Box Score (PDF)
MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich-- The Ohio volleyball team (7-8, 2-0 MAC) swept Central Michigan (3-11, 0-2 MAC) 3-0 (26-24, 25-21, 25-22), tonight at McGuirk Arena to close out its first weekend of 2018 Mid-American Conference play.
Redshirt senior outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) registered a match-high 12 kills to lead the Bobcats. Redshirt senior right side hitter Katie Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) compiled 11 kills on 21 total attempts, finishing with a .429 hitting percentage. Junior outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) and junior middle blocker Sara Januszewski (Oak Creek, Wis.) both registered nine kills while redshirt junior middle blocker Simone Miller (Kalamazoo, Mich.) registered a match-high four assisted blocks for the Bobcats. Sophomore setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) registered a match-high 44 assists while sophomore libero/defensive specialist Macy Reihing (Lexington, Kentucky) recorded a match-high 16 digs.
"We've gotten very used to scoring points blocking and serving, and I was interested to see how we would respond when we had a match where neither went well," said fifth-year head coach Deane Webb. "Tonight was that night, and I give Central Michigan credit for making those portions of the match difficult for us. We did a great job keeping our error rate low attacking, and that helped us win the longer rallies."
The opening set began with the Bobcats and the Chippewas going point-for-point until a five-point run resulted in a 10-5 lead for the Bobcats. Three kills apiece for the redshirt senior duo of Kosiorek and Nelson forced a Central Michigan timeout with the Bobcats ahead, 12-7. Januszewski added two quick kills paired with three kills from Stephens that resulted in a 16-12 Ohio lead. However, the Chippewas outscored the Bobcats 6-1 to regain the lead, 18-17, and force an Ohio timeout late in set one. In another point-for-point battle, Ohio and Central Michigan found a tie at 24-all until a kill by Januszewski was followed by a kill from Kosiorek that gave Ohio the opening set win, 26-24.
Central Michigan came out with aggression to begin the second set, jumping out to an early 5-1 lead. Kosiorek and Nelson led a Bobcat charge to close the gap to a one-point lead for Central Michigan at 10-9. Three consecutive errors by the Bobcats resulted in an Ohio timeout with a four-point Central Michigan lead. The Bobcats answered with four-straight points on two kills by Januszewski, a kill by Kosiorek and a service ace by Stephens that led to a Chippewas' timeout. Down one-point out of the timeout, Kosiorek added another kill after a Central Michigan error that gave Ohio its first lead of the second set, 17-16. The Bobcats used the built momentum to gain a 21-18 lead late in the second set. Central Michigan pushed back to within one, but, after a Bobcat timeout at 21-20, Ohio outscored the Chippewas 4-1 to secure a 25-21 second set win.
Seeking the sweep, Ohio grabbed an early 4-1 lead on two kills by Nelson and a kill by Stephens to begin the third set. Continued force by the Bobcats doubled the Chippewas score, resulting in an 8-4 lead. Central Michigan, in an attempt to force a fourth set, battled back to gain its first lead of the third set at 10-9. Kills by Stephens, Januszewski, Kosiorek and Nelson tied the third set at 16 apiece. Miller tallied her third kill of the third set that built an 18-16 Bobcat lead. Tied at 18-all, Nelson and Januszewski combined for a pair of kills that resulted in a 20-18 Ohio lead. After a Bobcat timeout, with the score 21-20, Stephens tallied two kills around a Chippewas error that gave Ohio a 24-20 match point opportunity. A Central Michigan hitting error ended the third set with a score of 25-22 for a Bobcat set and match victory.
Sophomore outside hitter Kalina Smith, freshman middle blocker Maddie Whitfield and sophomore outside hitter Lyza Myers all registered a team-high nine kills to lead Central Michigan. Freshman outside hitter Savannah Thompson followed closely behind with eight kills and a team-high 15 digs. Freshman setter Kendall Braate led the Chippewas with 28 assists followed by sophomore setter Grace Butler registering 11 assists and nine digs. Senior defensive specialist Emily Wenglikowski also compiled nine digs for the Chippewas.
Ohio will be back at the Convocation Center in Athens next weekend to play host to a pair of MAC East Division rivals, welcoming Buffalo next Friday (Sept. 28) at 7 p.m. and Akron on Saturday (Sept. 29) at 6 p.m. Both matches will be streamed live on ESPN+.