Ohio has done something that it hasn’t done since Nov. 21, 2019: win two matches in a row.
Ohio (4-2, 4-2 Mid-American Conference) looked calm, cool and collected during another 3-0 (25-14, 25-13, 25-20) sweep of Buffalo (0-8, 0-8 Mid-American Conference) in The Convo on Friday. They showed no signs of stress, as they earned point after point in almost unstoppable scoring runs.
For the first time nearly all season, the Bobcats were able to dominate in back-to-back sets and prove to everyone that they’re a real contender in the MAC. Ohio won the first set 25-14, then quickly followed that up with a 25-13 win in the second set. Twelve points is the most the Bobcats have won by in a set this season.
“Until today, we hadn’t chained together two really good sets in a row, “ coach Deane Webb said. “We’d have one really good set, and we’d relax and come back down. Today, our first two sets were really good offensively and were good defensively.”
Webb does not credit himself much when it comes to the Bobcats’ big scoring runs Friday. Webb said it was all his team’s great effort.
“I would not claim to have very much of an effect on that.” Webb said. “I just think we were cleaner today … It was nothing that I said, it was everything that they did, and they did a great job taking care of the ball when they needed to but being aggressive when they could.”
The Bobcats certainly were aggressive. They took plenty of big swings throughout the match, including Lauren Park’s outside attack during the second set and Caitlin O’Farrell’s kill that sealed the sweep. Park and O’Farrell were Ohio’s top hitters Friday. Park finished the match with 14 kills, while O’Farrell finished the match with 12.
Ohio was also aggressive on defense as well. In past games this season, Ohio had miscommunications on the court that have led to it losing the point. But tonight, Bobcats were diving for every out of reach ball, making sure it didn’t touch the ground. Ohio even had a couple of “pancake” saves to keep volleys going. Libero Sam Steele was no exception to this. Steele had 18 digs Friday, her lowest in a match this season, but she still made crucial plays for the Bobcats.
“I just want to win,” Steele said. “I want to help the team as much as I can.”
Mariana Rodrigues finished the match with eight kills, and Maggie Nedoma finished the match with five. Vera Giacomazzi and Dahlias Bouyer each finished with two kills for Ohio. Vera Giacomazzi also had 33 of Ohio’s 37 assists Friday.
The Bobcats will have to prepare for a tough match against undefeated Bowling Green next week. Just like Ohio, Bowling Green has won their last two matches 3-0. Webb knows the Bobcats will have to be aggressive and communicate well again next week in order to compete.
“Bowling Green right now is the best team in the MAC,“ Webb said. “We’re going to have to play at a really high level to be able to earn those wins.”