While many matches against top opponents might have killed other programs’ seasons, Ohio is saying, “I can dig it.”
The Bobcats have played eight Bowl Championship Series opponents this season, and the schedule does not get easier. Ohio will compete in the Bash in the Boro at Georgia Southern this weekend, and two of its three opponents qualified for the NCAA tournament last season.
The trend of playing tough opponents remains constant even if the teams are not from BCS power conferences. For head coach Ryan Theis and his team, these games are about going out on the court and simply competing.
“We wanted to play some different teams with some different styles and really just play,” Theis said. “At that point there isn’t as much scouting or match prep that goes on as a regular season match or when you are playing one (match) a day.”
He also said this weekend is about getting better as a team, and the lack of preparation may help the team with its toughness, which has been an area in need of improvement.
“If you’re a player this is a great weekend for you … it’s a fun time for them to get out of practice and play games,” Theis said. “I think they would prefer a major league baseball schedule and play 162 times in a year instead of practicing,”
This weekend, Ohio will play four matches in two days, which is something that Theis has not encountered much during his tenure in Athens.
By the Numbers
Going into the last weekend before conference play, a few Bobcats find themselves near the top of both the conference and national statistical leaders.
Freshman Kelly Lamberti ranks fourth in the conference with 137 kills and has accounted for 166.5 points on the season.
As a team, Ohio has 15 more blocks than any other Mid-American Conference team.
Senior Katie Post is ranked ninth nationally in blocks per set with 1.63, and redshirt sophomore Lexie Hartnett is third in the MAC with 45 blocks.