Ohio’s performance missed the mark Wednesday night after it lost to Kent State 3-1 on the road.
The Bobcats’ (11-18, 11-7 Mid-American Conference) loss means they will split the regular-season series with the Golden Flashes (12-18, 7-11 MAC), as they won the first match in October. Ohio’s sloppiness gave it problems against Kent State. The Bobcats committed more attack errors, service errors, block errors and reception errors than the Golden Flashes.
Ohio began the match with a strong effort to give it a 25-23 win in set one.
The set was back and forth and the largest lead by either team was just three points. The Bobcats were aided by two service aces in the set, including one from Sam Steele to give them a 20-19 lead.
Kent State was able to flip the script in set two, winning another close set 25-23. The Bobcats looked like they were going to once again pull away after they took an 18-17 lead in the set, but Kent State was able to go on a 7-3 scoring run to go up 24-21. The subsequent 2-0 run wasn’t enough for the Bobcats, and the Golden Flashes finished with one of their 15 kills in the set to tie the match.
The third set was the most lopsided of the night with Kent State holding Ohio to under 20 points to win 25-18. Although the Bobcats had more kills in the third set, they couldn’t overcome their six attack errors.
Kent State put the match away with a convincing 25-20 win in set four. Ohio’s .200 hitting percentage in the final set was the lowest in any set throughout the night by either team. Its 12 kills in set four were also the lowest of the night.
Despite the loss, Ohio’s high level of play during conference matches earned it the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament. Ohio will begin its postseason play Sunday when it takes on No. 6 seed Northern Illinois in the quarterfinals.