Baseball legend Yogi Berra once said “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over.”
That statement has never been truer than during Ohio’s match at Kent State on Tuesday. After falling 0-2 early in the match, the Bobcats switched gears and went into a different mode, going on to win the next three sets. They pulled off what may be their greatest comeback of the season, winning the match 3-2 (18-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-20, 15-11) while on the road.
Here are the numbers to know from Ohio’s comeback win over Kent State:
Sam Steele’s 34 digs are the most digs collected in a match by the freshman defensive specialist/libero in her colligate career. Just when it seems like she can’t set yet another record for herself, she does. Steele for sure played a key role in the Bobcats’ win. Without her impressive defensive powers, Ohio (7-6, 7-6 Mid-American Conference) may not have been able to pull out the win. Steele has already won the MAC East Defensive Player of the Week award three times this season, but with her performance Tuesday, she may have locked up the award for the fourth time in her first season with the Bobcats.
Another key player in Ohio’s win was No. 5, Mariana Rodrigues. Rodrigues had 12 kills for Ohio, but that wasn’t even her most impressive stat Tuesday. Rodrigues showcased her athletic ability by also digging up 13 balls in the match. Rodrigues’ skill both above and below the 10-foot line shows just how much of a versatile player she is.
After looking defeated in the first two sets at Kent State (11-5, 11-5 Mid-American Conference), Ohio won set three by 10 points. This was arguably the turning point in the match, as the Bobcats carried this newfound momentum with them for the rest of the night. After being somewhat dominated by the Golden Flashes in sets one and two, it looked as if the two teams had switched places when Ohio started to show their talent in the final three sets.
Despite the impressive win, Ohio cannot help but be concerned about the potential loss of one of their top hitters, Lauren Park, who left the court with an injury in set four and did not return to the match. Even though she did not play for the whole match, Park still led the Bobcats with 17 kills. It is uncertain at this time what the extent of Park’s injury is as well as if she will be ready to play Wednesday when Ohio travels back home to play Toledo at 5 p.m.