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Ohio Volleyball Pulls Out Thrilling Road Win At Bowling Green

Ohio Volleyball Pulls Out Thrilling Road Win At Bowling Green


Box Score (PDF)

By Mike Ashcraft

BOWLING GREEN, Ohio -- The Ohio volleyball team (14-13, 8-5 MAC) clawed back from a six-point deficit in the fifth set to stun Mid-American Conference East Division rival Bowling Green, 3-2 (25-17, 15-25, 25-20, 15-25, 17-15), on Friday (Nov. 3) at the Stroh Center.

Ohio improved to 5-3 in five-set matches in 2017 with the victory.

"Great win tonight for the Bobcats," said fourth-year head coach Deane Webb. "We didn't play our best much of the night, but we had enough at the end for a fantastic finish. I don't remember the last time I was a part of a fifth set where we were down 7-1 and came back to win."

The Bobcats evened the regular season series with the first-place Falcons after suffering a 3-1 (17-25, 25-21, 25-22, 25-22) loss to Bowling Green on Sept. 30 at the Convocation Center in Athens.

Ohio won the battle at the net, outblocking the Falcons, 14-9.

"Outblocking Bowling Green is quite an accomplishment, as they've shown themselves to be a dominant blocking team this season," said Webb.

Freshman middle blocker Tia Jimerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) put up huge numbers in the win, leading the match with 21 kills and adding a team-high seven total blocks (one solo, six assisted). She hit .556 in the victory with just one attack error. Sophomore outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) achieved her 10th double-double of the season with 15 kills and 12 digs. She tallied two service aces to bring her season total to 55 -- a single season program record in the rally scoring era. Stephens also chipped in two total blocks (one solo, one assisted). Redshirt sophomore outside hitter Carley Remmers (Filley, Neb.) logged seven kills, a career-high 20 digs, two service aces, two assisted blocks and an assist. Sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Sara Januszewski (Oak Creek, Wis.) provided seven kills and six assisted blocks. She also had two digs. Junior setter/outside hitter Stephanie Olman (Maumee, Ohio) posted seven kills, four assisted blocks and an assist. Freshman setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) achieved her team-high 11th double-double with 50 assists and 14 digs and matched her career high with five assisted blocks. She also added a service ace. Freshman libero Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) set a career high with 32 digs while sophomore libero Meredith Howe (Grand Rapids, Mich.) racked up 14 digs.

"We struggled passing tonight, but we were able to earn enough points blocking and serving to make up for the lack of offensive production," said Webb.

After taking a 2-1 match lead with a five-point win in the third set, Ohio hit just .040 in the fourth and was forced to try to pull out a win in five sets for the eighth time this season.

Bowling Green raced out to a 7-1 lead to start the fifth set and forced Ohio to burn both of its timeouts. Senior outside hitter Nicole Slimko led the charge for the Falcons with three kills while freshman middle blocker Katie Kidwell added another. An attack error by the Falcons, a kill by Jimerson and a double block by Jimerson and Giacomazzi cut Bowling Green's lead to three points, but a pair of Ohio service errors and a Bobcat attack error made it a 10-5 advantage for the home team. The Bobcats refused to quit, though, and stormed back with a 7-2 run that evened the score at 12-all. Kills by Stephens and Olman, a double block by Olman and Jimerson and back-to-back kills by Jimerson allowed Ohio to battle back. Bowling Green put Ohio on the brink of a tough loss after taking a 15-14 lead with a kill by junior middle blocker Madeline Brandewie, a kill by Slimko and a service error by the Bobcats. A double block by Giacomazzi and Jimerson kept Ohio alive, though. Another double block -- this one by Giacomazzi and Januszewski -- put Ohio in the lead, and an attack error by Bowling Green gave the Bobcats an improbable victory.

Ohio opened the match by taking an eight-point win in the first set. Two kills apiece by Januszewski, Remmers and Stephens, kills by Olman and Jimerson and a service ace by Giacomazzi helped the Bobcats build a 10-6 lead. A kill by Kidwell, a service ace by freshman middle blocker Katie Seimet and a double block by Brandewie and junior outside hitter/right side hitter Isabel Kovacic cut Ohio's advantage down to one, though. The Bobcats responded to Bowling Green's challenge by going on an 11-5 run that saw three kills by Stephens, two by Jimerson and double blocks by Januszewski and Stephens and Jimerson and Remmers. Kills by Olman, Stephens and Remmers helped the Bobcats close out the first-set win. Ohio hit .417 in the set with Stephens providing six kills, Remmers adding four and Jimerson notching three.

The Bobcats built up a 10-8 lead in the second set, utilizing two kills by Januszewski, kills by Olman, Remmers, Jimerson and Stephens and double blocks by Remmers and Januszewski and Jimerson and Giacomazzi. The Falcons roared back, though, closing out the set with a 17-5 run to even the match. Slimko and sophomore outside hitter/right side hitter Jessi Holly led Bowling Green with four kills apiece while Brandewie notched three total blocks (one solo, two assisted) and two kills. 

Ohio jumped out to an 11-8 lead in the third set thanks in large part to three kills by Jimerson, two kills and a service ace by Stephens and a service ace by sophomore outside hitter/libero Allyson Vaughn (Glenview, Ill.). Bowling Green retaliated, though, with a 10-4 run to grab an 18-15 edge, using two kills and a service ace by Brandewie, two kills by Slimko, another by Kidwell and a double block by Slimko and Brandewie. Jimerson brought the Bobcats back, though, thanks to back-to-back kills and a solo block to even the score at 18-all. A Slimko kill made it 19-18 in favor of the Falcons, but three kills by Jimerson, two by Stephens and a service ace by Remmers helped give Ohio a 2-1 match lead with a five-point triumph in the third set.

The fourth set was a back-and-fourth affair to start, with two kills apiece by Jimerson and Stephens and a kill by Olman helping the Bobcats keep pace with the Falcons. A kill by Holly gave the Falcons a lead they never relinquished, though, as Bowling Green rolled to a 10-point set win to send the match to five sets. Five kills and a solo block by Slimko and four kills apiece by Holly and Kovacic helped lift the Falcons to the set win.

Slimko led Bowling Green with 18 kills and added two total blocks (one solo, one assisted). Holly achieved a double-double with 15 kills and 20 digs and also had a service ace. Brandewie logged nine kills, a match-high seven total blocks (one solo, six assisted), a service ace and five digs. Kovacic notched eight kills, three assisted blocks and three digs. Kidwell hit .316 with eight digs and also added three digs. Sophomore setter Isabelle Marciniak achieved a double-double with a match-high 51 assists to go along with 14 digs. She also had two kills and two total blocks (one solo, one assisted). Seimet led the match with 34 digs and also had a service ace and four assists. Sophomore defensive specialist Victoria Iacobelli recorded 19 digs and an assist while sophomore defensive specialist Paulina Iacobelli finished with 11 digs and a service ace.

Ohio looks to run its winning streak to four in a row when it visits archrival Miami (18-8, 10-3 MAC) in a 5 p.m. ET 'Battle of the Bricks' matchup at Millett Hall on Saturday (Nov. 4) in Oxford, Ohio. The Bobcats are looking to sweep the regular season series with the RedHawks after emerging victories, 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 25-16, 17-25, 15-13), on Sept. 29 at the Convo. Miami has gone 9-1 since that match -- including recording a 3-0 (26-24, 25-23, 25-16) sweep of MAC East Division rival Kent State on Friday.


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