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OU Volleyball team in a huddle during a timeout called by Ball State University in the Convo. on Nov. 12th, 2022.

Volleyball: Ohio's season comes to an end against Buffalo

Ohio (19-11, 13-6 Mid-American Conference) had a storied and successful season, but it is now over after a loss in the first round of the MAC Tournament to Buffalo (19-12, 11-8 MAC).

Because of the MAC’s depth, the Bobcats knew they would take on a difficult opponent in the first round, and the Bulls proved they were up to the task in the first set.

The Bobcats started fast in the first set and took a 16-9 lead. Although the Bulls got right back in the set with five straight points, the Bobcats appeared to have steadied the ship with three of four points. The Bobcats were only six points away from taking a crucial one-set lead, but the Bulls scored six straight points to take a 21-19 lead. The Bobcats were able to tie the set at 22, but the Bulls pulled out the first set after a kill from Emma Gielas.

The Bobcats made the Bulls play from behind again in set two, and this time they had an 18-12 lead. Even though the Bulls fought to cut the Bobcat lead to two, Caroline Clippard had a kill that ended the Bulls’ hopes in set two and tied the match.

No team could start any sort of scoring run in the pivotal third set, and the lead went back and forth. Midway through the fourth set, the Bulls grabbed a one-point lead with a 4-0 scoring run. The set remained close, but Kristy Frank had a key kill to put the Bobcats up 21-19 late in the third set. Right when the Bobcats seemed to be closing in on victory, they made an attack error and allowed a Bulls service ace to tie the set. Frank had two more kills to keep the set tied but the Bulls again made plays in crunch time and won the set by two.

The Bulls had no plans of allowing the match to go to a fifth set and scored seven of the first 11 points of set four. The Bulls maintained their three-point lead after a kill from Courtney Okwara made it 14-11. Clippard had a kill to pull the Bobcats within two, but the Bulls would score four straight points to just about end the Bobcats’ hopes in the match. The Bobcats were able to prolong after a 5-2 scoring run, but Okwara officially ended the Bobcats' season with a match-winning kill.

Frank saved one of her best performances as a Bobcat for her last match. She had the most kills of any player in the match with 18. Caitlin O’Farrell was the only other Bobcat to finish with more than 10 kills, she had 14. Anna Kharchynska set a new career-high with 6 total blocks. Olivia Margolies and Sam Steele both led the team with 14 digs.

@GorbettBobby

bg238320@ohio.edu

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