The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team took on Ohio University Saturday in a rematch of the 2013 Mid-American Conference finals – losing in four sets 20-25, 25-19, 19-25, 20-25.
The loss snapped a four-match winning streak for EMU.
Stacey Perinar led the Eagles (15-11, 6-6 MAC) with 13 kills. Kelsey Jones added 10.
Jill Briner had three blocks while Corynne Smith added two aces.
Kelly Lamberti had 14 kills for Ohio (19-4, 12-0 MAC).
The Bobcats are undefeated in conference play this season.
"It was a really fun match,” EMU coach Kim Berrington said. “We played really hard and forced them to lose their first set in a long time. Ohio is always a championship caliber team and after we took that set, they made some adjustments and made quick decisions to turn it back around. They hold teams to around a .150 attack percentage, we hit .200 and it felt like a football game. A few plays made the difference and it’s a match I would like to coach again."
In the first set, the Eagles were able to tie the score three times – but did not take the lead. Despite three kills from Perinar and two from Devon Murray, Eastern dropped the set 25-20.
EMU jumped out to an early 5-1 lead in the second set. After two lead changes midway through, the Eagles scored the final four points on kills from Megan Crawshaw and Briner, as well as an ace from Natalie Folk. Eastern won the set on a ball handling error by Ohio’s Abby Gilleland.
Down 20-10 in the third set, the Eagles attempted a comeback – scoring five straight points. After Ohio scored four more to bring its lead to 24-15, Eastern went on another 4-0 run. Ohio won the set on a service error from Jaclyn Ruffolo.
The third set was the closest of the match. The lead changed five times before Ohio put the set out of reach. Four late Ohio errors were not enough for Eastern to mount a comeback, and the Eagles lost 25-20.
The Eagles return home for two matches before closing out the regular season with two on the road.
The University of Toledo will come to the Convocation Center Friday. The two teams played each other Oct. 4, with EMU taking the 3-1 victory.
The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Follow Al Willman on Twitter: @AlWillmanEcho