Box Score (PDF)
BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The Ohio volleyball team (12-15, 7-7 MAC) saw its winning streak come to an end with a 3-0 (25-14, 25-11, 25-20) loss to Mid-American Conference East Division rival Buffalo (16-10, 8-6 MAC) tonight at Alumni Arena.
Although Ohio tallied 13 total blocks (one solo, 12 assisted), 28 kills on 114 attempts for a .053 hitting percentage was a barrier too big to overcome in the loss. Sophomore middle blocker Tia Jimerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) and junior outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Frisco, Texas) both led the team with seven kills. Stephens chipped in six digs and a service ace while Jimerson compiled a team-high four total blocks (three assisted, one solo). Redshirt senior outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) logged six kills and senior right side hitter Stephanie Olman (Maumee, Ohio) logged five kills and two assisted blocks. Sophomore setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) compiled a team-high 26 assists and two assisted blocks while sophomore libero Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) led the team with 11 digs. Junior libero/defensive specialist Meredith Howe (Grand Rapids, Mich.) added 10 digs and a service ace for Ohio.
"Buffalo played at a high level tonight and deserved the win," said fifth-year head coach Deane Webb. "We served and passed well but struggled with their physicality at the net. We will need to be more precise offensively and defensively if we have the opportunity to play them again."
In the opening set, Buffalo jumped out to an early 8-3 lead over the Bobcats. A kill apiece for Jimerson and Stephens brought the Bobcats momentum, but the Bulls went on a 4-0 run that brought the lead to 15-7 leading up to the media timeout. A service ace by Stephens paired with a kill by Kosiorek and two kills by Jimerson decreased the lead to 17-12. Buffalo scored the next two points to force an Ohio timeout down 19-12 late in the opening set. The Bulls continued to attack and outscored the Bobcats 6-2 to win the opening set 25-14.
Buffalo jumped out to another 8-3 set lead over the Bobcats. After the previous set result, Ohio took a timeout in hopes of a stopping the charging Bulls early. Out of the timeout, Jimerson and Giacomazzi registered a kill apiece that was followed by a Buffalo error that brought Ohio within two, down 8-6. What looked like a change in momentum in favor of the Bobcats was quickly shut down by a 10-1 Buffalo run that resulted in a 19-8 deficit for Ohio. In an attempt to fight back, Olman tallied a kill just before Kosiorek compiled two consecutive kills, but it was not enough as Buffalo went on to win the second set, 25-11.
It was the Bobcats turn to charge off to an early 8-3 lead to begin the third set. Three Bobcat blocks, two kills apiece for Jimerson and Stephens, a kill by junior middle blocker Sara Januszewski (Oak Creek, WIs.) and a service ace for Howe started the charge that led to a 10-4 lead and a Buffalo timeout. The Bulls, however, inched back to within three, down 16-13, and forced the Bobcats to take a timeout. After the timeout, Buffalo outscored Ohio 5-0 to take an 18-16 lead and force another Ohio timeout. The Bulls continued heavy pressure and outscored the Bobcats, 7-4, to win set three, 25-20, and clench the match victory.
Buffalo was led by junior outside hitter Rachel Sanks who recorded a match-high 16 kills and tallied three assisted blocks. Sophomore outside hitter Andrea Mitrovic fell just short of a double-double with nine kills and a match-high 17 digs. Junior middle blocker Kristina Nieves tallied eight kills and a match-high six total blocks (five assisted, one solo) while senior middle blocker Megan Wernette registered 6 kills and four assisted blocks for the Bulls. Sophomore setter Tia Gleason registered a match-high 41 assists and chipped in eight digs while senior libero/defensive specialist Larra Bickelhaupt compiled 11 digs. Senior libero/defensive specialist Larra Bickelhaupt chipped in 13 digs for Buffalo.
Ohio closes out the 2018 regular season with a pair of home matches against MAC East Division rivals next weekend. The Bobcats will take on Bowling Green next Friday (Nov. 9) at 7 p.m., then square off against archrival Miami in a 6 p.m. Battle of the Bricks matchup on Saturday (Nov. 10). Ohio will honor its three seniors prior to Saturday's match -- Kosiorek, Olman and right side hitter Katie Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada).