Box Score | Abby Gilleland Interview | Ryan Theis Interview
Nov. 16, 2012
GENEVA, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball advanced to the semifinals of the MId-American Championship Tournament this evening with a clean sweep of No. 8 seed Ball State, 25-17, 25-23, 25-15. The Bobcats will play No. 4 Northern Illinois tomorrow, at 2:30 p.m.
Kelly Lamberti and Cheslea Bilger tied for the team lead with 11 kills apiece and each hit over .300. Serena Warner had eight kills and was one of five Ohio players with multiple blocks.
Faith Robins paced the Green and White with three denials. Abby Gilleland finished with 35 assists, while Meredith Ashy (15) and Mollie Geske(10) each finished with double-digit digs.
"I thought our offense did really well, in all facets," Head Coach Ryan Theis said. "Our passers and setters were fantastic and any time you can hit over .300, that shows you had a good team effort and executed well. I thought Abby was phenomenaland everyone else was so efficient. Also, Faith had some blocks that really changed the game in my opinion."
Ohio trailed 9-8 in the first set before rattling off four points in a row behind the serving of Gilleland. A ball handling error on the Cardinals pushed the Bobcat lead to 17-12 and forced a BSU timeout.
Leading 20-16, Ohio used another four-point run, this time with Carley Jones doing the serving. That spurt effectively killed off the Cardinals in the first set, 25-17. Five different Bobcats registered multiple kills as the team hit .560.
Ohio was behind 17-14 in the second set but was able to even the score at 18 on a kill by Bilger. After falling back once more at 22-21, the 'Cats responded with kills by Warner and Gilleland either side of a BSU error to arrive at set point.
Lamberti's fourth kill proved to be the finisher as Ohio won 25-23 and took a commanding 2-0 lead in the match. The sophomore duo of Bilger and Lamberti combined for over half of the Green and White's kills in the frame.
The third set was just a formality as Ohio rolled to a 25-15 victory and took the match in the process. The lead did not hit double figures until the final point, a block by Robins of BSU's Kara Bates.
Ohio's stellar offense (.379) matched its dominant defense (BSU - .074) and the Bobcats had their second sweep of the Cardinals this season.
The Bobcats improved to 18-1 in the MAC Tournament when it plays as the No. 1 seed. Ohio has now reached the semifinals of the MAC Tournament the last 11 seasons.
Earlier this season, Ohio topped Northern Illinois in four sets back on Oct. 19 in Athens. This will be the first MAC Tournament battle between the two since the 2010 finals.