Ohio’s mission to earn its first win failed to launch at the Red & White Invitational over the weekend.
The Bobcats (0-5, 0-0 Mid American Conference) traveled to Normal, Illinois with hopes that the new weekend would help them snap their losing streak. However, that was not the case as they lost to Illinois State, Marquette and Illinois-Chicago.
Let’s recap the weekend:
Ohio started the invitational with a single match Friday against Illinois State. It earned its only set wins of the weekend in the 3-2 (16-25, 18-25, 25-21, 25-23, 8-15) loss.
The Redbirds slightly edged out the Bobcats in almost all categories. Their offensive and defensive totals were higher than the Bobcats, but the two tied in service aces.
Maggie Nedoma and Caroline Clippard were relentless at the net for Ohio. They ended the night with 18 kills each. Nedoma is known for her power as an opposite hitter, and the addition of Clippard as an outside hitter adds a balance to the front row.
It may not have been how the Bobcats wanted to start the weekend, but there was still another day left.
Ohio had two games on the slate Saturday, starting with undefeated No. 25 Marquette.
The Golden Eagles (5-0, 0-0 Big East) outscored the Bobcats by 20 points in the 3-0 (19-25, 18-25, 15-25) loss. They also outdid the Bobcats in all other offensive and defensive categories.
Clippard was Ohio’s leading attacker with nine kills. Tria McLean set her and the other hitters up for success by completing 23 assists, over 11 times the next highest Bobcat.
The loss left their spirits low, but the Bobcats still had another match that evening.
Ohio lined up against Illinois-Chicago for its final match of the Red & White with hopes of changing the tune of its season. However, Illinois-Chicago swept Ohio 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 26-24).
Clippard’s energy carried over from the first match into the second. The freshman capped the night with 15 kills to make her the Bobcats’ individual kill leader. Her 63 kills barely knocks Nedoma’s 62 for the most.
Sam Steele once again led Ohio in digs in all three matches. The libero is exceptional at keeping the ball in play by traveling across the court. She is also leading the team in digs with 83, over double the next highest.
The Bobcats had arguably their closest set of the night against the Flames. The two traded blows throughout the third set, and neither went on a true scoring run. The final score for the set was 26-24.
Ohio heads out west Thursday and Friday for the K-State Invitational. It will take on Loyola Chicago, host Kansas State and Fresno State while looking for its first win.