With four matches remaining, Ohio knew it needed to win at least two matches at home to control its own destiny to the Mid-American Conference Tournament. With its second sweep of the weekend, that goal was accomplished.
The Bobcats swept Central Michigan on Saturday night in The Convo for their second straight sweep after four straight losses. This win puts Ohio at fourth in the MAC East Division and a win over one of the conference’s best.
“There is something to be said for momentum,” coach Deane Webb said. “And there is something to be said for sweeping a team who is one of the best teams in the conference right now. Particularly a team that we may play again in the conference tournament.”
The Bobcats (15-12, 7-7 MAC) dominated the Chippewas in their 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 25-19) final.
Junior Tia Jimerson once again led the way for Ohio. Jimerson had 13 kills with just one error on a .500 hitting percentage to follow her performance Thursday night where she had 18 kills and no errors.
“We were in system a lot and the pass was back working for us,” Jimerson said. “So, I just knew that I had to do my job in the front row since they were working so hard back there for us.”
Being in system is often the most crucial part of running an offense. It affects the timing and efficiency of everything the offense does.
The Bobcats’ timing and efficiency were on display as they had a .320 hitting percentage against the best defensive team in the MAC, which only allows a .154 hitting percentage so far this season.
Jimerson also did her job in the front row defensively, with six of the team’s 10 blocks.
“I think it was just the scouting,” Jimerson said. “The coaches did a really good job of telling us the hitters’ tendencies and what they’re going to do.”
Ohio used the scouting done by the coaching staff to limit Central Michigan to a .170 hitting percentage. The Chippewas average .216 this season.
The timing of the Bobcats’ success has arrived at a timely moment in the season, but Webb wants to make sure his team doesn’t lose its focus.
“You’re never as bad as you think you are after a loss,” Webb said. “But you’re never as good as you think you are after a win.”
Ohio looks like it could be a legitimate contender in the tournament after sweeping the team on top of the MAC West Division. Its final challenge of the regular season will be next weekend as Buffalo and Akron come to Athens to decide the seeding of the impending tournament.