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Luke O'Roark

Sports Column: There's never been a better time to be a new Bobcat fan

Ohio University has a good number of sports teams to be excited about.

There’s never been a better time to be a fan of the Bobcats. Honestly.

Sure, Ohio’s football and men’s basketball programs struggled throughout their respective seasons, but the diversity of sports to witness and follow here in Athens has never been greater.

Volleyball, led by coach Deane Webb and a montage of upperclassmen veterans, won 17 consecutive matches last season and went undefeated (16-0) when playing inside The Convo.

Ohio women’s golf won its first tournament since 2004 last fall and finished fourth in the Mid-American Conference Championship in April — its best finish since coach Kelly Ovington took over the program in 2008.

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Women’s basketball is coming off, arguably, its greatest season in program history. Coach Bob Boldon and the Bobcats traveled to Tempe, Arizona to partake in the NCAA Tournament as a 14-seed after sweeping the Mid-American Conference. Led by guards Kiyanna Black and Quiera Lampkins, the Bobcats rugged interior defense, and their motion offense was a sight to see. I covered close to 30 women’s basketball games last year and trust me: #BobsBallers are pretty damn good.

Six Ohio wrestlers also participated in the NCAA Tournament last winter — traveling to St. Louis, as the Bobcats finished 9-6 in their 2014 season. Cody Walters led the Bobcats in wins with 33 during his junior year, and Tywan Claxton finished 29-7 in his third year wearing an Ohio wrestling singlet. Both should have solid final seasons here at Ohio.

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Finally, baseball had its best season since 2012 last spring. Coach Rob Smith and the Bobcats finished with 20-plus wins and won 2-1 in their series with Kent State — one of the best programs in the MAC in the past few years. Jake Madsen also became the Bobcats all-time hits leader during his final season in the green and white.

In short, come support the Bobcats. Many sporting events can be seen at Peden Stadium, The Convo, Ohio Softball Field, Bob Wren Stadium, Chessa Field, Pruitt Field and the Aquatic Center on South Green. Students get into varsity games for free with their Ohio student ID, and at almost every event there is free food or giveaways.

History was made last year in Ohio Athletics and surely more will be made this year.


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