By Taylor Petras
The Ohio Women’s Volleyball team faced their first opponent, Niagara, in the Bobcat Volleyball Invitational Friday afternoon. The Bobcats swept the Purple Eagles 3 sets to none.
Niagara who now stands with a record of 3-4 struggled against Ohio in the first set. However, they proved to be more of a challenge to the Bobcats in the later sets of the match.
Ohio dominated the first set, winning by a score of 25-13. Ohio’s offense was too much for the Purple Eagles to handle. Although they were getting hands on the ball, Niagara could not block Ohio’s powerful hits. Sophomore outside hitter, Kelly Lamberti, was the Bobcats go-to-girl throughout the entire match. In this set alone she recorded 7 kills. Lexie Hartnett followed her with 4 kills, while Faith Robinson tallied 3 kills and a block.
Niagara would force Ohio to work for their second win of the match. The Bobcats would score the first 3 points with a kill by Lamberti. Hartnett added on to Ohio’s run of offense along with Chelsea Bilger and Serena Warner, who ended the set with 2 and 3 kills respectively. The Purple Eagles were forced to call a timeout with the Bobcats leading the way at 15-9. The timeout was the spark that Niagara needed to make a come back. The came would tie at 19 with service errors and net violations from Ohio. However, Ohio would pull ahead and win the set 25-20.
In the third set it was Niagara who went on a 3-0 run to start. The score was close until point 7 when Ohio took the lead from a kill by Bilger. The score swayed back and forth between the two teams until once tied again at 13. The Bobcats continued to exchange kills with Niagara all the way to the 18-point mark. From there the Purple Eagles began to make offensive errors that ultimately cost them the game. Lamberti and Bilger both ended the set with 4 kills each, followed Hartnett with 2 kills and a block.
Ohio will be back in action tonight at 7p.m. against Belmont.
By Paul Monnin
In the first of their three matches in this weekend’s Baymont Invitational, the Bobcats lost in four sets to 10th-ranked Kentucky on Friday night before 3,318 fans at the Convocation Center in Athens. The loss puts the Bobcat volleyball squad at 0-4 for the season, a start that carries strong implications for the young team.
After falling in the first two sets (25-16, 25-21), the Bobcats came out with abundant energy after the break, taking the third (21-25) before falling in a hard-fought fourth set (25-21). Leading the way for the Bobcats were three sophomores, outside hitters Kelly Lamberti and Chelsea Bilger and middle blocker Serena Warner.
“We just need to get better,” said Lamberti following the loss. “There were times of great play during that match, and we know that we can be that good all the time. It’s just being consistent now.”
Lamberti led the team with 18 kills, but they were not enough for the Bobcats against the Wildcats, who clawed back after falling behind early in the second set and finished strong in the fourth. The Wildcats outside hitters played aggressively and efficiently, with junior Whitney Billings and sophomore Lauren O’Conner combining for 28 kills and just six errors.
The Bobcats will have to bounce back quickly from the loss, as they match up with West Carolina at 3 p.m. on Saturday and face 17th-ranked Oregon on Sunday at 11 a.m. as the Baymont Invitational rolls on.
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