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Ohio celebrates a point after a long volley against Eastern Michigan, which the Bobcats won 3-1. 

Volleyball: What to know for the WKU Invitational

Ohio is still on the hunt for its first win, this time in Kentucky.

It will be traveling to Bowling Green, Kentucky, for the WKU Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Ohio will face Western Kentucky, Lipscomb and Austin Peay in its final week of nonconference play.

Here’s what to know for the weekend:

Friday 

The Bobcats will get to ease into the weekend with a single match on Friday. They will take on the Hilltoppers at 1 p.m. The match can be viewed on the Hilltopper Sports Satellite Network and live stats can be followed on Western Kentucky’s website here

No. 23 Western Kentucky (8-1) has had a strong start to its season. It swept its opponents in six of its eight wins. Most notably, it tied then-No. 3 Kentucky 2-2 in a preseason exhibition. 

Last weekend, the Hilltoppers took part in the Holiday Inn - University Plaza Invitational. They defeated Samford and UT Martin 3-0 but lost to Ole Miss 1-3.

Ohio can gauge where it stands compared to Western Kentucky due to both of them having played Loyola Chicago already this season. Western Kentucky defeated Loyola 3-1 in close sets unlike Ohio, who lost to them in spaced sets. 

Historically speaking, the Hilltoppers have an edge against the Bobcats. They defeated the Bobcats two of the three times they have met. The last time the two faced off was at The Convo on Aug. 26, 2016, where the Bobcats lost 3-1. 

Keep an eye open for middle hitter Lauren Matthews. Matthews leads Western Kentucky in both kills and blocks. The senior was an American Volleyball Coaches Association Second Team All-American in the 2020-21 season and a member of the Conference USA First Team All-Conference squad. 

Saturday 

Endurance will come into play on Saturday when the Bobcats face two opponents. They will play Lipscomb at 10:30 a.m. and Austin Peay at 3:30 p.m. 

Lipscomb (2-6) has had a slow start to its season. Last weekend, it went 1-2 in the Xavier Invitational. It lost a close match to Xavier and was swept by No. 6 Purdue, but it defeated Belmont 3-0. 

The Bison and Bobcats have not faced each other in recent history, however coach Geoff Carlston has experience against the Bison. Carlston led Ohio State to three victories against Lipscomb in 2010, 2014 and 2017.  

Keep an eye out for the two Delaneys on Lipscomb’s roster. Delaney Dilfer leads Lipscomb in assists at 308 and is second in service aces, with 12. Delaney Smith tops the service aces category at 13 and also has the most digs, with 102. 

Ohio’s second opponent of the day, Austin Peay, will help the Bobcats measure how they will perform against Mid-American Conference opponents this season. Austin Peay (5-4) defeated Miami 3-2 at the Marshall Invitational and lost to Western Michigan 3-0 at the Indiana State Invitational. 

The Bobcats last saw the Governors on Aug. 28, 2015 at the Mortar Board Premier, where the Bobcats won 3-0. The two have not faced each other since.

Watch out for Brooke Moore, Austin Peay’s leader in kills at 107, service aces, with 12, and digs, with 98. Moore is a staple in the front row. The outside hitter played in all 49 sets of the 2020-21 season. 

@ashleybeachy_

ab026319@ohio.edu 

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