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Bobcats Close Regular Season, MAC Title at Stake

OHIOBOBCATS.COM Faith Robins and the Bobcats can win a seventh MAC regular-season title this weekend.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM
Faith Robins and the Bobcats can win a seventh MAC regular-season title this weekend.
OHIOBOBCATS.COM

Nov. 8, 2012

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Friday, November 9 - Ohio at Buffalo, 7 p.m. Live Stats

Saturday, November 10 - Ohio at Akron, 5 p.m. Live Stats  

The Last Meeting
Buffalo0
Ohio3
October 6, 2012
Athens, Ohio
Bobcats Bowl Over Buffalo, 3-0
Ohio Volleyball ran its winning streak to five as it swept another Mid-American Conference foe on Saturday night, 25-18, 25-13, 25-17. The victory over the Bulls pushed the Bobcats' winning streak to 15 consecutive sets.

The Last Meeting
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October 5, 2012
Athens, Ohio
Ohio On a Roll, Shuts Out Akron, 3-0
Ohio Volleyball ran its consecutive-set stretch to 12 with its fourth sweep in a row, topping Akron this evening, 25-20, 25-23, 25-17. Chelsea Bilger's season-high 17 kills paced the Bobcats and moved them to 4-1 in the MAC standings.

Ohio Volleyball Closes Regular Season with Buffalo and Akron
Ohio Volleyball is back on the road for the second weekend in a row as the 2012 regular season comes to an end with trips to Buffalo and Akron. The Bobcats are currently tied with Bowling Green atop the MAC standings and know two wins would clinch a league title.

The Bobcats have won six MAC regular-season championships, all since 2003, and have a chance to finish with overall No. 1 seed in next weekend's MAC Tournament.

The 2012 MAC Women's Volleyball Tournament will take place at SPIRE Institute located in Geneva, Ohio, November 16-18, 2012. The top eight teams will play in quarterfinal games on Friday, November 16th. Semifinal games will take place on Saturday, November 17th, while the championship will be held on Sunday, November 18th and broadcast on SportsTime Ohio.

Social Media
Fans who want to follow all the happenings of the Ohio volleyball team should follow the squad on its official Twitter page at twitter.com/Ohio_Volleyball.

Last Weekend
Ohio Volleyball won its 12th match in a row and made it 22 straight against Kent State on Thursday before losing in five sets to defending MAC champion CMU on Saturday evening. Kelly Lamberti led Ohio in kills and notched consecutive double-doubles for the third weekend in a row, raising her season total to 14.

Lamberti finished with a match-best 19 kills and hit .375 while recording 14 digs against Kent State. She followed that with another 19 kills, tops in the match, and 19 digs at CMU.

Abby Gilleland finished with a match-high 33 assists and also notched six kills (.455) from her setter position against KSU. She then registered a double-double at CMU (33 assists, 10 digs), her fourth of the year. 

Meredith Ashy finished with 37 digs for the weekend, tops among the ‘Cats. Ohio’s 17.0 team blocks at CMU was its highest total of the season, surpassing the 16.0 against Toledo, also a five-set match. Karin Bull led the Bobcats with nine blocks on the evening, five in the third set, after not seeing action at KSU.

Ohio Notes
The Bobcats lead the MAC in blocking with an average of 2.76 per set and rank 20th in the nation. Meanwhile, they are limiting opponents to a .153 hitting percentage, also tops in the MAC, and averaging 17.77 digs per set, second in the MAC.

Ohio is also second in the league offensively with a .228 hitting percentage, but leads the league with an average of 14.62 kills per set. The Bobcats also rank fifth in the MAC with an average of 1.19 service aces per set.

Serena Warner continues to lead the league in blocking with an average of 1.30 per set and Lexie Hartnett is also among the MAC’s best with an average of 1.05 per set. Warner also ranks fifth in the MAC with an exceptional .300 hitting percentage. The sophomore has helped an Ohio attack led by classmate Kelly Lamberti.

Lamberti is second in the MAC in kills and points while also ranking fourth in points. Sophomore Chelsea Bilger is averaging 3.42 kills per set in league play, putting her up among the conference’s best. Faith Robins has also emerged as a strong offensive option for the ‘Cats, ranking among the MAC’s best with a .274 hitting percentage.

Two freshmen, Meredith Ashy and Abby Gilleland are also excelling early in their careers. Ashy now ranks third in the MAC with an average of 5.02 digs per set while Gilleland's 9.53 assists per set are also one of the top marks in the conference.

Opponents at a Glance
Buffalo (9-17, 3-11) has dropped four of five contests but still feature the reigning MAC East Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week. Junior Dani Reinert returned from a serious ankle injury and finished with 45 assists while adding three aces from the service line against MAC co-leader BG.

Reinert and freshman Megan Lipski are currently third and fifth in the MAC respectively in service aces per set. Junior libero Kelly Svoboda recorded consecutive matches of 20 digs or more last weekend and was named MAC East Defensive Player of the Week. Freshman Akeila Lain is second in the MAC to Ohio’s Warner at 1.29 blocks per set.

Akron (15-11, 8-6) has won five of six and secured a position in this year’s MAC Tournament. The Zips advanced to the conference tournament in each of its first three seasons under head coach Ron Arenz but was unable to make the cut in 2011. Akron’s win over the RedHawks also marked its eighth shutout of the season.

Senior setter Morgan Kuhn surpassed 3,000 career assists last weekend and ranks fourth in the MAC with 10.48 assists per set. Classmate Tina Dimitrijeves leads the league in hitting percentage at .353. That duo will be honored along with three other senior players against the Bobcats.

Theis Hits Century Mark
Ohio Head Coach Ryan Theis reached the 100-win mark in just his fifth season with the Bobcats. While at the helm of the program, the Bobcats have gone 113-47, including a 63-15 record in MAC regular season play. He is 31 wins shy of the all-time wins record, held by Geoff Carlson

In 2009-10, Theis led Ohio to consecutive NCAA Tournament Second Round appearances for only the second time in program history. The Bobcats have also captured the MAC's Eastern Division title all four seasons under Theis.

Ashy Excels in MAC Play
Meredith Ashy was named the MAC Volleyball East Division Defensive Player of the Week for a second time on Oct. 29. She notched a match-best 25 digs, one shy of her season high, in a win over Miami. Then against MAC co-leader BG, Ashy led the way once more with 14 digs. Earlier this season, Ashy surpassed 20 digs in wins over Kent State and EMU to garner her first weekly award.

Robins Rocking it for ‘Cats
Faith Robins was named the MAC Volleyball East Division Offensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career on Oct. 29. She started with a season-high 13 kills against rival Miami, hitting .429 for the Bobcats and adding six blocks. Robins followed that with 10 kills, one shy of the team-high, and once again hit over .400 against MAC co-leader Bowling Green on her Senior Night

Bilger Bashing MAC Foes
Chelsea Bilger was named the MAC Volleyball East Division Offensive Player of the Week on Oct. 8. The sophomore earned her first league honor after leading Ohio in kills, notching a season-high 17 in a win over Akron. She followed that with another double-digit outing, leading the ‘Cats with 12 kills vs. Buffalo.

Back-to-Back in the MAC for Lamberti
Kelly Lamberti was named the MAC Volleyball East Division Co-Offensive Player of the Week on Sept. 10. This was the third weekly award for the sophomore and second in as many weeks.

Lamberti started the Bobcat Invitational with 17 kills against Niagara, surpassing the 500-mark for her career. She then placed second on the team with nine kills against Belmont. Lamberti capped her weekend with a personal-best four service aces to go with a team-high 14 kills and 13 digs against Montana State.

Warner Wins First Weekly Award
Serena Warner was named the MAC Volleyball East Division Defensive Player of the Week by the league office on Sept. 3. This was the first MAC Weekly Award for Warner after the sophomore won all-tournament team honors at the Baymont Invitational.

She recorded 17 kills, hit .400 and led the squad with 15 blocks against No. 10 Kentucky, No. 17 Oregon and Western Carolina. Warner also notched a match-high six blocks against both the nationally-ranked Ducks and Wildcats, while racking up eight kills and hitting over .700 in the win against WCU.

USA Developmental Trip for Two Bobcats
This summer, two Ohio Volleyball players, Bilger and Lamberti, traveled to China for the Bring It Promotions/USA Volleyball Global Challenge. The duo were part of a team that played six matches over 13 days against three of China's top professional teams.

The two Bobcats were selected, along with student-athletes from Northern Illinois, Clemson, Minnesota, Villanova, Arkansas and Virginia Tech to comprise the developmental squad (USA Red) for six matches, three in Tianjin and three in Beijing. You can read more about their experience here: Kelly and Chelsea in China

Succeeding in the Classroom
The Ohio University volleyball team was awarded an American Volleyball Coaches Association Team Academic Award for the 2011-2012 school year. Ohio Volleyball had a cumulative GPA of 3.72 for the 2011-12 academic year and was one of the top schools nationally.

Ohio Volleyball had three student-athletes, Post, Hartnett and Nicole Staverman, named to the 2011 Academic All-MAC team. Leah Petrovich, Faith Robins, Kelly Colyar and Mollie Geske were named Academic Honorable Mention.

Ohio has had at least three players recognized on the MAC All-Academic Team for the past five seasons and had a record four first-team selections back in 2008. Eight different players have been named to a MAC All-Academic team over the last four years.