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Olivia Margolies (22) passes the ball at the Ohio University vs. Miami University Volleyball Game in the Convo. in Athens, Ohio on Sept. 24, 2022.

Volleyball: Ohio picks up two crucial home wins against MAC opponents

The month of October is coming to an end, but Ohio (16-8, 10-3 Mid-American Conference) won't want it to. After picking up two home wins on Friday and Saturday over Western Michigan (14-11, 6-7 MAC) and Northern Illinois (14-9, 7-6 MAC), Ohio moved its record to 8-2 in the month of October and ended the month by winning its last six matches.

The Bobcats' six-match winning streak is the second longest active winning streak in the MAC, and it has propelled them to an impressive 10-3 record in the conference. As is stands right now, the Bobcats are tied for first in the MAC East and tied for second overall.

Match 1

The Bobcats took a little while to get going in set one against the Broncos. The Bobcats committed four errors early and put themselves down 8-3. The Bobcats quickly found their stride after that, and scored five straight points to erase the deficit. Neither team could string together a scoring run, and the Broncos went up 19-17 after a kill from Keona Salesman. The Bobcats took their first lead of the night with a 3-0 scoring run, aided by kills from Kristy Frank and Caitlin O'Farrell. Tria McLean's second service ace in three points and another O'Farrell kill gave the Bobcats some breathing room. The Bobcats looked like they would win the first set fairly comfortably until the Broncos spoiled three straight set points to make the set 24-23. The Bobcats held off the Broncos' late surge with a kill from Anna Kharchynska to win the set 25-23.

The Bobcats got out to another slow start in set two. They fell behind 8-5, and were again able to tie the set up at eight. The set continued to go back and forth, and the Bobcats were able to climb out of another hole to tie the set at 18. The Broncos pulled ahead with a crucial scoring run, and although two Caroline Clippard kills cut the deficit to two, the Broncos prevailed 25-20 to tie the match.

Set three was another close one. The Bobcats had an immediate surge to take a four-point lead, but couldn't extend it. The Broncos made their push to tie the set at 16 after three Bobcat attack errors. The Broncos would take their first lead of the set with a kill from Maggie King and another attack error from the Bobcats. O'Farrell stepped up in crunch time with two kills in three plays to give the Bobcats a one-point lead. Madison Merz's kill kept the Broncos hopes alive in set three, tying it at 24. Clippard put the Bobcats ahead for good with two straight kills.

The Broncos were a set away from defeat, but didn't let a slow start in set four kill their hopes. The Broncos went on a 8-1 scoring run midway through set four to take a 17-14 lead. O'Farrell and Clippard helped tie the set at 19, but the Broncos answered with two straight points to go up 21-19. The Bobcats had no plans of going to a fifth set, and crucial kills from Frank and Clippard helped the Bobcats go on a 5-0 scoring run. The Broncos then committed a fatal service error, and the Bobcats won the set 25-22.

O'Farrell led the team with 19 kills, and Elizabeth Hoerlein's 6 blocks led the team as well.

Match 2

The Bobcats fell behind in the first set against the Huskies after two service aces from Charli Atiemo gave the Huskies a 17-15 lead. Clippard helped the Bobcats get their act together when she had three kills in four plays and Frank continued the Bobcats' run with back-to-back kills of her own. The Bobcats completed the comeback with a four-point scoring run, including a set-deciding kill from Olivia Margolies.

The Bobcats carried their hot streak into the second set and were able to take a 17-11 lead. The Huskies showed some serious fight, however, scoring the next six points to tie the set at 17. Despite giving up the lead, the Bobcats kept their composure, and kills from Margolies, Clippard and O'Farrell put the pressure back on the Huskies. The Huskies committed several errors at the wrong time, and the Bobcats won their second straight set.

The Huskies shook off their defeat in the second set and held a 13-9 lead midway through the third set. The Bobcats stayed within reach of the Huskies, and three kills in four plays from Frank tied the set at 19. Emily Dykes' kill put the Huskies up 20-19, but they struggled in crunch time once again, committing four straight errors to fall behind 23-20. Ella Mihacevich and Atiemo made things interesting with kills to cut the deficit to one. But finally, O'Farrell and Clippard had kills to win the set and the match for the Bobcats.

Frank led the team with 11 kills, with Clippard also reaching double digits. Kharchynska had a career high five blocks.

The Bobcats are one of the hottest teams in the conference, and will be a scary matchup in the post season.


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