Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio volleyball team (9-13, 4-5 MAC) opened up the fifth weekend of Mid-American Conference play with a 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-13) sweep of West Division foe Western Michigan (13-10, 3-6 MAC) tonight in the program's annual Dig Pink Match at the Convocation Center.
"After losing four in a row, their response is let's work harder, let's work together, let's get better," said fifth-year head coach Deane Webb. "Every one of the kids are coming in the gym early, watching video, doing all of the right thingsm so our team truly was due for a game like this because of the way they've been working. It's incredibly important to build on this, not so much because of the streak, but to get back to .500 in conference. We still believe we have enough talent to win the conference tournament."
Redshirt senior outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) registered a double-double for the Bobcats with a match-high 13 kills on 21 attempts for a .619 hitting percentage and a match-high 13 digs. Kosiorek also registered three service aces to reach a record-breaking 163 career service aces, surpassing the previous school rally scoring record of 162 set by Stephanie Blackburn (2004-07). Junior outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) added 11 kills and nine digs as well as three service aces for the Bobcats. Senior right-side hitter Stephanie Olman (Maumee, Ohio) chipped in eight kills and two assisted blocks. Sophomore middle blocker Tia Jimerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) tallied five kills and a match-high four total blocks (two solo, two assisted) for the Bobcats while junior middle blocker Sara Januszewski (Oak Creek, Wis.) chipped in four kills for the match. Sophomore setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) tallied a match-high 37 assists and chipped in five digs. Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) chipped in 10 digs while junior libero/ defensive specialist Meredith Howe (Grand Rapids, Mich.) added seven more.
Ohio and Western Michigan began the opening set trading points until Kosiorek, Jimerson and Stephens combined for three powerful kills to give Ohio an early 8-5 lead. However, the Broncos outscored the Bobcats 5-3 to tie the opening set at 11 apiece. A Bronco service error followed by a kill from Olman, an Ohio block and a kill from Kosiorek helped the Bobcats gain another three-point advantage, 15-12, heading into the first media timeout. Three Bobcat service errors combined allowed the Broncos to pull within one of the Bobcats, 20-19. Kosiorek and Jimerson combined for two consecutive kills, though, that increased the lead to 22-19 and forced a Bronco timeout late in the first set. After the timeout, Kosiorek registered two kills and a service ace to win the opening set, 25-20.
Once again, the Bobcats and the Broncos played tug-of-war for points but this time the Broncos were able to string together two points for a 12-10 lead early in the second set. The Bobcats quickly battled back with two consecutive kills by Olman and a pair of kills by Jimerson to outscore Western Michigan 5-1, and take a 15-11 lead. Ohio went on to outscore Western Michigan 7-4 with four of those seven points scored on registered kills from Olman, Kosiorek, Jimerson, and Januszewski to secure a 21-16 lead. The Broncos attempted to battle back, but the Bobcats, at full force, maintained pressure to win the second set, 25-20.
Ohio jumped out to an 8-5 early lead in the third set in its search for the sweep. Kosiorek tallied two kills alongside her 163rd service ace help the Bobcats to ean early lead. The Bobcats continued to apply pressure, scoring five consecutive points to extend the lead to 14-9 and force a Bronco timeout. Out of the timeout, Stephens recorded her second service ace. Olman and Kosiorek then each tallied kills, and a solo block by Jimerson forced another Western Michigan timeout with a score of 19-11 in favor of Ohio. Sustained urgency and aggression by the Bobcats increased the lead to 23-12 late in the third set. A kill by freshman outside hitter Ila Angermeier (Kirtland, Ohio) and a Bronco error secured a 25-13 third set victory and the sweep for the Bobcats.
Western Michigan was led by sophomore outside hitter Rachel Bontrager, who contributed a team-high nine kills and a team-high 10 digs. Freshman middle blocker Sammi Labolle followed closely behind with seven kills for the Broncos. Senior setter Mary Murphy recorded a team-high 26 assists and junior libero/defensive specialist Kathleen Reilly chipped in eight digs. Redshirt freshman middle blocker Janell Williams contributed three total blocks (one solo, two assisted) for the match.
Ohio will look for a weekend sweep on Saturday (Oct. 20) when it faces MAC West Division foe Northern Illinois (7-17, 5-4 MAC) at 6 p.m. at the Convocation Center. The match will be streamed live on ESPN+, with 'Voice of Ohio Volleyball' Jake Hromada and Gabe Genovesi on the call.