The Eastern Michigan University women’s volleyball team couldn’t pull off the upset against No. 18 Ohio University Saturday night at the Convocation Center as they fell in four sets (25-23, 25-7, 21-25, 25-14). No. 18 Ohio (15-3, 5-1 MAC) took the match three sets to one over Eastern Michigan (11-10, 1-5 MAC).
“We’ve got a tough test,” EMU head coach Kim Berrington said pre-game. “Ohio is ranked No. 18 in the country. We have to just go out and play well, and we can’t forget how important every contact is.”
Sophomore outside hitter Stacey Perinar led the Eagles with 11 kills. Senior outside hitter Paige Roback also had nine kills and junior middle blocker Megan Crawshaw had eight kills. Senior outside hitter Erin Short had two kills only. Junior setter Jill Briner had 16 assists. EMU sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Jones sat out the game with an eye injury. Jones has 81.0 blocks this season. For the Bobcats, sophomore setter Abby Gilleland had 43 assists.
Eastern was strong early, opening the first set 6-0, and eventually leading 11-3. With the Eagles leading 15-8, Ohio began a lead that narrowed the margin to 16-12. Ohio went on a another run to tie the score at 21. The Bobcats finished on a 5-2 run to take the match 25-23. Perinar had four kills in the first set.
Ohio dominated the second set, keeping the Eagles under 10. The Bobcats opened the second set on a 9-1 run and lead by 16 late, 20-4. Eastern attempted to mount a comeback late, scoring points on three consecutive attempts. However Ohio was able to hold on to take the set 25-7.
The Bobcats held EMU to its lowest scoring set this season. Crawshaw and sophomore outside hitter Dori Harrison had the only two kills for the Eagles in the second set. The Eagles hit -.139 as a team in the second set.
Eastern opened the third set 8-4 before Ohio mounted a 6-2 run to reduce the Eagles lead to 10-8. Eastern was able to extend their lead to 18-12 before a 4-1 run by the Bobcats closed the gap to 19-16. EMU was able to hold their lead and take it to 25-21. It is the first time this season that Eastern has taken a set against a top-25 opponent. Perinar and Crawshaw had four kills each in the third set.
Ohio opened the fourth set with a 9-1 run. Eastern was able to close the lead to 12-8 but Ohio opened it again, 22-12. Ohio ended the match on a 7-3 run to take the fourth set, 25-14. Perinar and Roback each had three kills in the fourth set. The Bobcats hit .333 as a team in the fourth set.
Eastern’s record continues to drop closer to .500 at 11-10. The Eagles are 1-5 in Mid-American conference play and currently sit last in the MAC West Division.
The Eagles have lost five of their last six games to begin Mid-American Conference play.
The Eagles head to Oxford to take on the Miami Univeristy RedHawks (9-9, 1-5 MAC) on Thursday at 7 p.m. and then to Bowling Green, Ohio to face the Bowling Green State University Falcons (8-9, 5-1 MAC) on Friday at 5 p.m.
The Falcons are 5-2 at home this season and are currently tied for first in the MAC East Division.