Ohio had to win the Mid-American Conference Tournament to extend its season. The Bobcats fell short of that goal Friday afternoon in the quarterfinals.
Ohio finished its season at the MAC Tournament with a 3-1 (23-25, 15-25, 25-21, 16-25) loss to Ball State. This is the second year in a row the Cardinals ended the Bobcats’ season in the quarterfinals at the MAC Tournament.
Ohio’s defense was ineffective in the loss. It allowed a .344 hitting percentage to Ball State, who hit over .300 in all four sets. The defense was at its lowest point in the beginning on the second set, when the Bobcats struggled on both sides of the ball and allowed the Cardinals to get out to a 13-1 lead.
Ohio lost that set and went down 2-0 but showed life by winning the third set and hitting .567 with no errors. Ball State’s lead, however, proved to be too much to overcome.
It isn’t all bad for Ohio, though.
Next season the Bobcats will only lose two starters in Lizzie Stephens and Meredith Howe and will return the bulk of their lineup. All three of Ohio’s All-MAC selections are juniors, and the Bobcats will return libero Macy Reihing and outside hitter Lauren Park, who played in Stephens’ place when she went down with an injury.
For now, Ohio will build toward next season and wait until it gets the opportunity to play once again.