Ohio(18-12, 13-5 Mid-American Conference) concluded its season with a victory, triumphing over Kent State (6-23, 2-16 MAC) 3-1. With this win, the Bobcats became MAC East co-champions along with a five-game winning streak heading into the MAC Tournament.
Ohio began the night strong by prevailing in the first set 25-21. It was a back-and-forth affair the entire way with Kent State even leading 13-12 at one point. This was quickly followed by a five-point Bobcat run, which was sparked by a kill from Anna Kharchynska. The sophomore outside hitter had a favorable set recording four kills. However, it was the dominance of Caitlin O’Farrell, who had one of her better sets of the entire season tallying seven kills with just one error in the first set, that really made a difference. One final kill from Caroline Clippard sealed the deal for Ohio.
Despite Ohio’s great set to start the match, Kent State would fight back and take the second set with a score of 25-20. Kiana Mack of the Golden Flashes started off the set with a kill, which would start another close set between the two rivals. Kent State had a 5-point run of its own to pull ahead of Ohio 16-11. Bryn Roberts finished the set off with a service ace, her second of the night. Kent State spread the ball around with three Golden Flashes, including Mack, tallying four kills in the set.
Ohio would not let the previous set deter its ultimate goal. Ohio would take the third set 25-20. Once again, both teams went back and forth in the opening moments of the set with O’Farrell and Ka
m Hunt leading the charge early on. Despite Kent State taking the lead 10-9, Ohio would go on to score 8 of the next 9 points to lead 17-11. This run would give Ohio the boost it needed to take the third set. O’Farrell once again had a very impressive set with five kills at key moments throughout the set.
Ohio would dominate the final set of the night with a score of 25-10. It began with Ohio opening the set by putting up 9 points before Kent State could even get one. Tria McLean aided this run with two service aces to put Kent State in a hole it would not recover from. Despite Kent State going on a 3-point run, Hunt would put another two service aces on Kent State to aid an Ohio 5-point run. Hunt was the catalyst behind Ohio’s dominance this set, recording four kills and two aces during the set.
O’Farrell had a huge impact on Ohio’s win, leading the team with 18 kills. Senior Sam Steele also showed out in her final regular season match with a team-high 23 digs. With this win, Ohio will enter the MAC Tournament as the No. 4 seed. With that placement, Ohio will face Toledo in the first round.