Nov. 23, 2012
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball closed out the home portion of its 2012 schedule on Friday night, beating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish by a final score of 3-2 (25-23, 25-23, 15-25, 21-25, 15-11). The match marked the second straight time in which Ohio and Notre Dame have gone to five sets, with the Bobcats coming out on top each time.
Chelsea Bilger led the way offensively for Ohio, generating a game-high 18 kills on 39 swings. The sophomore was one of four Bobcats to accumulate double figures in kills, as Serena Warner (12 kills), Kelly Lamberti (12), and Karin Bull (10) were not far behind.
The Bobcats hit .200 as a team and registered 12 total team blocks. Notre Dame was successful on offense at a rate of .253 and accumulated 13 total team blocks.
Five players for the Fighting Irish achieved 10 or more kills, with Jeni Houser's 16 leading the team. Houser had a strong day for Notre Dame, operating offensively at a clip of .344 and also assisting on three blocks.
Ohio leapt out to a fast two-set lead, winning each of the first frames by a close 25-23 margin. The Bobcats accumulated 31 kills on their first 67 attacks, hitting at a .358 clip. Ohio was able to keep Notre Dame to a reasonable percentage during these two sets, as the `Cats combined for six total blocks en route to allowing the Irish to hit at a rate of .292.
Bull (Bloomington, Minn.), Bilger (Fishers, Ind.), and Warner (Houston, Texas) had strong early sets for the Green and White, as each of these student-athletes connected on seven kills. Warner hit at an incredibly efficient rate of 7-for-8 and also added one solo block to her scoring efforts.
Notre Dame clawed its way back into the match in the third and fourth sets, winning both of them to tie things up at 2-2. The Fighting Irish hit .333 as a team in the third set while limiting Ohio to a success rate of .026. The visitors followed this up with a fourth-set victory which was highlighted by the offensive performance of Toni Alugbue, who connected on five kills and hit .400 in this fourth set.
When the pressure was on in the fifth and final set, Ohio played with poise. Recently named 2012 Mid-American Conference Player of the Year Lamberti had a strong set, hitting three kills on her five attempts. One of these came with Ohio facing an 8-7 deficit, making it the last time the Bobcats would trail in the set. Following Lamberti's kill to level the scores at eight, the `Cats didn't look back. Robins had a crucial kill at 11-11, setting up a four-point streak which would ultimately end the match. Freshman Carley Jones (Edgewood, Ky.) served out the final three points of the match, earning one service ace before Warner ended the match with a solo block on a Hilary Eppink attack attempt.
Without an automatic bid to the 2012 NCAA Tournament, Ohio Volleyball's season will have come to an end Friday evening unless the program is awarded an at-large bid at the annual Selection Show. The Selection Show for the 2012 NCAA Women's Volleyball Tournament is scheduled for Sunday at 4 p.m. and will be broadcast live on ESPNU.