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Jaime Kosiorek celebrates after scoring a point during a game against Buffalo at The Convocation Center on Saturday, September 24, 2016. Ohio beat Buffalo 3-0.

Volleyball: Ohio opens MAC play with back-to-back sweeps

Ohio has a checklist hanging in its locker room that details its goals for the season. The ultimate goal is to qualify for the Mid-American Conference Tournament, and each conference win counts toward that goal.

After last weekend, Bobcats placed two big, fat check marks on that checklist.

The Bobcats started MAC play Friday and Saturday evenings with two consecutive sweeps of Akron and Buffalo, respectively. That is the program’s fourth consecutive season of earning two consecutive sweeps during the opening weekend.

After a string of poor play to start the season, Ohio proved that it’ll still be competitors in the conference that it has dominated for the past five years.

The Bobcat freshmen showed their inexperience earlier in the season, but this weekend, Ohio’s freshmen shined.

Redshirt freshman Stephanie Olman yet again was featured as Ohio’s primary setter, embracing her role by totaling 83 assists over the weekend.

Sara Januszewski, a freshman middle blocker, put in a strong performance this weekend — especially at the service line — as she recorded three service aces.

"In practice, we work on that all the time,” Januszewski said. “I'm very consistent back there, so that's just what I did, and it happened that I was able to get a couple aces."

But after a series of disappointing weekends and defeats, Ohio is just glad to establish a winning streak. 

Ohio now has won three-straight games dating back to last weekend’s win against Virginia Tech, recording its longest streak of the year.

However, even after staying positive throughout their losing ways, coach Deane Webb said the Bobcats still have room for improvement.

“It’s great to get two wins,” he said. “But we’re so far away from the level that we can be. That’s my focus every day. When I go home tonight and watch (the) video, I’ll see we have to improve.”

With two crucial games coming up next weekend against Miami and Bowling Green, Ohio has proved that they're still a competitive team in the conference this weekend, but they've yet to show that their the premier team they've been in previous seasons.

Just as Ohio came into last weekend preparing for Akron and Buffalo, it will have to adjust for Miami, arguably the most talented team in the conference, and Bowling Green, a notable up-and-comer in the MAC.

“We have to refocus ourselves,” Januszewski said. “Especially with next week against Miami and Bowling Green, we really have to come into practice this week and be willing to improve at things that have been our downfall so we can beat those teams.”


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