Story by Brad Potts, BGSU Student Reporter
TOLEDO, OHIO -- The No. 2 Ohio Bobcats came into the final match of the MAC volleyball tournament having not lost a set, and continued to not lose a set by sweeping the Northern Illinois Huskies 3-0 (25-21, 25-23, 25-17).
Sue Jacobi began the match for the Bobcats with a kill to give them the 1-0 advantage. The game remained close early with NIU holding a small lead at 6-4. Jacobi's kills were keeping the Bobcats close as her third kill put them down one, 7-8. A Megan Romo kill gave NIU a 15-14 lead in the set, but the Bobcats shortly answered with another kill by Jacobi. Ohio was able to regain the lead 17-16 after a back and forth volley that ended with a Faith Robins kill. Jacobi added an ace to increase their lead to 19-17, which was the Bobcats biggest lead of the set. Despite two great digs by Ohio's Merly Bender, the Huskies were able to tie the score at 20-20. Ohio answered back scoring four straight points, making the score 24-20. With the score being 24-21, Katie Post added a kill giving the Bobcats a 25-21 set victory.
Lauren Wicinski's kill helped give the Huskies the early advantage at 4-2. They were able to take the lead to 6-2 before Ohio got was able to score again. As the Bobcats were itching closing to tying the game, Wicinski added a kill to keep the Huskies ahead 10-8. Ohio took their first lead of the set at 13-12, following an attack error by NIU. The Huskies weren't able to retake the lead until an attack error by Ohio, giving them the lead at 18-17. A Post kill gave the Bobcats the lead back at 20-19. The Bobcats extended their lead to 22-19 on a kill by Michelle Janstch. With Wicinski serving, NIU scored three straight, tying the game at 23-23. Jacobi's kill gave the Bobcats a 25-24 advantage, and then Jacobi added another kill, giving the Bobcats another set win at 25-23.
The third set began with both teams exchanging points. Mandy Nichols kill gave the Bobcats a small lead at 10-9, but NIU scored on the next point to tie it up. Ohio was able to gain their first multiple point lead when they took a 14-12 advantage. They extended this lead to 15-12 on the next point. Jacobi's tip gave the Bobcats a 17-14 lead in the set. The Bobcats were able to further their lead from there scoring four straight with Jacobi serving. Mandy Nichols ended the set and match with a kill, 25-17.
The Bobcats will now wait to see who they will face in the NCAA Tournament. The NCAA Tournament pairings will be release Sunday, November 28 between 3 and 3:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPNews.
Sue Jacobi, Ohio, MVP
Mandy Nichols, Ohio
Lauren Wicinski, Northern Illinois
Maddie Hughes, Northern Illinois
Cassie Ferrell, Miami
Lauren Rafdal, Toledo