When the Bobcats walked off the floor in The Convo on Saturday night, they knew what they had just done.
Ohio had just defeated Ball State in three straight sets, gotten its record back to .500 and finished its fourth consecutive weekend with a 1-1 record.
The Bobcats, now 4-4 in Mid-American Conference play, will look to buck the trend of splitting weekends when they travel to play Northern Illinois on Friday and Western Michigan on Saturday night.
It’s not like the Bobcats have been playing badly lately — they’ve been improving — but they just can’t seem to get two wins in a weekend.
Last weekend, Ohio came within a point of winning both matches of the weekend but ultimately lost to Toledo in the deciding fifth set. Saturday night, they knew what to do, so they stepped onto the floor and dismantled Ball State, the team that was projected to win the MAC West.
Coach Deane Webb has an idea of what needs to change to get a win streak together on the road.
“It’s just about being consistent and having prolonged focus,” Webb said. “We played well enough to win the match Friday night (against Toledo) but lost focus in critical points late.”
If it were only that simple, though.
While Webb has his idea of what needs to change, the lens of a player can be different than that of a coach.
It was different for Sara Januszewski, a sophomore outside hitter and middle blocker.
The youth movement on the team — due in large part to injuries of the experienced portion of the roster — has allowed Ohio to play loose during parts of the season. Januszewski thinks the relaxed style of play shown against Ball State will aid the Bobcats as they navigate through the second half of conference play.
“I think we were very relaxed (against Ball State),” Januszewski said. “Everything flowed really nicely, and I think that is the key for us: Play relaxed. The block was there, passing was good, so those two things that will win us the games.”
Loose, focused, a mix of both — it doesn’t matter how they get it done. The Bobcats could use a 2-0 weekend, and with the confidence gained from beating Ball State last weekend, it’s the perfect weekend to so.
Both games this weekend will start at 7 p.m. on their respective days.