Ohio wasn’t good enough Friday night. The offense was ineffective, and the defense was nonexistent.
None of those things were true Saturday night against Miami, as the Bobcats rolled to a 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-14, 25-18) win in the Battle of the Bricks.
Ohio (9-6, 1-1 Mid-American Conference) dominated the RedHawks (6-7, 1-1 MAC) offensively with a .241 hitting percentage led by freshman Olivia Margolies, who had a team-high 13 kills.
“My confidence this game was really good,” Margolies said. “Especially after a tough game last night, I think this is what we needed. It not only builds my confidence, but it builds the team, and we figured out how to bounce back from last night, which is really good.”
Margolies’ performance showed just a glimpse of what is ahead for the promising freshman.
“She isn’t as strong yet as she will be later in her career,” coach Deane Webb said. “It’s going to be wild to see what that kid is going to be able to do once she hits the spring weight room.”
For now, Margolies relies on a variety of attacks to get the ball past defenders, and she will only be better as she adds more power to those attacks.
She had three blocks and contributed in both phases of the game for Ohio.
The Bobcats’ confidence was at its highest after the third set, where Miami had 11 hitting errors and a -.182 hitting percentage. The RedHawks were held to a .108 hitting percentage in the match.
Junior Tia Jimerson powered Ohio’s defensive clinic with a career-high 11 blocks to go along with her 10 kills in one of her best performances of the season.
“It actually felt good to have more blocks this game than against Bowling Green,” Jimerson said. “That was kind of our struggle. I just went and talked to the coaches and got all of the mess out of my mind, and it feels really good to be back in the blocking game.”
Jimerson had timely blocks, such as one that stole the third set.
“I feel like those type of plays are really good to boost our energy on the court,” she said. “That kind of energy just drives our team, so those kinds of points are crucial.”
Ohio rode the energy from that big play to a comfortable win in the fourth set, keeping the Bobcats in the picture in the MAC East.
Ohio will travel to Kent State on Oct. 3 and Eastern Michigan on Oct 5. Both teams are 0-2 in MAC play and have a combined record of 12-16.