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.
Did I mention my grandchildren? of course I did. They are the culprits—the prime reason this video didn’t get uploaded for two and a half weeks. But here it is, with plenty of good clips of the match against Louisville.
Here’s a question for my savvy readers: why was it that the Bowling Green match last Friday in the Convo was streamed live, but there was no such coverage for the Miami match on Saturday night?
Luckily, Abby’s father, Scott, streamed the Miami match off his Ipad, and I got to watch most of it in Denver. Of course I had to do what is strictly forbidden to my grandchildren: bring my laptop close to the table, set it on the floor and watch it more or less surreptitiously. Not a very responsible or family-like behavior on my part—but essential for the true fan.
Here’s the first of two videos (the second will follow if I survive the beautiful rampages of my Denver grandchildren) from the Louisville tournament. Let’s see, the Seton Hall match was played 13 days ago, and I’m getting the video up today. Busy as a worker bee.
We swept both matches, which was fun. There was, however, that streak of eight points that Seton Hall ripped on us in the second set. Let’s face it, there are always points in which the Bobcats get crunched. Sets don’t finish 25-2, or 25-3, the way I often make them appear in these videos. How much more fair I’ve been in this one.
Of course, what we like to see is a perfect pass from Mer, an artful set by Abby, a smart kill from Jaime, a crushing block by Shelby—to name just a few of the players. So that’s mainly what we get.
A slightly more sobering video will follow, of the Louisville match.
I would like to have a full set of clips from last night’s match against Xavier. In the shambling first two sets our passes went to El Paso, our hits were blocked and our blocks landed outside the court. Of course it wasn’t all bad. The first set was close and we were in the running for the second—but this could not have been the team that had beaten Kentucky three nights before. After the break I could not take any more video. Both Cricket and I had to set our cameras down and cheer.
Cameras are fun. They let us keep a record, even see things we can’t catch, and hold onto, with the bare eye. But they also separate us from the play. I stand above the court, focused on Abby and her hitters—and the big play happens in the backcourt. Or I’m locked on Mer or Mal in the back row, and the defining play is a big block by Katie at the net. Or I’m standing high in the stands, taking in the whole court, while the game is far away and I barely feel part of it. There are times I have to set down the camera, take a seat next to the court and…go crazy.
Everyone who was at the match last night knows how crazy it got, and what an intense battle it was in the third and fourth sets. During sets like these—indeed, during most matches—I wish the fans on the adult side of the court, the community side, would stand throughout the match, as the students do across the way. I want to stand up, to jump around, I’m way too pumped up to want to just sit there. At one point last night I flung myself on the ground and beat on the Convo floor next to Ariel. The wood was covered with paper. I smacked it, I clawed at it. I wanted to run into padded walls, to do somersaults and cartwheels (ah, those were the days).
One stat: Mer had 43 digs in the match. The previous record was 38, set in the early nineties. She had an utterly spectacular match, saving us time and time and time again, making diving saves and great passes. What a libero she has been, from the first match she ever played—surprising us, as she took the court, for winning the position as a freshman from I-can’t-remember-whom. But last night was surely her finest match ever. 43 digs! Wish I had some video of her and everyone’s performance—but there you go, it’s either take pictures or go crazy, and sometimes it has to be the latter.
And now, in a matter of hours, we take on the Michigan Wolverines.
I tried, in the video below, to give a tiny summary of what it was like last Saturday night at Purdue’s volleyball gym. There were 2500 seats and all but a couple of dozen were filled. At one end of the court, the student band, about 60 strong, made a stunning amount of noise. Next to them, the student rooters: loud, insistent, organized. Never nasty, for which I was glad (having seen the contrary at Dayton, Michigan and other schools). It was about 80 degrees inside, perhaps warmer. The noise, the energy, the focus had to have unsettled the Bobcats—or so it seemed to me.
It was a hard trip back to Ohio, late at night. I always wonder: if Cricket and I feel so miserable on such a trip, what’s it like on the team’s bus?
How I wish we had gone to Kentucky, for the hard-won glory. I had what they call “previous engagements”: estate and foundation meetings and dinners I could not get out of, in Maryland. The win over Kentucky had to have been one of the great OU matches of all time, and where was I? Discussing budgets and heartbreaks and the loss of a friend.
Well, MatchPointOhio is here for the Xavier match tonight, and Michigan tomorrow afternoon. We just took care of LSU, in commendable fashion.
Here’s the first video of the season, with footage from a team practice at the Convo, and from the Green & White Scrimmage at the Athens Community Center. Great turnout at the Athens gym. I was focused on the six new players on this year’s team, so the video is not much of a report on the team itself.
Never fear, Cricket and I are headed for Purdue this coming weekend, and sometime next week I’ll have a video with highlights from that tournament, at which we play Austin Peay, Virginia Christian, and Purdue.