WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Ohio Volleyball team (3-4) took down Winthrop (3-3), 3-2 (21-25, 26-24, 20-25, 25-22, 15-8) on Saturday afternoon inside the Bender Arena in the final match of the American Volleyball Classic.
"I can't remember the last time we went to a tournament and played 15 sets in just over 24 hours," head coach Deane Webb said. "After playing this many close matches and sets, I believe we're a mentally tougher team now than we were a few days ago."
Senior outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) led the way with a season-high 17 kills on 43 swings. Four Bobcats ended up in double figures with kills as junior outside hitter Maggie Nedoma (Brook Park, Ohio) had 16, redshirt sophomore middle blocker/opposite Dahlias Bouyer (Brownstown, Mich.) had a career high 15 terminations, and graduate transfer middle blocker Shayla Phillip (Columbia, S.C.) had 11. The Bobcats had 70 total kills and had 15 more than the Eagles.
"Shayla had a great day attacking including a couple of big kills late in the match," Webb said. "She also showed great emotional leadership at key moments."
Bouyer hit a hot .440 while Phillip hit .444. Nedoma had a .238 attacking clip while Stephens hit .233.
"Dahlias is improving rapidly," Webb added. "Even though she's been putting up good numbers already, the quality of hitting contact was an entirely different level today. That, combined with 15 blocks, is a tangible reminder on how far she has come in the last year. We're happy for her now, and excited for what can happen for her in the next three years."
"Any time you get this level of production from multiple middles we have to recognize that our back row is doing a great job getting us in system," Webb said.
Junior setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) guided the offense to a .229 hitting percentage with 59 assists. Giacomazzi added six digs and one kill.
Junior libero Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) had 22 digs to lead the team. Stephens earned her fifth double-double of the season with a season-high 19 digs while senior defensive specialist Meredith Howe (Grand Rapids, Mich.) had 10. The Bobcats had 71 total digs while Winthrop had 74.
Bouyer had five blocks (one solo, four assisted) while Phillip and Nedoma each produced three assisted blocks. Stephens, Giacomazzi and freshman outside hitter Olivia Margolies (Galena, Ohio) had two blocks.
Stephens added five aces while Howe had three. Giacomazzi and Reihing had an ace each for a team total of nine.
Ohio is back in action for their home opener on Friday, Sept. 13 at 12:30 p.m. against Charleston. The Bobcats will also face UConn that night.