Courtesy of Home MAC Athletic Communications Departments
Ohio 3, Kent State 0
Eastern Michigan 3, Central Michigan 0
ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio University volleyball team (23-4, 13-2) clinched the No. 1 seed in next weekend’s MAC Championship with an efficient 3-0 win over visiting Kent State (12-16, 6-9) Thursday evening inside the Convocation Center.
With the victory, Ohio also earned at least a share of the MAC regular season title and will now host the 2014 MAC Championship in Athens as a result of a new league rule. The Bobcats will earn the MAC regular season crown outright with a win Saturday or a loss by Toledo Friday or Saturday.
Ohio hit an impressive .391 as a team in the match while holding Kent State to just .146 from the floor. The ‘Cats also held an 8-5 edge in total blocks and knocked down 46 kills to Kent’s 30 on the night.
Sophomore setter Abby Gilleland (Bull Valley, Ill.) played a fine all-around game for Ohio with a match-high 34 assists to go along with six kills, six digs and a blistering .667 hitting percentage.
Gilleland set up a balanced offense of Bobcat attackers, as six Ohio hitters notched at least six kills on the night. Outside hitters Katie Horton (Westland, Mich.), Kelly Lamberti (Cary, Ill.) and Liis Kullerkann (Keila, Estonia) paced the ‘Cats with eight kills apiece, while graduate middle blocker Alexis Pinson (Phoenix, Ariz.) added seven kills and three total blocks. Kullerkann also hit an impressive .700 on the night and notched two blocks (one solo).
Sophomore libero Meredith Ashy (Louisville, Ky.) tallied a match-high 14 digs for Ohio (4.7/set), while freshman defensive specialist added seven digs and a career-best three service aces. Coleman also notched her first career kill in the contest from the back row.
The Bobcats raced out of the gate against the Golden Flashes and scored seven of the first 10 points of the opening set. From there, Ohio extended its edge to nine (14-5) on the strength of a 4-0 run. The ‘Cats used another 4-0 run to extend the lead to 11 (18-7) and Ohio went up by 12 (20-8) on a kill from Horton. The Bobcats won the first set by that margin (25-13).
In set two, Ohio again held a 7-3 lead, but Kent scored six of the next eight points to close within two (9-7). The Bobcats built their lead back up to six (16-10) on another kill from Horton and led by seven (19-12) after a kill from Pinson. Ohio took the second set by 10, 25-15.
Set three was closer from the start, as Ohio led by one (9-8) early in the frame. The Bobcats used a 4-1 run to move ahead by four (13-9) and extended the lead to seven (20-13) after putting together a 5-0 run. The Bobcats ultimately won the third set by eight (25-17) to claim the top seed in next weekend’s tournament.
With the victory, Ohio improved to 12-0 in three set matches this season. The crowd of 1,941 at the Convo was on hand to see the first televised regular season match in program history.
Ohio wraps up Mid-American Conference play Saturday with a 7 p.m. matchup against Central Michigan inside the Convocation Center.
Mount Pleasant, Mich. - The Central Michigan volleyball team was unable to close out the home portion of its schedule with a victory Thursday night, falling to in-state foe Eastern Michigan in a key Mid-American Conference match in straight sets, 23-25, 13-25, 19-25.
With the loss the Chippewas (11-16) fall to 5-10 in MAC play and will need a victory at Ohio on Saturday night, plus a loss by the Eagles (15-15, 5-10 MAC) at Kent State and a loss by Buffalo in one of its final two games to qualify for the MAC Tournament at the SPIRE Institute in Genva, Ohio. Ohio clinched at least a share of the MAC regular season title with a victory over Kent State Thursday.
The Chippewas were on the verge of swinging Thursday's match in their favor on several occassions, but were unable to come up with turning points in key moments. CMU trailed by as much six in set on, 21-15, but was able to rally out of a timeout behind the play of senior Katie Schuette. Playing in her final home game, Schuette came up with a big block to start the rally and recorded a pair of kills to pull CMU within a pair, 23-21 and force an EMU timeout. Another kill by the senior pulled CMU within a point and an errant attack on the Eagles tied the set, 23-23.
Eastern Michigan took a timeout to regroup and was able to bounce back by scoring the final two points to claim set one, 25-23.
CMU struggled in set two and was never able to get its offense going. The Chippewas finished the set with a -.036 hitting percentage as the Eagles ran away with things, 25-13.
Following the break in action, the Chippewas appeared to be ready for a dramatic comeback. Tied at 14 apiece, CMU went on a 3-0 run that included kills by juniors Kaitlyn McIntyre and Hallie Enderle to take a 17-13 lead and force an EMU timeout. The Eagles responded however, scoring the next six points to take the set back over, 19-17. A kill by sophomore Kalle Mulford pulled CMU within two, 21-19, but it was as close as the Maroon and Gold would get as the Eagles scored the final four points to secure the sweep.
Schuette led the Chippewas with 11 kills, while McIntyre had 10 kills and a team-high 12 digs. Junior Danielle Thompson stepped in for an injury Kelly Maxwell and dished out a match-high 29 assists.
CMU will close the regular season Saturday night at Ohio at 7.