The Bobcats will advance to the next round of the Mid-American Tournament.
Ohio began the MAC Tournament at the Stroh Center in Bowling Green on Thursday with a 3-2 (25-14, 19-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-12) win over Kent State.
The Bobcats were already familiar with the Golden Flashes after sweeping them twice this season, but Kent State proved to be much better defensively Thursday and held Ohio to a .142 hitting percentage. The last two times the teams met, the Bobcats dominated with hitting percentages of .323 and .306 hitting percentages.
Ohio’s defense, led by MAC Defensive Player of the Year Tia Jimerson, bailed it out with 19 blocks. Jimerson had two solo and three block assists. The Bobcats limited Kent State’s offense to an even lower hitting percentage of .128.
With Thursday’s win, Ohio advanced to the quarterfinals of the MAC tournament for the fourth consecutive year. The last time the Bobcats weren’t featured in the quarterfinals was 2015, when they automatically qualified for the semifinals as the No. 2 seed in the tournament.
Ohio will face No. 4 Ball State on Friday for the second-straight year. Last season, the Cardinals knocked the Bobcats out of the tournament in the quarterfinals in a five-set match. Ohio will look to turn around its recent fortunes against Ball State with a win.
Last time the two teams faced off Ball State swept the Bobcats in The Convo. Ohio’s offense struggled in that match, too, with just a .165 hitting percentage.