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Ohio University's, Maggie Nedoma (23) hits the ball during the game against Central Michigan University on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, in Athens, Ohio. The game was postponed due to the power outage and resumed Saturday.

Volleyball: Takeaways from Ohio's 3-2 loss against Ball State

Ohio returned to The Convo on Thursday night to take on the Ball State Cardinals after a week of not playing due to COVID-19. Despite a strong start, Ohio dropped the third and fourth set, and ultimately the match. 

Here’s some instant reactions to Ohio’s 3-2 (25-27, 21-25, 25-13, 28-26, 15-11) loss. 

A tale of two Macy(i)s

Senior Macy Reihing had been the libero for the Bobcats (4-4, 4-4 MAC) for three seasons prior to the arrival of freshman standout Sam Steele, who went on to take over the role this season. Among these two is also freshman Maci Watrous, who is rostered as a defensive specialist/libero as well. While this poses an interesting dynamic for the Bobcats, coach Deane Webb uses his defensive tools to his advantage by starting all three at once. 

At any point in the match, there would be one or more of these three to anchor down the back row. While they all can’t be the libero, Webb knows that he can use the skill sets of these players to help a struggling Bobcats’ defense.

Tria McLean: Outside Hitter

More commonly known for her role as a setter, McLean changed it up against the Cardinals (6-5, 6-5 MAC) and came in as an outside hitter. In 13 attempts, she earned four kills and committed two errors, while also picking up a block. In the absence of Mariana Rodrigues, putting McLean in to give the front row a break was a power move by coach Webb. She knows how to distribute the ball because of her setting background, and it could help the Bobcats with creating more angles in their hitting attack. 

Chirp, Chirp

Ball State’s saying is “Chirp, Chirp” but it’s meaning goes beyond a prideful exclamation. The communication between the Cards’ bench and court was key in their dominant display in sets three and four. The constant noise created by the bench provided a useful distraction to keep the Bobcats at bay. 

At the height of their noise, Ball State held Ohio to only 13 points. Once they realized that the noise was useful, they got louder in the fourth set, creating more problems for Ohio. Ultimately, communication helped Ball State be able to capitalize on the errors made by the Bobcats. 

Even the six-person parent section was adding to the energy for the Cards. Yes, the Bobcats communicated, but it was not to the magnitude of Ball State. Ohio could benefit from being louder and making their off-court presence known to help their energy. 

Ohio will have the chance to redeem themselves against the Cardinals on Friday at 2 p.m. in The Convo. 

@ashleybeachy_

ab026319@ohio.edu 

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