Ohio (19-10, 13-5 Mid-American Conference) saved one of its best performances for its last match of the regular season.
It only took Ohio three sets to take down Kent State (13-16, 4-14 MAC) and guarantee itself the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament.
The Bobcats got off to a rough start in the first set, while the Golden Flashes stormed out to an 11-3 lead. The Bobcats quickly got their defense in order and were right back in the set with their own scoring run.
Olivia Margolies and Caitlin O'Farrell shined in the middle of the first set. Right-side hitter Mia Soerensen had four kills for the Golden Flashes in set one to help hold off the Bobcats, but O'Farrell stepped up again. She helped the Bobcats score six straight points to take a 21-24 lead late in the set. The Golden Flashes spoiled two set points, but the Bobcats ultimately prevailed 25-23 after the Golden Flashes made a service error.
Ohio Coach Geoff Carlston discussed how Ohio came back in set one.
"We just steadied the ship a little bit," Carlston said. "And they helped us out a bit by making some mistakes."
The Bobcats came ready to play in the second set. Five different Bobcats had kills in the first eight volleys, and they took a 6-2 lead early in set two.
Caroline Clippard was a force in the middle of set two. She had three kills in eight plays to help the Bobcats extend their lead. Kristy Frank, who was honored before the match for recording 1,000 kills in her collegiate career, made the plays necessary to end the Golden Flashes chances in set one.
Frank, who played at Utah State before Ohio, talked about recording 1,000 kills after the match Wednesday.
"It was amazing just thinking about all the kills from the previous schools," Frank said. "I didn't know that was all combined together so it was just cool to see."
The third set looked like it would be as competitive as the first early on. However, the Golden Flashes started to get sloppy, and the Bobcats were able to create a little separation. The Bobcats had a four point lead midway through the set before they took control with six straight points. Clippard had three more kills in their scoring run, and Frank added another kill to her career total. The Bobcats would win the lopsided third set 25-15 after an attack error from the Golden Flashes.
Ohio's sweep was its ninth of the season and its fourth sweep at home.
Clippard led the Bobcats Wednesday with 11 kills, and Anna Kharchynska had eight kills in what was a very efficient performance. Kharchynska led the team with a .538 hitting percentage. Margolies was very productive in her last match at The Convo, as she had eight kills and a team-high 16 digs.
Frank knew that the win on Wednesday could give the Bobcats energy going into the MAC Tournament.
"It feels great to win the last home match, getting that momentum going for the MAC Tournament and just leaving a good mark here at The Convo with a great win," Frank said.
Carlston knows the difficulty of winning the MAC Tournament.
"Our goal is absolutely to win this tournament," Carlston said. "It's going to be tough ... the team that's going to be healthy, and the team that's playing with swag and is playing consistent for three matches is going to win it."