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Ohio Volleyball Opens MAC Play With Four-Set Win Over Kent State

Ohio Volleyball Opens MAC Play With Four-Set Win Over Kent State

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Box Score (PDF)

ATHENS, Ohio -- The Ohio volleyball team (6-8, 1-0 MAC) opened up the Mid-American Conference portion of its 2018 schedule with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-19, 25-20) victory over East Division rival Kent State (7-8, 0-1 MAC) tonight at the Convocation Center.

Redshirt senior outside hitter Jaime Kosiorek (Chagrin Falls, Ohio) and junior outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) both achieved double-doubles for the Bobcats. Kosiorek led the match with 14 kills and added 12 digs to go along with two service aces. Stephens logged 12 kills and 15 digs and matched freshman defensive specialist/setter Emily Walsh (Allen, Texas) for the match lead with three service aces. Junior middle blocker Sara Januszewski (Oak Creek, Wis.) hit a scorching .733 with 11 kills. Redshirt junior middle blocker Simone Miller (Kalamazoo, Mich.) racked up a career-high 11 blocks (three solo, eight assisted) to lead the match. Redshirt senior right side hitter Katie Nelson (Regina, Saskatchewan) totaled nine kills and six assisted blocks. Sophomore setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) tallied a match-high 40 assists and chipped in four total blocks (one solo, four assisted). Sophomore libero/defensive specialist Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) led Ohio with 26 digs while junior libero defensive specialist Meredith Howe (Grand Rapids, Mich.) added 13 more.

Ohio began the opening set with an early 10-4 lead after a pair of kills by Stephens and Kosiorek. With a sustained push by the Bobcats and a kill by Nelson, Kent State utilized its first timeout of the match with Ohio holding a 14-8 lead. The Golden Flashes gained momentum, outscoring the Bobcats 9-3 after the timeout to tie the opening set at 17-all. A kill by Kent State gave the Flashes their first lead of the match, 18-17, though, and the Golden Flashes went on to win set oen by four points.

The Bobcats jumped out to an early 6-1 lead over the Golden Flashes to begin the second set, forcing an early Kent State timeout. After the Flashes attempted to battle back, a service ace by Kosiorek,  a kill and block assist by Nelson, a pair of service aces by Walsh and a pair of kills by both Stephens and Januszewski, allowed the Bobcats to even the match with a 25-16 second set victory.

After a 5-2 deficit to begin the third set, Ohio used a service ace by Howe, two consecutive service aces from Stephens, a block by Miller, two registered kills from Kosiorek, another service ace by Giacomazzi and a kill from Nelson to race ahead, 13-9. Kent State responded with an 8-4 run to tie the score at 17 apiece but, with two powerful kills by Januszewski combined with Stephens' third service ace of the match and a block by Giacomazzi, Ohio gained a 22-18 lead to force a timeout by the Golden Flashes late in the third set. Stephens registered kill number 11 for the match while Miller registered her eighth total block of the match for a 25-19 set win for the Bobcats.

Kent State built up a 14-9 lead in an attempt to force a fifth set. A service error and three hitting errors for the Golden Flashes, service ace number three from Walsh and kill number 10 by Januszewski made it a 14-all tie midway through the fourth set. Tied again at 17, Kosiorek strung together two kills for a 19-17 lead for Ohio. Kosiorek added another kill in combination with another Miller block, giving Ohio a late 22-18 fourth set lead. Kosiorek and Nelson combined for three kills to end the fourth set for a 25-20 Ohio set win and a match victory.

Kent State was led by senior right-side hitter Amy Kober and freshman middle blocker Dani Tyson, who both contributed 10 kills. freshman outside hitter Kathryn Ellison registered nine kills and also added 16 digs. Redshirt freshman setter Alex Haffner recorded a team-high 33 assists and also achieved a double-double with 10 digs. Freshman libero/defensive specialist Erin Gardner led the match with 28 digs.

Ohio takes to the road for the first time in MAC play when it visits West Division foe Central Michigan in an 8 p.m. ET matchup at McGuirk Arena in Mount Pleasant, Mich.

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