ATHENS, Ohio – The Ohio volleyball team (17-12, 9-7 MAC) extended its winning streak to four in a row courtesy of a 3-1 (21-25, 27-29, 25-21, 25-21) Senior Night victory over Akron (16-11, 9-7 MAC) this evening at the Convocation Center.
The Bobcats sent libero/defensive specialist Meredith Howe (Grand Rapids, Mich.), opposite hitter/middle blocker Sara Januszewski (Oak Creek, Wis.), middle blocker Shayla Phillip (Columbia, S.C.), outside hitter Lizzie Stephens (Dallas, Texas) and outside hitter/defensive specialist Allyson Vaughn (Glenview, Ill.) out as winners in their final match at the Convo.
"I think the confidence piece is real and important," head coach Deane Webb said. "Getting this team tonight is great for confidence. I think our team believes we have enough to go to the MAC Tournament and be successful. At the same time, we're 0-0. It's about finding that balance between hunger and confidence and coming into the gym ready to work."
Ohio totaled 54 kills off of 51 assists, tallied seven services aces and outblocked Akron, 11-4.
Junior opposite hitter Maggie Nedoma (Brook Park, Ohio) led the way for the Bobcats with a match-high 17 kills and added two block assists and seven digs. Junior middle blocker Tia Jimerson (Sugar Hill, Ga.) finished with 11 kills and totaled a match-high seven total blocks, including two solo stuffs. Phillip also registered double-digit kills, finishing with 10 in addition to posting two total blocks.
Redshirt sophomore middle blocker/opposite hitter Dahlias Bouyer (Brownstown, Mich.) collected seven kills and two total blocks while freshman outside hitter Olivia Margolies (Galena, Ohio) posted seven kills and two block assists.
Junior setter Vera Giacomazzi (San Vendemiano, Italy) achieved a double-double with a match-high 49 assists to go along with 12 digs. She also assisted on three blocks. Junior libero/defensive specialist Macy Reihing (Lexington, Ky.) led the Bobcats with 19 digs.
Akron built an 18-16 lead in the first set, but back-to-back kills by Nedoma and Jimerson followed by a service ace by Reihing gave the Bobcats the lead and forced the Zips to burn a timeout. Another kill by Nedoma extended Ohio's lead to 20-18, but Akron ended the set on a 7-1 run to take a 1-0 match lead.
The Zips led throughout the majority of the second set, building up a 17-12 advantage that forced the Bobcats to call timeout. Ohio came storming back though, rattling off a 12-6 run that gave the Bobcats set point at 24-23. The comeback was highlighted by four kills by Jimerson, two kills by Nedoma and a solo block by Phillip. Akron tied the set back up, then had set point twice but was unable to finish it off. With the score deadlocked at 27-all, the Bobcats made the Zips pay as a kill by Phillip and a solo block by Bouyer sealed the come-from-behind victory and evened the match.
The Bobcats never trailed in the third set on their way to taking a 2-1 match lead. Ohio hit .265 with 14 kills off 13 assists, three service aces and three total team blocks on its way to a 25-21 victory. Margolies and Nedoma each recorded four kills while Jimerson logged three total blocks (one solo, two assisted) and Stephens tallied two service aces.
Ohio came away with a second-straight 25-21 set win to seal the match victory in four sets. The Bobcats led for the majority of the set, forcing Akron to burn a timeout after seizing a 17-8 lead. The Zips scored 11 of the next 16 points, forcing Ohio to call both of its timeouts. The Bobcats put Akron away, though, courtesy of kills by Phillip and Nedoma and a service ace by Stephens. Nedoma finished the fourth set with four kills while Bouyer and Phillip each added three.
Ohio is in the MAC Tournament, which begins on Thursday. Seeding, matchups and more information will be announced at a later time.