turn things around and get a win tonight."
Ohio scored the first seven points of the match and was ahead 10-2 before Miami started to claw back into the set. The RedHawks cut the Bobcat lead in half before a four-point run pushed the score to 15-7.
Ohio still led 21-14 until a five-point push by Miami forced a timeout. The Bobcats settled down and wound up winning 25-21 as Bilger, Lamberti and Robins each tallied four kills.
In the second set, Miami used two four-point runs to gain the upper hand against the Green and White. The visitors scored five in a row to end the set and tie the match with a 25-15 win. The RedHawks used 10 blocks over the first two frames to keep things tight with the 'Cats.
Ohio scored a quick three points and after a block by Warner, Miami used a timeout trailing 10-6. Two kills by Bilger sandwiched a slam by Robins to make the margin, 20-14.
In fact, the Bobcats scored eight of the final nine points in the set and cruised to a 25-15 win. Once again, the trio of Lamberti, Bilger and Robins were huge offensively, with 15 of the team's 16 kills.
Four points in a row during the fourth set gave Ohio an early 10-5 lead. The Bobcats then rattled off seven of nine points to increase their margin to nine, 21-12.
Eventually, the RedHawks would put together a run of their own, scoring nine of 11 points to make things interesting at 24-22. However, Robins and Warner combined on a block to put the match in the win column for the Bobcats.
Ohio hosts Bowling Green tomorrow at 7 p.m. with Senior Night festivities scheduled for after the match. The two teams are tied for the top spot in the MAC and BG handed the Bobcats their last loss back on Sept. 21.