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Volleyball Hosts Rematches With Akron, Buffalo

Freshman Mallory Salis has provided an offensive spark from the back row for Ohio this season.

Oct. 31, 2013


Weekend Schedule:
Friday vs. Akron (7 p.m.) - Live Video | Live Stats
Saturday vs. Buffalo (7 p.m.) - Live Video | Live Stats 

ATHENS, Ohio - The Ohio University volleyball team (18-4, 8-2) welcomes two MAC East foes to the Convocation Center this weekend for a pair of return matches.

Ohio hosts Akron (6-15, 0-10) on Friday at 7 p.m. and plays Buffalo (16-7, 4-6) on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Green & White swept the Bulls (3-1) and Zips (3-0) during the opening MAC Weekend Sept. 27-28.

The Last Meeting
September 28, 2013
Akron, Ohio
No. 22 Ohio Keeps Rolling, Downs Akron, 3-0
The No. 22 Ohio University volleyball team (12-2, 2-0 MAC) used a precise offensive effort to race past the University of Akron in straight sets (25-12, 25-12, 25-22) Saturday evening at James A. Rhodes Arena in Akron, Ohio.

The Last Meeting
September 27, 2013
Buffalo, N.Y.
No. 22 Ohio Wins At Buffalo, 3-1, In MAC Opener
Behind a stellar all-around performance from sophomore setter Abby Gilleland, the No. 22 Ohio University volleyball team (11-2, 1-0 MAC) rolled past Buffalo (12-2, 0-1 MAC) in four sets (25-17, 20-25, 26-24, 25-12) Friday evening at Alumni Arena in Buffalo, N.Y.

Ohio sits in first place in the MAC East Division with an 8-2 league mark. The Green & White are receiving 11 votes in this week’s AVCA Poll.

Last weekend, the Bobcats swept their road trip through Northern Illinois-Western Michigan for the first time since 2007 this past weekend. Ohio won at NIU in four sets, then upended the Broncos in five in Kalamazoo. It marked just the third time in the last six seasons that WMU dropped a MAC match at home.

Ohio held both Toledo (.130) and Ball State (.182) under a .200 hitting clip. The Bobcats have limited nine of their 10 MAC opponents to under .200 hitting this season. Ohio leads the MAC in opponent hitting percentage (.143) in conference play.

The Bobcats swept the MAC East Weekly Awards Monday for the second time this season. Sophomore setter Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) earned Offensive Player of the Week accolades for the second time, while graduate middle blocker Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) garnered her MAC-leading fourth Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Gilleland notched 10.6 assists/set, 1.8 kills/set and hit a blistering .469 over the two matches and posted career bests in assists (56) and digs (22) against Western Michigan. Pinson averaged 1.4 blocks/set and hit .325 on the weekend.

The Bobcats are ranked No. 41 in the latest NCAA Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) released Monday. Ohio is 1-3 against RPI top-50 opponents and 6-3 against the RPI top-100.

While junior Kelly Lamberti has missed time over the past few matches with an ankle injury, freshman outside hitter/libero Mallory Salis (Oak Lawn, Ill.) has stepped up to become a crucial hitter on the back row. After posting a high of five kills over the first 19 matches, she’s averaged 10 kills/match over the past three, including two double-doubles.

Akron has struggled in conference play and currently sits in sixth place in the MAC East with an 0-10 league mark. In the first match between the teams the Bobcats won in straight sets (25-12, 25-12, 25-22).

Senior outside hitter Alex Cocklin is leading the team and ranks 10th in the MAC in kills (2.84/set). Freshman setter Karley Kusan is having a solid debut season, averaging 7.81 assists per set, which puts her at ninth in the conference. Sophomore Kelsey Wilson is leading the conference with 0.32 aces per set. Defensively, senior libero Jill Paluch is just outside the top-10 in the conference in digs , averaging 4.20 each set.

The Bulls got off to a 4-1 start in conference play, but are coming off three consecutive league losses. Ohio and Buffalo opened their respective MAC seasons against each other, when Ohio won a tight contest in four sets (25-15, 20-25, 26-24, 25-12) in Western New York. Despite losing the match, the Bulls outblocked the Bobcats (17-14).

Sophomore outside hitter Tahleia Bishop is sixth in the MAC with 3.35 kills per set and tallied 11 against Ohio in their previous match. Buffalo is second in the MAC in blocks behind Ohio and also second in opponent’s hitting percentage. Pacing them on that front are sophomore Amber Hatchett and senior Carissa McKenna, who rank third and fifth in the conference, respectively. When the ball actually gets by the Bulls high-flying front line , senior libero Kelly Svoboda is usually there to record a dig. She is second in the conference with 5.48 digs/set.

The Bobcats hit the road for their final regular season road trip of 2013. Ohio plays at Bowling Green on Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. and at Miami on Nov. 9 at 5 p.m.