$restriction.code /sports/wvball/2018-19/releases/20181027u7ta91

Ohio Volleyball Earns Another Sweep, Knocks Off Eastern Michigan

Ohio Volleyball Earns Another Sweep, Knocks Off Eastern Michigan

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ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio volleyball team (11-14, 6-6 MAC) wrapped up the sixth weekend of Mid-American Conference play with another 3-0 (25-14, 27-25, 25-13) sweep, this time of West Division opponent Eastern Michigan (14-12, 6-6 MAC) tonight at the Convocation Center.

Redshirt senior outside Jaime Kosiorek (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) led the Bobcats with a match-high 11 kills on 26 attempts for a .308 hitting percentage recorded a match-high four service aces and also chipped in nine digs to finish just shy of a double-double. Followed closely behind, sophomore middle blocker Tia Jimerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) registered 10 kills on 17 attempts for a .353 hitting percentage and also posted two total blocks (one solo, one assisted). Senior right side hitter Stephanie Olman (Maumee, Ohio) compiled eight kills and a team-high three total assisted blocks while junior outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) also compiled eight kills, two service aces, two total blocks (one solo, one assisted) and chipped in seven digs and for the Bobcats. Redshirt junior middle blocker Simone Miller (Kalamazoo, Mich) compiled three total blocks (one solo, and two assisted) to match Olman for the team lead while redshirt freshman middle blocker Dahlias Bouyer (Brownstown, Mich.) added two assisted blocks. Sophomore setter Vera Giacomazzi (Vendemiano, Italy) registered a match-high 38 assists and six digs while sophomore libero/defensive specialist Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) compiled a match-high 15 digs.

"Things are starting to go the right way as far as our team," said fifth-year head coach Deane Webb. "There are probably different ways that it happened. The first and third sets, I think we were pretty physical in different phases of the game. Tia kind of took over that first set, and then, that last set, our servers really were pretty dominant. For us, that was a team that came in with the number one defense in the league, statistically, and they had the number two offense in the league, and we held them to hitting .090, and we hit about .240. Proud of what our team is doing, and proud of the work they're putting in to keep improving." 

Ohio and Eastern Michigan traded points until a 5-0 Ohio run gave the Bobcats a 10-5 lead early in the opening set. Kosiorek registered two service aces alongside two kills for Jimerson in the run that forced an Eastern Michigan timeout. Ohio continued to capitalize on its lead out of the timeout on two kills by Stephens and a kill by Olman coupled with an Ohio block that brought the lead to 16-8. The Bobcats went on to score three of the next four points, forcing Eastern Michigan to call its second timeout of the set with the Bobcats ahead 19-9. Eastern Michigan, fired up out of the timeout, attempted to push back and build momentum but Kosiorek shut down the run with two consecutive kills followed shortly after by a kill by Jimerson to push the lead to 23-13. Junior outside hitter/defensive specialist Allyson Vaughn (Glenview, Ill.) registered a kill to clinch the opening set win for Ohio, 25-14.

Ohio built an early 4-2 lead on a service ace by Stephens and a quick kill by Kosiorek. However, the Eagles went on to score the next four points to take a 6-4 lead. Three kills by Jimerson, a kill apiece for Stephens and Kosiorek and a service ace by Stephens allowed Ohio to regain the lead, 12-10. Eastern Michigan pushed back and scored three consecutive points to take a 13-12 lead, but Ohio retaliated and scored the next three points to reclaim a 15-13 lead going into the media timeout. The Eagles, determined to even the score in sets, put together an 8-4 run that forced an Ohio timeout with the Bobcats trailing the Eagles, 21-19. Stephens recorded two kills while Olman recorded one kill, forcing Eastern Michigan to take a timeout ahead 23-22 late in the second set. Out of the timeout, Olman registered a kill followed directly after by a service ace from Stephens that brought Ohio to set point, 24-23, and forced another time by the Eagles. A kill for the Eagles kept hopes alive, but a kill by Miller followed by two errors for Eastern Michigan gave Ohio the second set win, 27-25.

Points were traded early in the third set until Ohio outscored Eastern Michigan 6-2 to take an early 10-7 lead. Three consecutive Bobcat points on a kill and service ace by Kosiorek and a solo block for Stephens forced an Eastern Michigan timeout with Ohio ahead, 13-8. Kosiorek tallied another service ace that was paired with a kill by Jimerson out of the timeout to increase the lead to 15-8. Eastern Michigan called another timeout, down 18-11, in an attempt to slow down the Bobcats. Ohio went on to score seven of the next eight points, though, with two kills by Olman and a kill apiece for Kosiorek and Jimerson that helped result in a 25-13 set win and the match victory.

"Tonight was fun because our attackers were always on point, they were always there with their feet, and whenever your offense is like that, it changes a game a lot because they (the opponent) will never know where the ball is going," said Giacomazzi. 

Sophomore middle blocker April Houston led Eastern Michigan with nine kills and a team-high three total blocks (one solo, two assisted). Redshirt junior middle blocker/right side hitter Cassie Haut registered six kills. Senior outside hitter Jordan Smith tallied five kills and two total blocks (one solo, one assisted) for the Eagles. Redshirt senior setter Mallory Rajewski recorded a team-high 17 assists and nine digs while senior libero/defensive specialist Alyssa Laface compiled a team-high 11 digs. Sophomore outside hitter Franki Strefling added nine digs while junior right side hitter Ariel Hamby chipped in two assisted blocks for the Eagles.

Ohio will play its final two road contests of the 2018 regular season next weekend, battling a pair of MAC East Division rivals. The Bobcats will take on Akron next Friday (Nov. 2) in a 7 p.m. match at James A. Rhodes Arena, then visit Alumni Arena on Saturday (Nov. 3) for a 6 p.m. match against Buffalo.

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