ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University volleyball team (24-4, 14-2) won the eighth MAC regular season title in program history outright Saturday evening after sweeping Central Michigan (25-15, 25-14, 25-19) before 1,926 fans inside the Convocation Center.
The Bobcats enter the 2013 MAC Championship as the No. 1 seed and will take on the No. 8 seed Kent State on Friday at noon at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Ohio won its eighth-straight match and second-straight MAC title on the strength of a solid hitting night in which the ‘Cats held a 43-30 edge in kills and hit .301 while limiting the Chippewas to a .133 clip.
The Bobcats also out-blocked CMU, 9-3, and held a 6-2 edge in service aces on senior night.
A pair of Bobcats hit major milestones in the match, as junior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) and sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) each recorded her 1,000th career dig in the match.
Lamberti knocked down a team-high 10 kills and added 10 digs to post her team-leading 16th double-double of the season, while Ashy notched a match-high 16 digs and contributed two assists on the night.
Sophomore middle blocker Karin Bull (Bloomington, Minn.) chipped in 8 kills on 18 attempts (.444) and added three total blocks, while freshman outside hitter Katie Horton (Westland, Mich.) notched four blocks (two solo) and five kills for the Bobcats. Graduate middle blocker Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) also tallied four blocks and knocked down five kills while hitting a blistering .714.
Sophomore Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) tallied a match-high 28 assists and added five kills from the setting position.
The Bobcats were red hot out of the gate, posting 11 of the first 14 points of the opening set. A block from Bull and redshirt junior Liis Kullerkann (Keila, Estonia) gave Ohio a nine-point edge (20-11) in the frame and the Green & White won the first set by 10 (25-15) after Bull punctuated the set with a kill.
Ohio held an 11-5 edge early in the second set and moved ahead by eight (18-10) on a kill from freshman outside hitter/libero Mallory Salis (Oak Lawn, Ill.). The Bobcats forced set point after a kill from Pinson and won the second frame, 25-14.
After the break, the two teams played to an 11-11 tie, before CMU moved ahead by two (18-16) on an Ohio attack error. But Ohio stormed back with four-straight points to move ahead by two (20-18) and an ace from freshman defensive specialist Geneva Yee (Milwaukee, Wis.) pushed Ohio in front by three (22-19). The Bobcats ended the set on a 9-1 run to clinch its second straight MAC regular season title outright.
The victory moved Ohio to 13-0 in three-set matches this season.
Prior to the game, Ohio’s four senior student-athletes were honored for their contributions to the program.