Ohio can officially add another token to its collection after it swept Miami over the weekend in Oxford. It battled on the court in Millet Hall to earn a 3-1 win Friday and a 3-2 win Saturday, expanding its win streak to four matches.
The Bobcats (10-16, 10-5 Mid-American Conference) had not beat the RedHawks twice in the same year since 2014. The two wins helped the Bobcats hold second place in the MAC East and solidified the RedHawks’ last place spot in the division.
Here’s how Ohio defeated Miami:
The match started with a set one win by the RedHawks. The Bobcats missed the win by a narrow 25-18 margin, and errors made all the difference. The Bobcats gave away six points on attack errors in the set. Their 0.158 hitting percentage was nearly half of the RedHawks’ 0.308.
However, Ohio turned the tables on Miami in set two. It had a clean 0.500 hitting percentage and only had two errors in 30 total attacks. On the other hand, its defense only allowed Miami eight kills in 28 attempts. Ohio’s powerful performance helped it claim the set 25-16.
The Bobcats went on to take sets three and four. They did not allow the RedHawks to break the 20-point threshold again until the fourth set, when the Bobcats still won 25-21.
It was the Bobcats’ attack approach that helped power them over the RedHawks. In all of the sets they won, the Bobcats hit above their opponent. The Bobcats’ best hitter was Maggie Nedoma, who had 19 kills.
The confidence that stemmed from Friday's win was a key factor in how Ohio performed Saturday.
The RedHawks sang the same tune at the start of the match. They took set one 25-18 and outhit the Bobcats once again. However, the Bobcats followed Friday’s theme and recovered to take set two 25-13 after the RedHawks hit a -0.059 percentage.
Miami was not ready to settle for another 3-1 finish, however. It claimed set three 25-17 through clean attacks. Unlike Ohio, Miami did not commit a single error in the third set of the match. Miami’s win put Ohio in the hot seat going into the fourth set.
Ohio knew it needed to take set four in order to have a chance at another match win. Lucky for them, Miami broke even in the fourth set with nine errors and nine kills. This helped Ohio rise above their opponent 25-16 and force a fifth set.
Set five came down to the wire. Ohio and Miami went blow for blow and caused the set to go just beyond 15 points. But it was Ohio that walked out on top with a 17-15 win.
Caroline Clippard broke through for the Bobcats with 20 kills, her second most in a match this season. Tria McLean also had a hand in the success by setting 53 assists.
The sweep helped Ohio secure a spot in the MAC Tournament. Last season, Ohio lost in the semifinal round to Western Michigan. Ohio is above .500 in the MAC with three regular season matches to go. No matter what happens in those three matches, Ohio will not be moved from second place in the MAC East.