Ohio (12-8, 6-3 Mid-American Conference) came away with yet another five-set victory Tuesday, holding off a comeback attempt from in-state rival Kent State (12-8, 3-6 MAC). The win pushes Ohio to 6-3 in the MAC, and was their second straight victory in five sets. Tuesday's match was also Ohio's third straight that went to a fifth set.
The Bobcats wasted no time in taking a sizable lead in the first set. After some strong play from Olivia Margolies and Caitlin O'Farrell, the Bobcats took a 11-4 lead to start set one. The Golden Flashes made some adjustments to cut the lead to one, but couldn't get over the hump and take the lead. The Bobcats finished the set with three straight points, including two kills from Anna Kharchynska, to take the first set 25-20.
Neither team could create much separation in the second set, but the Bobcats took a four-point lead after a kill from Caroline Clippard. The Golden Flashes took their first lead of the night when a 9-4 scoring run put them up 19-18. Mackenzie McGuire had two kills late to solidify the Golden Flashes' lead in the second set, and they won it 25-20.
The pivotal third set was hotly contested from the start. Margolies and Kharchynska were unstoppable early in the third set, and their play helped the Bobcats take a 16-13 lead. Four straight Golden Flashes points put the Bobcats behind, and after the next 10 points were split, the Golden Flashes held a 22-21 lead. Elizabeth Hoerlein had a clutch kill to tie the set, and after the Golden Flashes committed two attack errors in three plays, the Bobcats had a chance to win the set. The Bobcats pounced on the opportunity and a kill from Margolies won them the set by a score of 25-23.
The Bobcats looked like they would wrap things up in the fourth set, scoring seven of the first nine points. However, the Golden Flashes answered with a scoring run of their own to cut the Bobcats' lead to one. The set continued to go back and forth until the Golden Flashes scored five of the last six points to win the set and tie the match.
In their third five-set match in the last five days, the Bobcats looked like they knew how to handle the pressure. Margolies stepped up when it mattered most, going for three kills in six plays to help the Bobcats take a 6-1 lead. The Golden Flashes made things temporarily interesting and cut the Bobcats' lead to two. But whatever chances the Golden Flashes had were soon gone after the Bobcats scored six of the next seven points to take an 12-5 advantage. The Bobcats had one more scoring run, and a Golden Flashes error ended the set and the match. The Bobcats won the set 15-6 and the match 3-2.
Margolies and Clippard both had 16 kills to lead the team, and O'Farrell wasn't far behind with 13. Parker Kwiatkowski's 17 digs were the most she has had all season, and she also led the team with 47 assists.