Volleyball at Ohio University

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MatchPointOhio celebrates the Ohio University women's volleyball team. Over the past decade, the Bobcats have been one of the most successful and competitive teams in the nation. Some of the accolades that the team has earned include: - Six MAC regular-season titles - Seven MAC Tournament titles - Eight consecutive trips to the NCAA Championship, tied for the MAC record. - 29-10 (.744) postseason record, including MAC and NCAA Tournaments - NCAA Regional Semifinalist in 2005, qualified for Second Round four times.

MatchPointOhio is run by two Bobcat fans, John Thorndike and Cricket Jones.


The MPO Blog

16-0 in the MAC

November 18th, 2014 by John Thorndike

The team was totally in synch on Saturday night against Miami. The Miami team that took us to five in Oxford, earlier in the fall (if we can call this fall: my pond is half frozen over), couldn’t get more than 16 points in any of the three sets. We didn’t have to win this match to bring the MAC Championship tournament back to the Convo in 2015, but it was lovely to go 16-0 in the conference this year.

We love Ohio! Gorgeous Ohio! We love Athens, we love the Convo, we’re happy to win championships right here.

Here’s a video from clips taken Saturday night against Miami:

Classic Weekend

November 16th, 2014 by John Thorndike

Walking past the team locker room on Friday before the Bowling Green match, we found a quote on the wall from Booker T. Washington: “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.” Also, a quote from Hesiod: “Badness you can get easily, in quantity; the road is smooth, and it lies close by. But in front of excellence the immortal gods have put sweat, and long and steep is the way to it.”

Hesiod on the locker room wall! Coach Webb explained that his mother was an English teacher for 20 years. Long live English classes!

And last night, going in to the Miami match, we found another quote, this one from Aristotle: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” I’ll bet that resonated with team members who have been passing, setting, hitting and blocking the ball perhaps ten thousand times over the season.

Volleyball is a habit. (It’s my habit, for sure. I played Friday night with our local group, and didn’t walk out of the gym until 1:30 in the morning. Well, I hobbled out.)

In any case, I can only conclude that these classical exhortations have had their effect. We swept Bowling Green and we swept Miami. Last night’s match against Miami was a gem, played before a rockin’ crowd in the Convo.

Here’s the first of the videos from this weekend, made in a single day—my all-time record. Mallory Salis had such a night against BG that I focused the whole video on her hits. I’m never sure how to organize the mass of clips I take during a match, but this one was pretty much delivered on a plate. About half way through the second set, Abby gave Mal a set, Mal crushed it from the back row—so Abby gave her another. And another, and another. In the end Mal went 9 for 16. I believe she was happy to be hitting.

Happy? She loves it!

The Match Against Eastern Michigan

November 6th, 2014 by John Thorndike

The team marches on, and MatchPointOhio is back in step:

Action in the Backcourt

October 3rd, 2014 by John Thorndike

With clips from the recent match with Kent State, here’s MatchpointOhio’s latest, a video focused almost entirely on the backcourt. There’s a lot going on out there, all the time.


Choices in the Middle

September 26th, 2014 by John Thorndike

My fascination with the role of the middle blocker and hitter continues in this video.

The setter is the captain, she runs the show. But among the other players, it seems to me that the position with the least-defined role, with the most choices, is that of the middle blocker. With every attack by the other team, she has to figure out whom to block. It’s easy to get fooled—and the opponents are doing everything they can to make her choose the wrong hitter.

It all starts with the pass, of course. With one of those lovely right-on-the-net passes, even with a pass that, untouched, would go over the net, Abby has all kinds of options. You can watch some of them play out below:

Art Ricker’s Message

September 20th, 2014 by John Thorndike

MatchPointOhio received an email from Art Ricker Lexi Hartnett’s grandfather. As you’ll read below, he says that Bill Hartnett has been planning an Alumni Parents Reunion—and this may be of interest to others beside parents.
Here’s the scoop from Art (to whom we send a big hello. Art, you are missed! Perhaps not as much as the team misses Lexi—but missed!)

Looks like we are getting off to another exciting Bobcat volleyball season.

Perhaps it’s a bit early to be thinking about near the end of the year, but I wanted to give you a heads up on what’s happening. After it was announced that the MAC tournament will be in Athens in 2014, Bill Hartnett started working on the idea of an Alumni Parents Reunion weekend. He contacted some of the parents from Lexie’s era and many said they would love to return.

As a result, Dean Webb has had the O U Inn block out 20 rooms for the MAC weekend at reduced rates, even though their web site says “Sold Out”. Interested parents must contact the Inn before October 20th or the rooms will be released.

Since there might be other Bobcat fans interested that follow MatchPoint who are not necessarily parents, I was wondering if you would like to publicize this too. At this point there is no special agenda, just an opportunity to get together again, see some great volleyball, and hash over “old times”.

If you are interested, and want more information, you can contact me or Bill (bill.f.hartnett@gmail.com). The Hartnett’s and the Ricker’s already have rooms reserved.

Taking Care of Green Bay

September 19th, 2014 by John Thorndike


The electronic world broke down Friday afternoon, with Scott Gilleland’s stream of the match against Green Bay giving up the ghost after the second set. Scott did better than GameTracker, however, which collapsed, expired, died altogether.

One of the most beautiful sounds of the season, however was heard from Scott, I think it was at the start of the third set: “Here comes Chelsea B!”

Chelsea Bilger came in and it looked, amidst all the buffering, like she was pounding the ball as hard as ever. So great to see her in the game.