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Volleyball: Offense power 'Cats to victory

Usually known for their defensive play this season, Ohio used their attacking to beat Akron in four sets.

The Bobcats were led up front by senior outside hitter Kelly Lamberti who was on from the opening whistle. Ohio followed the lead of its captain by hitting a .356 hitting percentage while only having 14 errors on the night.

Coach Deane Webb once again inserted junior outside hitter Chelsea Bilger into the starting lineup. Bilger and Lamberti gave the Bobcats an early 6-2 lead in the first set as each had two kills. This forced an early timeout from Akron. With a pair of Lamberti kills, Ohio pushed its lead to 9-2 forcing the Zips to call yet another timeout.

Here is where the Bobcats knew they had control of this match.

Ohio would go on to take the first set 25-18, but it struggled to finish off Akron late in the set. This would continue into the second set as the Bobcats weren’t able to control the Zips offense. Akron would tally 14 kills in the set to tie the match up at a set each.

Before the game, it seemed as though this would be another sweep for the Bobcats. A 25-21 second set victory would make things interesting heading into the halftime break. Ohio did what they have done all Mid-American Conference season long answering the test in the third set.

The Bobcats put their offense on full display coming out of halftime as six different players combined for 17 kills. The balanced offense of Ohio’s had a .516 hitting percentage for the set as it only had one error in the set. The Bobcats ended the set on an 11-2 run claiming a 25-12 victory.

After a dominant third frame, Ohio looked determined to finish off Akron in the fourth set. Once again, they used an impressive hitting performance to take control of the set. This was effective as the Bobcats tallied .343 hitting percentage while limiting the Zips to a .147 hitting performance.

Outside the second set, Ohio shut down the Akron attack limiting it to a .154 hitting percentage for the night. A combination of impressive numbers from the Bobcats offense and defense would close out the game in commanding fashion 25-14 in the final set.

This is their 14th straight victory as they are now only three games removed from their fourth undefeated season in program history.

Ohio travels to Buffalo to take on the Bulls on Saturday. The first match was a sweep for the Bobcats as the Bulls were missing two of their regular starters including junior outside hitter Tahleia Bishop. Bishop was named to the First Team All-MAC as season ago and leads the conference with 4.33 kills per set which leads the conference.

This is Ohio’s last road game of the season as the head home for the final MAC season weekend. Then it’s on to the MAC Tournament which the Bobcats will host.


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