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Abby Gilleland jumps up to block the ball in the Bobcats season home opener match at The Convo in Athens, Ohio on Friday.

Bobcats sweep the weekend in Cincinnati

The Bobcats completed a clean sweep of the Millennium Hotel Invitational field this weekend on their way to the tournament title

Ohio was far and away the most dominant team at the Millennium Hotel Invitational this weekend, and proved that with its final victory over Syracuse.

After winning in the morning against Ohio State, Ohio had already clinched the tournament and with not much to play for, they had their most dominant match of the tournament.

Much of that had to do with how balanced their attack was with four Bobcats tallying more than eight kills. Aside from the third set, Ohio had Syracuse’s number and cruised to double digit victories in the second and fourth sets.

With the win, the Bobcats went undefeated this weekend and won the Millennium Hotel Invitational to extend their winning streak to five — Ohio only dropped two sets and dictated each match in impressive fashion.

For the first time this season, the Bobcats have found a consistent weapon from the service line. Against Syracuse, Ohio tallied seven aces as a team. It recorded 21 aces over the weekend, a reflection that coach Deane Webb is getting his ideas across.

“There were some moments where I thought we played really well,” Webb said. “There were some moments where I thought we didn’t play as well, but overall we just played with heart. That’s something that we have talked about ever since we started working together.”

The Bobcats showed this weekend that they are building a more balanced offense.

Ohio still runs the ball though former Mid-American Conference player of the year Kelly Lamberti, who along with fellow outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek, a freshman, have formed a duo for junior setter Abby Gilleland to feed the ball.

Webb was impressed with what he saw from his freshman this weekend, especially against Xavier on Friday.

“I think this was one of her more complete nights,” Webb said. “She made a lot of really good decisions out there and served well. It was definitely one of her better nights so far.”

After a competitive 25-22 first set against Syracuse, the teams went on to trade lopsided wins in the second, third and fourth sets. The Bobcats were the first to open up the lopsided scoring in the second set as they trounced the Orange on their way to a 25-15 win.

Ohio looked to let off the pedal a little bit in the third set, which was all Syracuse. The Orange went on a 8-0 run and then held a substantial lead throughout, as the Bobcats had no answer for the Orangemen’s blockers.

After a poor third set, the Bobcats put any notion of a Syracuse comeback to rest with another dominant set on their way to victory. Once again, Ohio seemed to put all the pieces together on both sides of the ball. Defensively, it shut down the Orange en route to a 25-13 runaway victory.

“Every time we go out and do something really well, it just gets our team a little more confident that we're moving toward their potential,” Webb said. “They keep getting an idea of how good of a team we can be.”


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