Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio volleyball team (3-6) fell to Virginia Tech (8-0), 3-1 (24-26, 25-21, 25-21, 25-16), tonight in the final match of the opening day of the 2018 Bobcat Invitational presented by Texas Roadhouse at the Convocation Center.
Redshirt senior outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) led the Bobcats with 16 kills and matched junior outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) for the team lead with two service aces. Redshirt senior right side hitter Katie Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) hit .345 for the match and tallied 13 kills. Junior middle blocker Simone Miller (Kalamazoo, Mich.) had another strong offensive match, hitting .429 on the evening with three kills and adding a team-high three assisted blocks. Sophomore setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) distributed a team-high 23 assists while freshman setter Kyra Slavik (Saint Charles, Ill.) handed out 20. Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) recorded a match-high 22 digs.
Ohio battled back from a 24-21 deficit in the opening set, scoring five-straight points to earn a 26-24 win. Two kills by Kosiorek and a double block by Miller and freshman outside hitter/right side hitter Lauren Park (Millersburg, Ohio) helped power the Bobcats to the comeback victory.
A service ace by Stephens, a kill by Kosiorek and two Virginia Tech service errors helped the Bobcats build a 10-7 lead in the second set. The Hokies fought back, though, and took a 21-20 lead on a service ace by sophomore outside hitter Kaity Smith, forcing Ohio to call timeout. Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Virginia Tech scored four of the next five points, with sophomore outside hitter Ester Talamazzi tallying back-to-back kills and senior right side hitter Jaila Tolbert and sophomore middle blocker/outside hitter Marisa Cerchio combining to end the set with a double block.
With the Bobcats and the Hokies even after two sets, the Bobcats came roaring back with three kills from Nelson, a kill from Kosiorek and a kill from Miller to gain an early 8-2 lead to start the third set. Attacking errors by the Bobcats allowed the Hokies to battle back to tie the third set at 15-all. After a back-and-forth battle for the lead, three consecutive Ohio errors gave the Hokies a 22-18 upper hand. Virginia Tech then received two kills from Tolbert and another from Talamazzi to close out the set win and gain a 2-1 lead in the match.
The Hokies earned a wire-to-wire win in the fourth set. Virginia Tech limited Ohio to a .088 hitting percentage en route to the match-clinching nine-point win.
Tolbert led the match with 17 kills and hit .467. She also added four assisted blocks. Smith and Cerchio each recorded 12 kills, with Cerchio hitting .500 and leading the match with six assisted blocks and Smith achieving a double-double with 13 digs. Talamazzi compiled 10 kills. Redshirt senior setter Rhegan Mitchell logged a match-high 42 assists while junior libero/defensive specialist Carol Raffety recorded a team-high 14 digs.
Ohio will be back in action at the Convocation Center on Saturday (Sept. 8) for the final match of the Bobcat Invitational presented by Texas Roadhouse, battling IUPUI (2-7) at 2 p.m. EST. The contest will be streamed via ESPN+ ($). Jake Hromada, 'The Voice of Ohio Volleyball', and Gabe Genovesi will have the call of the action.