GENEVA, Ohio - Chelsea Bilger had 16 kills in her first MAC Tournament match, nine in the deciding third set, and Ohio defeated rival Miami for a third time this season, 25-22, 25-20, 25-22 in the quarterfinals of the 2011 Mid-American Conference Tournament.
After losing the 2007 MAC Championship match to Miami, Ohio has now won three in a row against their rivals in the tournament. The Bobcats have also won 10-straight matches in the conference tournament, dating back to that very contest.
Ohio will face No. 6 seed Central Michigan tomorrow afternoon in the semifinals. That contest is slated to begin at 5 p.m. The Bobcats and Chippewas have met only once in MAC Tournament play with Ohio winning a semifinal match in 2009.
Kelly Lamberti registered 12 kills and hit .310, while senior Katie Post notched 10 kills and a match-best six blocks for the Bobcats. Bailey Karst had a match-high 38 assists and seven different players registered digs with Mollie Geske leading the pack with 10.
Lamberti amassed 45 kills in three matches against Miami and hit .343, while Post hit .391. As a team, the Bobcats hit .300 against their rivals from Oxford. Defensively, Ohio averaged 3.39 blocks per set this season in three matches against the RedHawks. The Bobcats average 2.73 blocks per set, which is 19th nationally.
Ohio used three-point runs in the first set to go ahead 8-5 and then 14-10, Miami would cut the lead to one on two occasions but the Bobcats reasserted themselves by taking a four-point lead and winning the set, 25-22.
Bilger led Ohio with five kills, Lamberti added four and Post chipped in with three. The 'Cats also blocked five Miami attempts, with Post and Faith Robins combining on three denials.
With senior Nicole Staverman serving, Ohio took a 5-0 lead in the second set. However, Miami did not roll over and eventually took the lead, 12-11. After a Post kill evened the score, Miami committed four attack errors to give the 'Cats a four-point lead.
Ohio led 21-20 before Post picked up back-to-back kills, Miami committed another error and Leah Petrovich faked a set attempt for the deciding point. The four-point run handed the Bobcats a 2-0 lead in the match.
Post led Ohio with five kills on seven swings and the team hit a match-best .348 in the second set. The Bobcats also held Miami's offensive attack to a sub-.100 hitting percentage for the second set in a row.
Ohio trailed by as many as four points and were behind late, 20-16, before rallying against Miami. The team scored five of the next six points as Bilger evened the score at 21-21.
Trailing 22-21, it was Bilger again tying things up before Miami erred and called a timeout down 23-22. Out of the timeout, the freshmen, Lamberti and Bilger finished things off as Ohio swept Miami for a third time in 2011.