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Kam Hunt (23) reaches for the ball at the Ohio University vs Eastern Michigan University Senior Day volleyball game, Nov. 4, 2023.

Volleyball: Ohio Sweeps Eastern Michigan as Regular Season Begins to Wind Down

Ohio(14-12, 9-5 Mid-American Conference) on the cusp of senior night, swept Eastern Michigan(3-23, 1-13 Mid-American Conference) at The Convo on Friday night. 

Despite the sweep, Ohio Coach Geoff Carlston was asked to describe the game in one word, and without hesitation, Carlston expressed some of his displeasure.

“(It was) frustrating,” Carlston said. “I didn’t like how we competed, we’ve got to figure it out… I thought we played passive.”

Ohio came out strong with a 25-18 victory in the first set against Eastern Michigan. It began with a grueling back-and-forth affair that saw freshman Kam Hunt and junior Caroline Clippard lead the way, each notching five kills in the first set. Ohio, throughout the set, focused on feeding the outside hitters. Ohio began to pull away behind a 5-0 scoring run, aided by two kills from Hunt, to help propel them into the lead 11-8. Ohio would not look back as it would hold onto the lead for the rest of the set while also tallying another 5-0 scoring run and a 6-0 scoring run. One final kill from Hunt put The Bobcats over the top, prevailing 25-18. One key takeaway from this set was the amount of serve-receive errors on The Bobcats' end. This derived from what seemed like a lack of communication. Ohio’s slow start could be attributed to the lack of quality passes off of the serve, which gave Eastern Michigan the chance to take an early lead.

Although Ohio replicated the score with a 25-18 victory once again, many key differences in this set led Ohio to victory. First, there was only one scoring run of three or more from either team, which was the final three points from Ohio. However, the Bobcats were more efficient on defense as Sam Steele continuously shut down multiple kill attempts from Eastern Michigan’s Callie Minshew and Mekayla Koger. Hunt and Clippard still showed out in set two, each recording four kills a piece. Caitlin O’Farrell put the final nail in the coffin with a monstrous kill to secure Ohio’s win in the set.

Eastern Michigan put up an immense fight in the final set, and Ohio’s errors led to this being Ohio’s closest margin of victory all match, winning 25-23. The Eagles came out strong this set, led by a barrage of kills from Samantha Basham, at one point leading 13-8. Ohio, looking to close out the sweep, clawed back with the assistance of back-to-back aces from Tria McLean to bring the game within one at 12-13. From there, both teams would go on impressive runs throughout the set that shifted momentum. McLean spread the ball around with O’Farrell and Clippard recording back-to-back kills key points of the set that was capped off by an incredible kill from Hunt to win the set and match for Ohio.

Hunt credited her teammates and coaches when commenting on her performance.

“I’m getting constant feedback from my teammates and coaches,” Hunt said. “They really help me with my job... and relieve a lot of pressure I might feel.”

Hunt also shared her opinion on what could be improved for tomorrow’s bout.

“Definitely communication, we played a little individual tonight,” Hunt said. “.… we were a little quiet tonight and so just vocalizing everything and making better reads.”

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