Back and forth all night long, Ohio fell to Hawaii in straight sets in the first game of the Deane Webb era.
The Bobcats grabbed an eight to four lead in the first two sets as they came out aggressive against the host Warriors.
No. 17 Hawaii (1-0) took control from there countering with an 11-3 run in the first set and an 8-4 in the second set. Ohio (0-1) continued to battle all game long falling by just a few points in each set 25-22, 25-23, 25-20.
Webb’s aggressive serving strategy was on full display against the Warriors as the Bobcats recorded five service aces. Webb sees aggressive serving as a way to topple some of the nation’s top teams like Hawaii and if Ohio can improve on that throughout the season it very well may prove to be the x-factor if it makes it back to the NCAA Tournament.
Senior middle blocker Hannah Burkle led the way for the Bobcats with a career-high nine kills. This was Burkle’s first career start for Ohio and may prove to be a key element to an already potent offense led by senior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti and junior setter Abby Gilleland.
The season opener also saw two debuts for the Bobcats as junior middle blocker/outside hitter Shelby Walker tallied a team high four blocks to go along with three kills and a service ace. Freshman outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek made her collegiate debut for Ohio recording four kills and five digs.
The Bobcats are back in action in the Chevron Rainbow Wahine Invitational Saturday night at 11 p.m. as they take on San Diego State. The Aztecs (0-1) fell at the hands of Arizona State (1-0) as they were dominated in three sets 25-18, 25-21, 25-14.