ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio volleyball team (6-4) won the Bobcat Invitational presented by Texas Roadhouse after sweeping Virginia (5-5), 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 25-22), on Saturday afternoon inside The Convocation Center.
"We held two opponents under .100 (attacking percentage) and a power five team under .130 this weekend," head coach Deane Webb said. "That's a pretty impressive achievement by our team. Give credit to the work they put in. You can come up with all the plans you want, but your team can either execute or not. Not only did they execute, they went out late in sets and flipped the switch."
Junior setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) was named the tournament MVP, while junior middle blocker Tia Jimerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) and junior libero Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) were named Bobcat Invitational All-Tournament. Giacomazzi led Ohio with a double-double after 25 assists and 10 digs. Giacomazzi added four kills and two blocks on the day while hitting .375. In her second match back, Jimerson stayed hot and hit .600 after posting nine terminations on 15 swings without commiting an error. Jimerson had a season-high seven blocks (two solo, five assisted). Reihing had a team-high 12 digs today in the sweep.
"It's unexpected," Giacomazzi said, on winning the MVP. "I always try to put every player on the court in the best spot for defense, serve receive and hitting. Deane (Webb) is always pushing myself to be my best and so is the team. Today's match was a continuation of the work I've been doing."
"Knowing we can beat physical teams like Virginia and UConn makes us realize how good we can be" - @veragiacomazzi after @Ohio_Volleyball's win vs UVA & winning the Bobcat Invitational ���� #WTD #BleedGreen pic.twitter.com/IgS3z8KJSk— Jake Hromada (@JakeHromada) September 14, 2019
"We've been working on defense a lot this week in practice," Howe said. "Our block did a really good job of being in the right places. They had great block hands. That was the start and the finish of defense."
Jimerson's nine kills led the way while senior Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) and Nedoma each posted eight terminations. Freshman Olivia Margolies (Galena, Ohio) and Giacomazzi each had four, while redshirt sophomore Dahlias Bouyer had three. Ohio had 36 total kills and hit .171 while UVA had 40 terminations and hit .128.
Ohio had nine total blocks as a team and outblocked UVA, 9-7. After Jimerson's seven, Stephens had four (one solo, three assisted, Giacomazzi had two (one solo, one assisted) and Margolies had one.
The Bobcats are back in action next week for the North Texas Challenge. Ohio will begin the challenge with New Mexico on Thursday, take on Kansas State on Friday and finish the tournament North Texas on Saturday.