On the first play of the match, Lauren Park’s kill attempt was blocked. On the second play, the Bobcats could not return the serve.
It looked as if Ohio was picking up where it left off Thursday, until Tia Jimerson slammed the ball down in the middle of the court. The Bobcats were back.
After running out of steam and losing 3-2 in a tough match against Ball State on Thursday, the Bobcats came back to The Convo in full force to beat Ball State 3-0 (25-20, 25-19, 26-14) Friday.
Ohio (5-4, 5-4 Mid-American Conference) can chalk up Friday’s sweep to its communication at the net. As a whole, Ohio’s voices in the front row were much louder Friday than they were Thursday. The Bobcats finished Friday’s match with 50 kills and a hitting percentage of .306.
“It felt like we played a lot more as a team today,” middle blocker Caitlin O’Farrell said. “Yesterday, it felt more like we were kind of playing individually, but today … everybody was playing together, and so that just helped us finish.”
Even though they swept the Cardinals (6-6, 6-6 Mid-American Conference) on Friday, The Bobcats did not make it out of the match without a scare. It looked as if the Bobcats were going to repeat history during set one when Ball State came back from a 9-15 deficit and tied the score 20-20. Luckily for Ohio, coach Deane Webb made the right call and brought Ohio to the sideline for a timeout. This helped the Bobcats regain composure and eventually win the set 25-20.
Similarly, in the second set, the Bobcats started to get a big lead on the Cardinals, breaking away from a 5-5 score in the beginning of the set and at one point leading the Cardinals 16-11. However, Ohio began to lose their lead after that, letting Ball State nearly tie the set again. Ohio ended up winning the second set 25-19.
Playing in her first match this season, Emily Margolies powered the Bobcats’ offense in the third set with five kills. Margolies finished the match with 11 kills for Ohio’s offense Friday. Despite not playing at all this season, Margolies showed no signs of inexperience and gelled together very well with the team.
“It was so much fun,” Margolies said. “I love the girls, and I love playing with my teammates.”
Margolies has previous played in the right-side hitter position during her career, but due to the lack of outside hitters available for Friday’s match, she filled in the outside position.
“Coming off the bench and everything, I really don’t have much to lose,” Margolies said. “(Outside hitter) really isn’t my position, but I had to adapt to it, and I was just having fun with it.”
To no one’s surprise, middle blocker Tia Jimerson racked up the most kills in Ohio’s win with 13. In total, she earned 15 points for the Bobcats. Jimerson is continuing to be a powerhouse in her senior season. When she gets her feet set and gets a good swing at the ball, there’s no stopping her.
Despite having 28 kills in Thursday’s match against Ball State, outside hitter Lauren Park finished with only eight kills on 26 attempts in Friday’s match.
Setter Vera Giacomazzi ended the match with 34 assists and three kills of her own. Giacomazzi, Sam Steele and Macy Reihing all led the Bobcats with 10 digs.
Ohio has little time to rest after its win. The Bobcats will travel to Eastern Michigan on Monday to take on the Eagles at 2 p.m.