No. 3-seeded Ohio’s season ended Monday night in Worthen Arena after it suffered a 3-1 loss to No. 2-seeded Bowling Green in the semifinals of the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
The Falcons (21-8, 16-2 MAC) claimed the first set on the back of strong attacking. At the end of the set, the Falcons had out-hit the Bobcats 31.8% to 17.5%. Their ability to land kills and contribute blocks lifted the Falcons above the Bobcats (12-19, 11-7 MAC). After going up 3-2, the Falcons never allowed the Bobcats to regain the lead and won the set 25-18.
The second set brought Ohio a sliver of hope after the seven-point loss in the first. It took the lead after two four-point scoring runs in the early portion of the second. Ohio managed to outlast Bowling Green despite the set getting too close for comfort in the end. Neither team dominated the other in the second and it ended in a 25-22 win for Ohio.
A pivotal third set was on the docket as both teams ran back to the court after the match break. The match was tied at 1-1 and the weight would swing toward the winner of this set. Now was not the time to make mistakes.
The Bobcats made too many errors instead. The Falcons started on a 4-0 scoring run, partially thanks to three consecutive attack errors by the Bobcats. The Bobcats made eight errors over the course of the set and it helped the Falcons earn the 25-21 set win and match lead.
Ohio had one last chance to tie the match in the fourth set. It successfully kept up until Bowling Green went on a five-point scoring run midway through the set, with three of the five points coming from a trio of attack errors by Caitlin O’Farrell. After that, all Bowling Green needed to do to put the final nail in the coffin was attack well to win the set 25-20.
There was not much more the Bobcats could have done to stop the Falcons. They gave their all on the court despite returning to Athens with a loss. The Bobcats went from starting 0-11 to making the semifinals of the MAC Tournament. That within itself is an accomplishment.