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Ohio's Meredith Howe prepares to throw the ball during the volleyball practice on Tuesday, September 17, 2019, in The Convo.

Volleyball: Ohio has its most important weekend of the season

The last time Ohio played Miami and Bowling Green, it went 1-1 to start its Mid-American Conference schedule. 

This time, the Bobcats are back at .500 in MAC play for the first time since the opening weekend, and there’s plenty on the line as they play their East Division rivals for the second time this season.

Ohio (13-10, 5-5 MAC) is fourth in the MAC East, three matches behind Miami and two behind Bowling Green with six matches left in the regular season. The Bobcats are currently tied for fifth in the overall MAC standings and need to separate themselves from Ball State and Northern Illinois, who are both have .500 conference record.

Ohio also needs this weekend to go well in order to get back to winning ways after losing three of its last four matches.

“These next two games are going to be really important to boost our confidence and finish the season,“ junior Maggie Nedoma said. “But in all the whole entire rest of the season is going to be more important than anything that has happened so far.”

The last time Ohio played Bowling Green on Sept. 27, the Falcons came back from a 2-0 deficit in The Convo to beat the Bobcats in one of their most painful losses of the season. Ohio rallied the next day to beat Miami 3-1.

Since then, Bowling Green has gone on to a 6-3 record while Miami has been 8-1 and has won each of its last six matches entering this weekend.

This leaves the Bobcats with something to prove, and they are feeling confident.

“It might be a little bit stronger like, we are winning this game,” sophomore hitter Lauren Park said. “Whereas maybe before it was like, we can win this game. Now it’s like we will, and we are going to.”

The Bobcats will need to keep that confidence high to beat the teams with the two highest active winning streaks in the conference, and they will need their best players to step up.

“I didn’t play to what I know I can against those two teams as it was the first weekend in the MAC,” Nedoma said. “So, for me it’s just showing that I am an important part of this team and not just another point scorer.”

Ohio has an opportunity this weekend to either get itself back into the conversation in the MAC East or to put its conference tournament hopes in jeopardy.


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