Box Score (PDF)
ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio volleyball team (9-14, 4-6 MAC) wrapped up the fifth weekend of Mid-American Conference play with a heartbreaking 3-2 (25-23, 25-27, 17-25, 32-30, 15-7) loss to West Division opponent Northern Illinois (8-17, 6-4 MAC) tonight at the Convocation Center.
Redshirt senior outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and junior outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) both achieved double-doubles for the Bobcats. Kosiorek led the team with a tied match-high 24 kills and added 16 digs. Stephens logged 21 kills and 16 digs to go along with six service aces. Sophomore middle blocker Tia Jimerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) registered 14 kills and a team-high six total blocks (one solo, five assisted) for the Bobcats while redshirt freshman middle blocker Dahlias Bouyer (Brownstown, Mich.) chipped in three total blocks (one solo, two assisted) for the match. Sophomore setter Vera Giacomazzi (Vendemiano, Italy) also achieved a double-double for the Bobcats tallying a team-high 55 assists and 11 digs along with three assisted blocks. Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) compiled a team-high 20 digs while junior libero/ defensive specialist Meredith Howe (Grand Rapids, Mich.) added 14 more.
The opening set began with Northern Illinois charging out to an early 6-4 lead. However, the Bobcats outscored the Huskies 6-1 on four kills by Kosiorek and a kill by Jimerson to take a 10-7 lead. Three kills by Stephens paired with Huskie errors brought a 15-12 lead for the Bobcats at the media timeout. Northern Illinois fought back and scored the next four points out of the timeout to take a 17-16 lead late in the opening set. Kosiorek and Jimerson though, registered a kill apiece around a Huskie error to force a Northern Illinois timeout with an Ohio, 19-17, lead. The momentum shifted when the Huskies outscored the Bobcats 4-1 to regain a 21-20 lead that forced an Ohio timeout. The Huskies went on to score the next two points to extend the lead to 23-20 that forced another Ohio timeout. Jimerson registered a kill that was followed by a Huskie hitting error that brought Ohio within one with a score of 23-22 which forced a Huskie timeout. With the score tied at 23 apiece, Northern Illinois was able to score the next two points to win the opening set, 25-23.
Northern Illinois jumped out to an early 5-1 lead to begin the second set that forced an early Ohio timeout. The Bobcats responded and outscored the Huskies 6-2 that created a tie score at 7 apiece. The Bobcat run was short-lived as Northern Illinois then outscored Ohio 6-2 resulting in a 13-9 lead. Bouyer however, tallied two kills and a solo block that brought the Bobcats within one midway through the second set, but Northern Illinois aggressively pushed back and created a 17-12 lead. A service ace by Stephens sparked an Ohio three-point run but unfortunately, Northern Illinois continued to apply pressure to pull ahead 19-15 late in the second set. Jimerson and Kosiorek consecutively registered a kill apiece that forced a Huskie timeout with a one-point lead at 19-18. A block by redshirt senior right-side hitter Katie Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) and Jimerson combined with a kill by Jimerson and a Huskie error tied the score at 21 apiece. Kosiorek and Jimerson again registered a kill apiece consecutively that forced a Northern Illinois timeout with the Bobcats ahead 23-21. Northern Illinois forced an Ohio timeout with the Bobcats ahead 24-23. A Northern Illinois service ace tied the score at 24 apiece. A kill and service ace by Stephens gave Ohio the second set victory, 27-25.
Ohio jumped out to an early 7-2 lead in the third set that forced Northern Illinois to take a timeout. The Bobcats continued to apply constant pressure with a .545 hitting percentage to increase the lead to 11-3 and forced another Huskie timeout. Northern Illinois refused to give up building a 4-0 run to force Ohio to take a timeout ahead 13-8. Stephens registered a kill and a service ace to end the Huskie run and increase the Bobcat lead to 16-11. A kill apiece by Kosiorek, Stephens and senior right-side hitter Stephanie Olman (Maumee, Ohio) combined with an Ohio block increased the Bobcat lead to 22-14 late in the third set. A kill by junior middle blocker Sara Januszewski (Oak Creek, Wis.) and a kill by Stephens secured the third set win, 25-17.
Ohio and Northern Illinois traded points to begin the fourth set of match play until the Huskies went on a 4-0 run after a tie at 8 apiece to take a 12-8 lead and force an Ohio timeout. Stephens and Kosiorek combined for three kills to contribute to the Bobcats 5-1 run that created a tie at 13 apiece. The Huskies went on to score the next three points which forced an Ohio timeout down 16-13. Jimerson registered a kill followed soon after by a solo block and kill by Kosiorek triggered an Ohio effort to battle back down 17-16. Kosiorek, Stephens, Jimerson, and Olman all registered a kill apiece before a solo block by Jimerson resulting in a tied score at 23 apiece. An Ohio service error gave Northern Illinois set point but Kosiorek responded with a clutch kill to tie the score again at 24 apiece. Northern Illinois was called out of rotation to give Ohio match point. Northern Illinois, flustered, called a timeout. In an absolute dog fight, the score was tied yet again at 26 apiece. The match did not end there. Ohio and Northern Illinois would be tied again at 27, 28, 29, and 30 apiece until the Huskies were able to string a pair of points together to win the fourth set, 32-30, and force a fifth set.
Stephens tallied together two service aces to give Ohio an early 4-3 lead over Northern Illinois. However, Northern Illinois would go on to outscore Ohio, 5-1, for an 8-5 lead as the fifth set approached midway. Northern Illinois tallied another kill to force an Ohio timeout ahead 9-5. The Huskies scored the next two points out of the timeout to increase the lead to 11-5 and forced Ohio to use its second timeout. Constant pressure applied by the Huskies resulted in a fifth set win, 15-7, and the match victory.
Senior middle blocker Meg Wolowicz and sophomore outside hitter Jori Radtke both registered double-doubles for Northern Illinois. Wolowicz led the Huskies with a tied match-high 24 kills and 16 digs along with two service aces while Radtke tallied 19 kills and 11 digs. Junior middle blocker/right-side hitter Brinley Milbrath registered 12 kills for the match. Freshman setter Grace Balensiefer also recorded a double-double with a match-high 60 assists and 20 digs while sophomore libero/defensive specialist Miranda Karlen compiled a match-high 25 digs. Sophomore middle blocker Kennedy Wallace contributed a match-high eight total blocks (four solo, four assisted) and junior setter Amanda Krahl added 14 digs for Northern Illinois.
Ohio visits MAC East Division rival Kent State next Thursday (Oct. 25) for a 7 p.m. match at the M.A.C. Center, then returns to the Convo on Saturday (Oct. 27) for a 6 p.m. match against MAC West Division foe Eastern Michigan.