The Bobcats play host to a trio of teams for the Baymont Inn Invitational.
Ohio has a chance to impress the voters this weekend at The Convo.
The Bobcats will host their first set of games this weekend against Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth and Virginia Tech for the Baymont Inn Invitational. All three have had perennially good programs and make the NCAA Tournament on a regular basis.
After playing a pair of ranked teams last weekend, the Bobcats will continue to strengthen their résumé.
Texas A&M opens the weekend slate for Ohio after starting this year’s campaign with straight set wins over Tulane and Iowa before losing their final match to Texas-San Antonio.
The Aggies are led by a balanced attack with junior middle blocker Shelby Sullivan, junior outside hitter Angela Lowak and freshman opposite hitter Ashley Reasor, who had more than 26 kills last weekend.
“They just won their tournament this weekend,” coach Deane Webb said. “A lot of teams that we face are a little more left pin dominant whereas this team is more balanced, very successful in the middle and on the right. That will present some different challenges for us just because we haven’t seen it yet.”
Ohio has its own firepower to bring to the table with senior Kelly Lamberti and freshman Jaime Kosiorek on the outside surrounding senior Hannah Burkle and junior Karin Bull in the middle. Bull earned the Mid-American Conference defensive player of the week honors after her performances in Hawaii.
Friday will be four Bobcats’ first match in The Convo, where fans placed 23rd in the nation in attendance last year.
“I’m nervous, but not the kind of nervous I was in Hawaii,” Kosiorek said. “I’m excited for my parents to come see me play at the college level and just to be at home and be a Bobcat and have everyone come watch you.”
“We played with them last weekend, but hopefully this weekend we can pull some wins out against some big teams.”
Saturday, the Bobcats will have a doubleheader against VCU and then Virginia Tech. Both teams finished last year in the top 70 in RPI rankings and a couple wins this weekend will go a long way to the Bobcats’ short term goal of getting ranked.
“These are all NCAA tournament level teams,” Webb said. “So, we know we have to play really well in order to beat these caliber of teams.”