By Christopher Jones, The Miami Student
In a close match with several long rallies, the Miami University women's volleyball team fell 3-1 (20-25, 16-25, 27-25, 20-25) to the defending Mid-American Conference regular season champion Ohio University Saturday evening.
Miami falls to 9-6 (1-1 MAC) on the season, and the Bobcats improve to 11-3 (2-0 MAC).
Despite the loss, Coach Carolyn Condit has very high expectations for their upcoming inter-conference matchups in addition to the next time they matchup with Ohio U.
"We match up well with Ohio," Condit said. "We understood how to exploit their weaknesses but did not execute effectively enough as blockers and attackers. We have the talent to defeat them and plan to prove that in our next match up."
The RedHawks had a season-high 106 digs in the match. Sophomore libero Maeve McDonald led the defensive charge with 25 digs.
Freshman setter Mackenzie Zielinski and junior setter Krista Brakauskas both had double-doubles. Zielinski totaled 22 assists and 18 digs, while Brakauskas notched 16 assists and 18 digs.
After finishing with a career-high 24 kills in Friday's 3-2 win over Kent State University, junior middle hitter Paige Hill led Miami with 11 kills against Ohio. She also added seven digs and three blocks.
Senior middle hitter Jenny Ingle added eight kills of her own and made zero attack errors in 15 attempts to finish with a team-leading .533 attack percentage.
After losing the first two sets and sneaking out a win in the third set, Miami had some momentum going into the fourth set.
Hill and Ingle paved the way with two kills each, giving Miami an 8-5 advantage. Ohio quickly responded with an 8-2 run and took a 13-10 lead. Ingle answered with three kills, leading Miami's 6-3 run, which tied the game at 16-16.
The Bobcats broke the tie and took a 21-18 lead before a kill from sophomore outside/middle hitter Katie Tomasic and blocks from Hill and sophomore middle hitter Meredith Stutz brought the RedHawks to within one point. However, OU shut down Miami's comeback hopes, scoring the next four points and claiming a 25-20 victory.
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Senior setter Abby Gilleland, the defending MAC player of the year, led OU with a triple-double. She notched 13 kills, 39 assists, and 22 digs.
Miami returns to its home court next weekend when they host Buffalo Friday and Akron Saturday.