Ohio wrapped up its nonconference schedule this weekend in Columbia, Missouri, in the Mizzou Invitational. The Bobcats went 1-2 against Drake, Missouri and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi at the Hearnes Center.
Ohio's puzzling loss to Drake
The Bobcats couldn't have asked for a better start to their weekend against the Bulldogs on Friday.
Ohio beat Drake 25-14, its biggest set win of the year, in the first set. Everything was clicking for the Bobcats, who had a .464 hitting percentage in the first set.
But then everything collapsed.
The Bobcats lost the next two sets and fell to the Bulldogs, 3-2 (14-25, 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 15-8), in Friday's first game.
Ohio lost despite having a higher hitting percentage (.167) than Drake (.139). Jaime Kosiorek also had five service aces and Stephanie Olman had five kills, breaking her season-high, in the first set.
So, how did the Bobcats lose?
A 10-error second set and a six-error third set allowed the Bulldogs to steal the next two sets. When Ohio forced a fifth set, its attack fell apart again and it hit -.111. Drake won easily.
Bobcats missing Jimerson
Ohio was able to survive without Tia Jimerson last weekend.
The Bobcats went 2-1 in their first weekend back at The Convo as Jimerson, 2017's Mid-American Conference Freshman of the Year, watched from Ohio's bench with a boot on her left leg.
This weekend, the Bobcats struggled without her anchoring the middle of their attack.
The trio of Sara Januszewski, Simone Miller and Dahlias Bouyer combined for a mediocre .138 hitting percentage in Ohio's pair of losses Friday. Jimerson has 60 kills and a .317 hitting percentage in 2018, and her talents could've boosted the Bobcats' .167 and .112 hitting percentage against Drake and Missouri, respectively.
Kosiorek swings 14 service aces
Jaime Kosiorek picked opponents apart from behind the service line this weekend.
The redshirt senior hit 14 service aces in Ohio's three games at the Mizzou Invitational. Kosiorek hit five aces against Drake, three against Missouri and six against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.
In Saturday's 3-0 (25-19, 25-22, 25-21) win against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Kosiorek hit three aces in a row and set the tone for Ohio's serves the rest of the match — the Bobcats tallied a season-high 12 total service aces against the Islanders.
Kosiorek has a team-leading 30 aces in 2018 and is on pace to smash her career-high of 46 service aces set in her freshman year. She is also just 13 aces away from taking Ohio's aces crown from Stephanie Blackburn, who registered 162 aces from 2004-2007.
Winner: Drake (14-25, 25-23, 25-20, 18-25, 15-8)
Winner: Missouri (25-23, 21-25, 25-18, 25-12)
Winner: Ohio (25-19, 25-22, 25-21)
Ohio (5-8) will begin MAC play Thursday against Kent State at The Convo.