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Outside hitter Lizzie Stephens bumps the ball during Ohio's match against Florida Gulf Coast on Aug. 27, 2016. Ohio lost 0-3 to FGCU. (FILE)

Volleyball: Ohio defeats Akron after tough loss to Buffalo

Ohio opened Mid-American Conference play over the weekend after ending the non-conference portion of its schedule with a 6-8 record.

The Bobcats traveled to Buffalo on Friday night before taking on Akron on Saturday night.

Though they won the first set against Buffalo, the Bobcats dropped the final three sets in a loss. 

After the loss, Ohio went to Akron, where it defeated the Zips in four sets.

Struggling with the Bulls

The Bobcats hit just .168 in the loss to Buffalo.

Coach Deane Webb talked through the week about the physicality of Buffalo, but errors were what hindered Ohio in the MAC opener. The Bobcats had 10 reception errors and were out-blocked 11-7.

"Our serve receive must improve for us to be successful," Webb said after the loss.

But even with the errors, the Bobcats took the first set and jumped out to a 14-9 second-set lead before conceding a 9-1 run, eventually losing the set and the match.

Buffalo won the third set by 11 and the fourth by seven to capture its first MAC win of the year and drop the Bobcats to 0-1 in conference play.

Bouncing Back

After a frustrating loss to Buffalo, the Bobcats turned around and won their first match in their last seven played: a four-set win over Akron.

The win was the Bobcats’ 14th consecutive win over Akron, and this installment of the series included an impressive performance from sophomore outside hitter Lizzie Stephens.

Stephens had 19 kills, a match high, to go along with six digs and two service aces.

She has become one of the leaders of the team in the absence of the captains, Jaime Kosiorek and Katie Nelson, and her performance against Akron showed that she is fitting in well with the leadership role.

"I was most impressed with Macy and (sophomore libero) Meredith (Howe) in serve receive," Webb said. "They consistently got us in system."

@SpencerHolbrook

sh690914@ohio.edu

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