By Pete Nakos
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio volleyball team (3-2) lost the first match of the 2017 Bobcat Invitational presented by Texas Roadhouse to Georgia, 3-1 (25-16, 25-21, 25-14), on Friday (Sept. 1) morning at the Convocation Center.
The Bobcats could not overcome seven reception errors and 17 attack errors.
Freshman middle blocker Tia Jamerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) hit .615 and tied for the team lead with nine kills and added a match-high six assisted blocks. She also had a dig. Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Carley Remmers (Filley, Neb.) added nine kills, a service ace, an assisted block and four digs. Junior setter Stephanie Olman (Maumee, Ohio) dished out a team-high 17 assists while adding two block assisted blocks and a dig. Freshman setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) distributed 15 assists and tallied a dig. Sophomore outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) recorded six kills, an assisted block and five digs. Sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Sara Januszewski (Oak Creek, Wis.) finished with six kills and three assisted blocks. Sophomore libero Meredith Howe (Grand Rapids, Mich.) led Ohio with eight digs and also added a service ace and an assist.
The Bulldogs came out victorious after hitting .344 (45 kills-13 errors-93 total attacks) and serving seven aces. Freshman outside hitter T'ara Ceasar led the match with 14 kills and three service aces and recorded seven digs. Freshman outside hitter Rachel Ritchie logged 12 kills, a service ace, an assisted block and five digs. Junior middle blocker Majesti Bass hit .471 with 10 kills and led the team with three total blocks (one solo, two assisted). Sophomore setter Meghan Donovan led the match with 40 assists and chipped in a kill, a service ace, an assisted block and five digs. Freshman defensive specialist Kendall Glover led the match with 21 digs and also contributed two service aces and three assists to Georgia's cause.
Georgia hit .519 (16 kills-two errors-27 total attacks) in the first set to earn a nine-point win.
The second set featured four lead changes and 13 ties. Jimerson picked up four of her kills in the set, hitting .800. Ohio opened the set by jumping out to an 8-6 lead thanks to three kills by Jimerson and kills by Stephens, Januszewski and Remmers. Georgia tied the set at 12-all with a kill by Ritchie, but kills by Stephens and redshirt sophomore middle blocker Natalie Burchesky (Canonsburg, Pa.) and a double block by Burchesky and Januszewski helped Ohio build a 16-13 lead. The Bulldogs rallied, though, going on a 9-3 run that gave Georgia a 22-19 lead and forced Ohio to burn a timeout. A kill by Remmers pulled the Bobcats to within two, but a service error by the Bobcats and back-to-back kills by Ritchie and Bass allowed the Bulldogs to take a 2-0 match lead.
Georgia closed out the sweep by hitting .308 (13 kills-five errors-26 total attacks) and limiting Ohio to a .000 (seven kills-seven errors-31 total attacks) hitting percentage in the third set.
In the second match of the Bobcat Invitational, High Point (2-2) swept Oklahoma (1-3), 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-19). The Panthers are scheduled to face the Bulldogs in the third match of the tournament at 5 p.m. ET on Friday.
Ohio hosts Oklahoma on Friday at 7:30 p.m. ET in the fourth match of the Bobcat Invitational. Jake Hromada, the voice of Ohio volleyball, and Gabe Genovesi will have the call of the action on ESPN3. The Bobcats and the Sooners square off for the second year in a row after meeting in the NIKE Invitational in Norman, Okla., on Sept. 9, 2016 -- a 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-18) sweep for the Sooners.