Ohio (8-5, 2-0 Mid-American Conference) completed its sweep of Miami (5-8, 0-2 Mid-American Conference) Saturday, defeating the RedHawks in four sets. Ohio moved to three games over .500 on the season and is undefeated in conference play.
The Bobcats picked up right where they left off from Friday's match in set one. They immediately took a 10-3 lead in the set, empowered by three Elizabeth Hoerlein kills. Although the RedHawks appeared to tighten the setup with a 7-3 run, the Bobcats quickly ended any hope for them. Kristy Frank had two kills and was a part of a crucial 10-1 Bobcat scoring run that helped them win the first set 25-11.
The Bobcats didn't have the same energy in the second set, and the RedHawks took advantage of their sluggishness. Although the Bobcats had a 7-4 lead early in the set, they couldn't hold onto their lead and allowed the RedHawks to tie the set at 13. Olivia Margolies gave the Bobcats a chance to win late in set two with two set-tying kills, but her efforts were not enough and the RedHawks won the closest set of the night 25-23.
At this point, the match was tied at a set apiece, making the third set critical. The Bobcats found themselves down 9-4 early, but after a service error from the RedHawks and two good serves by Margolies, they got back on track. Back-to-back Margolies kills gave the Bobcats a 15-14 lead midway in the third set.
The RedHawks could not handle the offensive duo of Caitlin O'Farrell and Caroline Clippard Saturday. The two hitters combined for nine kills at the end of set three to put the RedHawks away 25-19.
Ohio head coach Geoff Carlston said the key to the third set comeback was doing the little things well.
"I said, 'Look there's nothing strategic, we know what they're doing,'" Carlston said. "'You guys take ownership of this, move to the net, be the first to the net, serve on the whistle, but things that we know help us, we started doing and luckily we pulled it out."
It looked as though the Bobcats might struggle to create separation in the fourth set after Miami's Ellie Hanson earned a kill that trimmed the Bobcats lead to one. The Bobcats then went on a huge 9-2 scoring run to take the lead, and they never looked back. Clippard's back-to-back kills brought the Bobcats to within two points of victory, and an attack error by the RedHawks gave the Bobcats a 25-20 victory in the fourth set.
O'Farrell was very proud of the Bobcats performance Saturday.
"It felt fantastic, especially because it was our first conference (matches) ... and we beat them both times," O'Farrell said. "The Battle of the Bricks is always a really fun event for us, so it was great that we could beat them both times."
O'Farrell led the way with 15 kills offensively Saturday, and Clippard had a great offensive night as well with 14 kills. Margolies was productive on both offense and defense with 11 kills and 11 digs.
Even O'Farrell found her 15 kills hard to believe.
"I'm going to be honest, I didn't know I had that many," O'Farrell said. "That's pretty cool. I think it comes a lot from the passing and the setter, Tria McLean."
The Bobcats' sweep Saturday extended their winning streak over the RedHawks to four games. The Bobcats will pick up the action again next week when they take on Bowling Green.