Ohio struggled all night to hold control of the game allowing Texas A&M to close out each set strong.
The Aggies (3-1) grabbed the momentum late in each set on their way to a straight set win over the Bobcats 25-23, 25-20, 26-24.
Coming out of the halftime break, Ohio (1-3) seemed to finally gain their footing as the grabbed control of the third set jumping out to a 16-8 lead. From there, the Aggies stormed back into the game going on an 11-3 run to tie the set at 19 all.
After an Angela Lowak error made it 21-19, the Bobcats yet again looked like they would grab the set, but three consecutive points by Texas A&M once again gave them a 22-21 lead. The Aggies and Bobcats traded blows the rest of the set before Texas A&M finally closed out the set and game 26-24.
“I think each set we started out well and just really had a hard time closing and that’s a mental issue,” coach Deane Webb said. “That’s some as coaches we have to do a better job with. I thought the third set we did a better job with that, holing it longer. But again, we got late in the set despite having a large lead maybe 15-9. We just weren’t able to close and that’s a mental error.”
In her first game in the Convocation Center, junior middle blocker Shelby Walker shined as the Bobcat strategy of quick offense benefited her. Walker compiled five of her 10 kills in the first set as she found the hole in the Aggie defense.
“A lot of what we work on in practice is just speed,” Walker said. “So as a middle it just kind of went hand and hand.”
Junior setter Abby Gilleland is normally known for what she does setting up her teammates. Tonight Gilleland found success finishing points off herself compiling nine kills to go along with her 29 assists and 10 digs on the night.
Ohio is back in action again tomorrow as they take on Virginia Commonwealth at noon. In the opener of the Baymont Inn & Suites Invitational, the Rams lost to the Virginia Tech in straight sets. VCU beat the Bobcats last season 3-1 in the final game of the regular season.
“There’s some commonalities between Texas A&M and VCU. They both run their stuff behind the setter very fast, so we expect that. VCU runs it even faster on the outside. They run one of the fastest offenses we’re going to see this year.”