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The volleyball team went 16-0 in Mid-American Conference play this season and finished with a 23-6 record, but lost to Western Michigan in the MAC Tournament semifinals. Ohio hadn’t gone undefeated in MAC play since 2006.

Volleyball: Setter’s ‘triple double’ leads to victory

The Bobcats won their first Mid-American Conference match of the year Thursday against Kent State.

After two weeks on the road, the Ohio returned to The Convo for their Mid-American Conference opener against Kent State University.

The Bobcats came out firing in the first set and won  by 14 points. The rest of the night would not prove to be as easy, though.

After dropping the second set, the Bobcats grinded their way through the third and fourth sets to claim a 3-1 victory over their MAC foe.

It looked as though Ohio was going to have a quick night after a 25-11 win in the first set. After eight errors in their first set, the Golden Flashes settled in as they took the second 25-18 to tie the match.

It looked like Kent State was going to take the third as well after it held the lead throughout. Ohio then rallied late in the set as it grabbed seven of the final 10 points to take a 25-21 win.

Once again in the fourth set, the Bobcats (8-4, 1-0 MAC) started slow as the Golden Flashes jumped out to a 7-2 lead forcing an Ohio timeout. As the set stood at 9-3 Kent State, the Bobcats made their run scoring seven of the next eight to tie the set up at ten. From there, Ohio would grab the momentum in route to a 25-22 victory to take the game.

“We need to learn how to handle our emotions better after winning a set big,” coach Deane Webb said. We went out in the second set and really relaxed … you win 25-11 the human reaction is to is to let down and we let down. That’s something that is important to learn; is to come back and focus after a big set win.”

The Bobcats were aided by junior setter Abby Gilleland’s first career “triple double.” Gilleland recorded 11 kills to go with 40 assists and 15 digs. She was able to find room in the middle of the Golden Flashes defense.

“I try to do what I can and I’ve had success with Kent State being aggressive at the net in the past,” Gilleland said. “So, I took advantage of it when I had the opportunity and it lead to a triple double.”

Despite only recording only three service aces, Ohio’s serves were getting Kent State (8-6, 0-1 MAC) out of system on offense. That allowed the Bobcats to dictate rallies.

Serving was a point of emphasis coming into the season for coach Webb and with outside hitters Kelly Lamberti and freshman Jaime Kosiorek on the service line, they forced errors from the Golden Flashes’ back row.

Lamberti and Kosiorek also tied for the team high in kills with 13. Gilleland spread the wealth evenly between the outside duo as Kosiorek had 41 attacks and Lamberti had 36 on the night.

Kent State wasn’t able to get over to the hitters as senior middle blocker Liz Reikow was the only Golden Flash to record a block against Ohio. Reikow had four blocks to go along with her 12 kills.

“It’s a huge win for us,” Kosiorek said. “We have high goals for our team and the rest of the season as we want to win the MAC. This win was big no matter how we got it. A win is a win not matter how we got it.”



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