Buffalo, N.Y. - Ohio Volleyball moved within one win of clinching the Mid-American Conference regular season title on Friday evening, routing Buffalo in straight sets, 25-12, 25-17, 25-15. A week after struggling offensively, the Bobcats had their best performance of the year hitting .410 against the Bulls.
"Everybody played well tonight for us on both sides of the ball," Head Coach Ryan Theis said. "Our passers and diggers put us in good position and then our hitters did equally well in finishing the plays set up for them. Meredith, Carley and Mollie did a really nice job handling both offensive and defensive facets tonight."
Abby Gilleland led the Green and White with 46 assists, matching her season-high (Dayton, 8/26) and Meredith Ashy had 19 digs, her seventh-straight match of 12 digs or more.
"After the disappointment of last week, this is the performance we needed to have," Theis added. "We wanted to get back out on the road and play well here tonight. This is always a tough place to play and we were able to get a win here amid this great atmosphere."
Ohio started with a 6-1 lead in the first set and eventually went ahead 13-2. An ace by Warner gave Ohio its largest advantage at 20-7 and the score stayed in double digits as the `Cats won 25-12. Bull was a perfect 5-for-5 on kill attempts as the Green and White hit .483 and grabbed a 1-0 advantage in the match.
The Bobcats kept the pedal down against the Bulls in the next frame, taking a 10-2 lead behind the play of Lamberti. The lead would reach nine before Buffalo put together three-straight points to claw back to 18-12.
Despite the momentum shift, Bull, Bilger and Lamberti then scored three in a row to push the edge back to nine and Ohio went on to take a 2-0 lead on the strength of a 25-17 win. Lamberti led the Bobcats with seven kills on 11 swings as the team hit over .400 for a second-consecutive set.
Ohio led 4-3 in the third game but used a five-point run to take control of things early. Leading 16-10, another spurt by the `Cats, fueled by Gilleland's serving, put them up double figures for the first time. Bull and Lamberti combined on Ohio's ninth team block of the night to close things out, 25-15.
Ohio closes regular-season play tomorrow with a 5 p.m. contest at Akron. The Bobcats will then take part in the 2012 MAC Tournament which starts Friday, Nov. 16 at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.