Ohio (6-5, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) takes on its arch rival Miami (5-6, 0-0 Mid-American Conference) on Friday and Saturday to start its conference slate.
Ohio is coming off of an up and down performance in the Bulldog Brawl. Although it won its first match easily against Butler, they lost a heartbreaking match against Missouri and couldn't bounce back against Notre Dame to finish the tournament with a 1-2 record.
Like Ohio, Miami is coming into the weekend having lost two straight matches. It lost a close match at home to Xavier, and was swept by Cincinnati in its last match.
On the season the Red Hawks are 5-6, and this will be their first conference match of the season. The MAC's coaches didn't have very lofty expectations for the RedHawks in the MAC Preseason poll, as they were picked to finish fifth in the MAC East division out of six teams.
Time: 7 p.m. Friday, 6:30 p.m. Saturday
This version of the Battle of the Bricks may take on additional meaning for Ohio. The first match will be 'Ukraine Night', in support of Kyiv, Ukraine natives and Ohio players Kristy Frank and Anna Kharchynska. As a promotion, the first 100 fans to show up to the Convocation center will receive Bobcats for Ukraine rally towels. On top of that a dollar will be donated to charities focused on supporting Ukraine ($1,000 limit) for each student that attends Friday's match against Miami.
Although the last six years of the rivalry has been dominated by the RedHawks, the Bobcats flipped the script last season. For the first time since 2014 the Bobcats won both matches in the regular season against the RedHawks. The Bobcats will hope to repeat last year's success this weekend, but in order to do so they will have to keep RedHawks true freshman Ellie Hanson in check.
Player to watch: Ellie Hanson
Hanson is just a true freshman, but you wouldn't know it by the impact she has already made so far this season. Hanson leads the RedHawks in both kills and digs. In the RedHawks last two matches Hanson has had strong performances, setting a career high in services aces with 3 against Cincinnati, and a career high in digs against Xavier with 27.