Nov. 7, 2008
Final Stats |
ATHENS, Ohio -
Junior outside hitter Ellen Herman ripped a career-high 28 kills to lead a quartet of Ohio University volleyball players in double figures on Friday night, as the Bobcats knocked off Mid-American Conference East Division co-leader Miami in a thrilling five-set (19-25, 25-21, 21-25, 25-22, 15-12) affair.
The match featured 28 ties and had at least one lead change in every set except the decisive fifth stanza, during which the Bobcats never trailed. Ohio also battled back from a five-point deficit to take set two, and overcame a four-point disadvantage en route to winning the fourth frame.
"This was a total team effort tonight," Ohio head coach Ryan Theis said. "The third set slipped away from us and we were down three or four points in the fourth, but we did a great job of responding. We weren't given anything in sets four or five - we took them for ourselves, and that's what you have to do to win competitive matches at this stage of the year."
Herman (Toledo, Ohio), who had 13 of her 28 kills in the final two sets, moved into a tie for fourth place on Ohio's single-match kills chart with her career-best 28, eclipsing the mark of 27 that she had attained on three previous occasions. She propelled the Bobcats to a .304 hitting percentage as a team in the fourth stanza with nine kills on .421 hitting, and added four more in the deciding frame, as the Green & White hit .471 to close out the match.
Herman's career-high 72 attempts on the night also tied for the fourth most by an Ohio player in a single match. Her 31.0 points also represented a personal best.
Sophomore outside hitter Sue Jacobi (Louisville, Ky.) and junior middle blocker Meghan Simons (Lancaster, Ohio) each added 13 kills on the night, while junior middle blocker Jane Sytsma (Madison, Wis.) chipped in with 11 to give the Bobcats four players in double figures for the third time this season. Jacobi's total was her highest since piling up a career-high 17 against Syracuse on Sept. 13, while Simons and Sytsma registered their ninth and eighth double-digit performances of the season, respectively.
Sophomore setter Michelle Jantsch (Mission Hills, Kan.) guided the Bobcats to a season-high 76 kills and a .251 hitting clip with a career-best 66 assists on the night, marking the first time an Ohio player had surpassed the 60-assist mark since Savanah Parra had 64 against Kentucky on Nov. 29, 2006. Jantsch also out-dueled Miami's Andrea Atteberry, who entered the match ranked second in the MAC in assists per set, by a count of 66-57.
The Bobcats (17-7, 10-3 MAC) also had a trio of players reach double digits in the digs column on Friday night, led by 24 from junior libero Sarah Petrulis (Westlake, Ohio). The figure was just one shy of her career high, and represented the third 20-dig outing of her career. Petrulis set the defensive tone early with eight digs in the first set, and also accounted for four of the Bobcats' nine digs in the deciding fifth frame.
Senior defensive specialist Molly Mangan (Claire, Ill.) picked up 15 digs to reach double figures for the fourth time this season, while Herman secured her fourth-consecutive double-double with 10 digs and sophomore defensive specialist Meryl Bender (Yorktown, Ind.) had nine in the win.
Simons played the role of catalyst for Ohio's blocking game on Friday, posting a season-high eight block assists en route to a campaign-best nine total rejections. Senior opposite hitter Amanda Andersen (Lino Lakes, Minn.) chipped in with four block assists, while Ohio got two apiece from Herman and Jantsch.
The Bobcats' tough serving in recent matches was evident yet again on Friday, as the Green & White played its way to an 8-3 advantage at the service line. Jantsch led the way with a career high-tying four aces, while Herman had a pair and Mangan and Sytsma each tallied one.
"This rivalry means a tremendous amount to our team, and we certainly knew the importance of the match before play began," Theis said. "That said, tomorrow night's match against Bowling Green is equally important. They're a very good team, and they excel at hitting the ball. Tonight's win was the product of a team effort, getting timely kills from different players, and that will also be key against Bowling Green."
Ohio will welcome Bowling Green, its second MAC East co-leader in as many nights, to The Convo tomorrow night for a 7 p.m. showdown. The Bobcats head into the match tied with BGSU atop the division after the Falcons claimed a sweep of Kent State on Friday.