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Ohio finishes perfect MAC season with sweep of Miami

Kelly Lamberti and company never let the emotions of the senior night festivities carry over into the match.

The three game sweep of Miami sealed and undefeated season for Ohio. This is the first time the Bobcats have gone undefeated in Mid-American Conference play since 2006. After clinching their 15th win Friday, Ohio never let their 16th to be in doubt.

In front of the largest crowd of the season, the Bobcats treated this game as if any other. They did not look like a team burdened by the weight of perfection. They played loose as if it were the first game of MAC season. The girls had admitted even weeks up to it that the y were anxious for the regular season to conclude the way it did.

The Bobcats offense was on early as wherever junior setter Abby Gilleland seemed to put it seemed to end in a kill. They had 14 for the set as seven different players contributed offensively. After trading points with the Redhawks early, the Bobcat offense exploded finishing the set on a 17-5 run.

This season Ohio has had a tendency of letting up in second sets. On senior night, outside hitter Kelly Lamberti and middle blocker Hannah Burkle made sure there was not let up. They combined for seven of the team’s 13 kills as Miami’s front line had no answer for the senior duo.

“Our seniors Kelly and Hannah both had big days for us,” coach Deane Webb said. “Just a great performance I have great respect for Miami and how hot they are right now. Tonight I’m just happy for our seniors for all three of them to leave here with a legacy that cannot be beaten.”

Miami was the only team to take Ohio to five sets this season. They did so, earlier this year when the Bobcats visited Oxford. This time at home Ohio never even let it get to a fourth game. They clamped down defensively holding Miami to a .037 hitting percentage while feeding it to Lamberti on the offensive end to close it out.

The seniors turned an emotional night into a joyful one claiming the outright conference championship for the second straight season. They celebrated by collaborating an impromptu piece with the Marching 110 Alumni Band.

“It hasn’t even set in obviously we were 15-0 and now we are 16-0,” Burkle said. “That’s what Deane always tells us—no one can beat us, only tie us. It’s so crazy and I never expected it to happen.”

A 16-0 campaign puts this 2014 squad in the record books. The team recognized two weeks ago they had an opportunity to do something only three other Bobcat teams had done. They did not shy away from being perfect, but instead saw it as an opportunity to leave their legacy on the program.

“It’s exciting, you can’t ever do better than that,” Lamberti said. “I’m glad to leave that behind as my lasting legacy.”


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