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Volleyball: Ohio sweeps Akron in much needed win

Twice, Jaime Kosiorek violently slid to her knees, clenched her fists and let out a victorious roar.

She celebrated a set-winning block by Stephanie Olman at the end of the second set, and her own game-winning kill in the third set as if she had just clinched a Mid-American Conference championship.

Instead, it was just the opening MAC regular season game against Akron at The Convo, and the Bobcats swept the Zips 3-0.

“The last time we won a game here, there was a dog pile right there,” Ohio head coach Deane Webb said, referring to Ohio’s NCAA Tournament clinching victory over Northern Illinois last season in late November.

“So, I don’t know if (Jaime) thought we were going to dog pile at the end of every set,” Webb said.

If there was one thing the Bobcats wanted to improve on this week in practice, it was to find the ability to finish off sets after holding a lead.

This past weekend, Ohio nearly closed out a match against Virginia Tech in the third set up 24-19, but the Bobcats lost eight of the next nine points – losing the set. The Bobcats then dropped the fourth set, and in return, needed a fifth set to finally put away the Hokies.

Nonetheless, whether it was hearing the crowd chanting O-H-I-O after every touch of the ball for motivation on game-point or a few pre-match drills, the Bobcats “attacked” instead of “hoped for” the end of each set Friday.

Kosiorek, a junior outside hitter with 10 kills on the night, definitely enjoyed the improvement the most.

“I didn’t know what to do, I was so pumped,” Kosiorek said. “We won, so might as well get on the ground and cheer.”

Ohio middle blocker Ali Lake had plenty to cheer about as well. Multiple times she swung from her middle position to the outside of the net to face one-on-one blocks.

Deploying one-on-ones against Lake was clearly a mistake. She finished with 17 kills on the night, just one shy of her career high.

“Our whole team knows that when Ali gets the ball, the ball’s going on the ground – that’s it,” Kosiorek said. “I have no doubt you’ll see those numbers again from her."

It’s also a guarantee Kosiorek will hoop and holler after any momentous point this season, especially ones that win a set. She says she can’t help she’s “an emotional player.”

“(Jaime) really loves playing the game,” Webb said. “That was great to watch tonight.”

nk596613@ohio.edu

@NKairys

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