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Ohio alone at the top of the MAC Standings after beating Northern Illinois

In a battle of the top two teams in the Mid-American Conference, Ohio prevailed over Northern Illinois I three sets.

Both teams entered the game undefeated in conference play as the winner would take sole possession of the lead in the MAC standings. The Bobcats used their service game to get the MAC’s top offense out of system.

Junior libero Meredith Ashy and senior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti led Ohio in that category as both recorded multiple service aces in the first set to give the Bobcats a 25-17 victory in the first set. Ohio would go on to record eight aces on the night thwarting the Huskie offense.

“We serve aggressively,” Ashy said. “That’s always been our number one thing against good teams is to get them out of system. We did a great job of that tonight. I don’t know how many aces they got, but even if they weren’t aces they were out of system.”

Coming into the game much was talked about top ranked Northern Illinois offense, but the Bobcats top ranked defense trumped the Huskie offense on this night as they held them to a .167 attacking percentage. Ohio was able to hold senior All-MAC outside hitter Mackenzie Roddy to a .152 hitting percentage as she was able to only tally 11 kills on the night.

“She’s an outstanding player as a First Team All-MAC performer,” Coach Deane Webb said. “They have a number of good players and I would say she’s the headliner. We know she was going to get hers and she did. I thought tonight was if she was going to get a ton of kills then she has to take a tremendous number of swings to do it.”

With the Huskie offense out of sorts, the Bobcats were able to control the tempo of the match throughout. A lot of the credit is due to the performance along the backline as the likes of sophomore defensive specialist Brooke Coleman and Meredith Ashy were able to swallow up the shots from Northern Illinois.

Ohio is likely not done with the Huskies as they will likely face Northern Illinois again in the MAC tournament. The Bobcats will hold the edge in that game yet again as they host the conference tournament this year after winning the MAC regular season last year.

“If you look at the stats and all the different things you may think this was a lopsided game, but it wasn't,” Webb said. “They’re a really good team. I don’t think I’ve seen a team all year that has played harder. They kept some rallies alive when we thought for sure the point was over.”

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