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Ohio Captures MAC Regular Season Title at Akron, 3-1

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OHIOBOBCATS.COM Serena Warner was one of five Bobcats in double figures as they claimed the MAC regular season title this evening.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Serena Warner was one of five Bobcats in double figures as they claimed the MAC regular season title this evening.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

Nov. 10, 2012

Akron, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball captured its seventh Mid-American Conference regular season title on Saturday evening with a 3-1 victory at Akron, 25-22, 21-25, 25-21, 25-15. The Bobcats finish the regular season with a record of 19-9, 14-2 in MAC play.

 "I thought we would have a chance to be in the top group of the league so we started off with a challenging slate in non-conference,"  Head Coach Ryan Theis said. "I have been impressed with our consistency in matches and the standings. For the last three or four weeks we've been on top and stayed there."

Kelly Lamberti finished the regular season with 15 double-doubles after leading Ohio this evening with 21 kills and finishing second with 13 digs. Chelsea Bilger also finished in double figures with 10 kills and three other Bobcats, Serena Warner, Karin Bull and Faith Robins each eclipsed the 10-point mark in the match.

Warner led the `Cats with six blocks and Bull registered three solo denials. On the night, Ohio had 13.0 team blocks, 10.0 in the final two sets. Abby Gilleland eclipsed the 40-assisst mark once more and fellow freshman Meredith Ashy led the Green and White once more in digs with 14.

"Kelly put us on her shoulders early and we went to her all night offensively," Theis added. "We made an adjustment after the second set which helped our defense a lot. Our offense suffered a little but it made things very difficult for Akron to get kills against us."

Ohio notched the first four points of the match and eventually doubled that margin at 17-9 on a kill by Lamberti. The Zips would get back in the set with a four-point run, cutting the score to 20-17, and eventually trim the deficit to two.

Despite their efforts, the home team was turned aside as Lamberti picked up a seventh kill and Ohio picked up where it left off the night before, hitting .324 en route to a 1-0 lead. Lamberti and Bilger finished with 12 of the team's 17 kills in the set.

Akron scored six of seven points to take an early lead against the `Cats in the second frame. Ohio responded though by scoring five in a row on the serving of Lamberti and the effectiveness of Bull. UA would draw even at 16-16, setting up a tense ending.

Four points in a row allowed the Zips to open up some breathing room at 23-19 and that edge allowed them to even the match with a 25-21 win. Tina Dimitrijeves had nine kills as Akron hit .400 against Ohio in the game.

The Green and White scored the first three points in the third set but UA didn't let them pull away, tying the score 9-9. The Bobcats took a 12-9 on three-consecutive Zip attack errors and never looked back, increasing the lead to as many as six. Gilleland set up Bilger for the final attack and Ohio retook the lead in the match once more with a 25-21 win.

An ace by Warner capped a three-point run by Ohio early in the fourth set as the visitors took an 8-5 lead. Ahead 12-9, another run, this one of the six-point variety, blew things wide open. Lamberti's final kill of the night pushed the score to double figures and Ohio rolled to a 25-15 victory.

The 2012 MAC Women's Volleyball Tournament will take place at SPIRE Institute located in Geneva, Ohio, November 16-18, 2012. The Bobcats play No. 8 seed Ball State on Friday at 4:30 p.m.

The top eight teams will play in quarterfinal games on Friday, November 16th. Semifinal games will take place on Saturday, November 17th, while the championship will be held on Sunday, November 18th and broadcast on SportsTime Ohio.