GENEVA, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball dropped its first MAC Tournament match in four years and was eliminated by No. 6 seed Central Michigan in the semifinals this evening, 25-17, 25-22, 25-14. It will be the first time since 2002 that the MAC Championship match will not have the Bobcats in it.
The serving game was the story of the contest with CMU totaling 12 aces and the Bobcats committing nine errors. Kelly Lamberti led Ohio with 11 kills and eight digs, while classmate Chelsea Bilger notched 10 kills and six digs.
Ohio led by as many as three points and was in front 16-13 when CMU captured 12 of the final 13 points to take the first set, 25-17. The theme of the evening took hold early as CMU picked up four aces and Ohio committed four service errors. This negated some strong play from Lamberti who had five kills in the first set.
The Bobcats took an early three-point lead in the second set but the teams went back and forth. Near the end of the stanza, Ohio led 22-21; however, Kaitlyn Schultz notched consecutive kills to put the Chippewas back in front. Then, Schultz served back-to-back aces to win the set, 25-22 and take a 2-0 lead in the match.
Ohio seemed to back in the swing of things with a 9-7 lead in the third set, but CMU responded with a five-point run. Trailing 16-11, the Bobcats couldn't stop the deluge and the Chippewas scored six more points to push the lead to double digits. CMU doubled Ohio's offensive output, racking up 14 kills as opposed to the Bobcats' seven, and won the set, 25-14.
Ohio still has at least one more contest, November 25 at Cincinnati. The Bearcats own the No.20 RPI in the nation and the Bobcats still have hopes of securing an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.