Nov. 17, 2007
TOLEDO, Ohio -
The No. 15 Ohio volleyball team defeated Kent State 3-1 (30-24, 26-30, 30-20, 30-26) Saturday evening at the SeaGate Centre to win its 15th-straight match and advance to the Mid-American Conference Tournament championship match.
Ohio was once again was led by MAC Player of the Year Melissa Griffin (Whitehall, Mich.). The senior middle blocker finished with a career-high and tied a team season-high with 27 kills on a .531 hitting percentage. Griffin made 49 swings on the day and committed just one attack error.
Ohio (25-4) will now square-off with rival Miami in the finals on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Bobcats will be looking to become the first team in the history of the MAC to win five-straight tournament titles, but will have to do so against the only team to defeat them in their last 80 MAC matches. Earlier this year on Sept. 28 the RedHawks handed Ohio its only conference loss in the last four years.
Ohio sophomore outside hitter Ellen Herman (Toledo, Ohio) totaled 17 kills and hit .325 and sophomore middle blocker Meghan Simons (Lancaster, Ohio) finished with 11 kills (.429) and a match-high five blocks.
After splitting the first two games, Ohio came out determined to win in game three. The Bobcats hit .516 and held Kent State to a .143 percentage, to take the game 30-20 and a 2-1 lead. Griffin led the attack in the third game, connecting on seven of nine swings to hit .778. Herman and Simons also stepped up their play in the game, landing five kills and four kills, respectively.
In the fourth game Griffin carried the load again, leading the Bobcats to a 30-26 win. The senior co-captain totaled 11 kills in the game and hit .500 to lift Ohio past the Golden Flashes and into the championship match.
The Bobcats never trailed in the first game on their way to a 30-24 win. Ohio out-hit Kent State .300 to .152 in the game and had 19 kills to Kent State's 12. The Bobcats were paced by Simons and senior outside hitter Stephanie Blackburn (Cincinnati, Ohio), who each had four kills in the game.
Kent State won the second game 30-26 after hitting .352 and recording 24 kills. Anne Zakelj had nine of her team-high 16 kills in the game for the Golden Flashes.
Defensively Ohio was led by senior libero Janice Matacic (Liberty Township, Ohio), who recorded a career-high and team season-high 28 digs in the victory. Blackburn totaled 15 digs for Ohio and added nine kills.
Freshman setter Michelle Jantsch (Mission Hills, Kansas) collected 45 assists and nine digs for the Bobcats.
Tomorrow's championship match at 1 p.m. will be broadcast live on the Buckeye Cable Sports Network (BCSN) in the Toledo, Ohio market.
Wes Liles is the volleyball contact in the Ohio media relations office. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.