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Match Point Ohio

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

Spring Season, well after it’s over

May 20th, 2014 by John Thorndike

There’s volleyball and there’s the rest of life, and sometimes it’s a toss-up as to which is enhancing or impeding the other.

The rest of it has been a blur this spring, due in large part to the death of a friend–the second recent death of a friend I’d been close to for 55 years. I was back East and missed the Louisville match, which I heard was a good one.

MatchPointOhio made the other spring scrimmages and games—but instead of 3-4 videos, we offer only one, with clips from several matches.

The team played without the seniors (save for Liis, who may get her own video later), and without Katie Horton, who is leaving the team (I hear rumors about where she’s going, but nothing definitive). The players were having fun, Coach Webb was clearly trying out players and positions—and the rest we will learn in August and September as the 2014 season unfolds.

See you then.

Ryan Theis leaves for Marquette

February 15th, 2014 by John Thorndike

Ryan with award

We hate that’s he’s leaving.

We hate it because we love him. We love his wife, his kids, the coaches he brought with him or hired, the players he and his staff recruited, the entire glorious program Ryan has led so brilliantly for the last six years.

We’re happy he gets to go back to Milwaukee, which is where he played college ball and started coaching. (MatchPointOhio has a Wisconsin connection itself, as Cricket’s daughter and her husband live in Madison. We understand a little something about the pull of Wisconsin.) We’re happy he’s moving to a team which finished 13th in last year’s final RPI poll.

We wish him the utter best—but we hate that he’s going!

Final Video from the 2013 Season

January 14th, 2014 by John Thorndike

Looking over my clips from the MAC Championships and the NCAA tournament, a topic leapt out at me: the role of the middle hitter in locking up the opponent’s middle blocker, so our outside hitter can hit against a single blocker, not four big hands in the road. And so, the season’s final video, on middle hitter and middle blocker tactics.

It’s fun slowing down the plays to see exactly what went on. During the match, everything happens so fast that I often miss the details, the reason why the play worked or didn’t. Here it all becomes clear.

What do Volleyball Nuts Do?……(read the previous blog, please)

December 20th, 2013 by Cricket Jones

Pretty interesting, here I am writing a blog, one of the first in a long time, and I found John had written about the same event and at the same time. December is one of the busiest hustle bustle months, but what do we do? Neither of us have cable and the only way to watch NCAA semi-final vball action is to negotiate with a sports pub to put on our game of the night on one of their screens. We lucked out and so from 7:30 to 11:30 we: Okay, now switch to John’s post below….

Which Two Athens Volleyball Fans

December 20th, 2013 by John Thorndike

—were hanging out, nearly alone as the night progressed, at Buffalo Wild Wings last night from 7:30 to 11:30, watching the NCAA semi-final matches in Seattle on the big screen.

Not too hard to figure out: John and Cricket from MPO.

Both matches were fascinating, but let me start with a comment I’ve made before. It’s clear, as Kerri Walsh Jennings said during an ESPN interview between points, that volleyball is the preeminent women’s sport. It is the only team sport in which more people watch women’s matches than men’s.

Consider the attendance, last spring, of the NCAA men’s final, between UC Irvine and BYU. It set a record for attendance at a neutral site, of 6,295 people. That was for a final match. Last night, in the women’s semi-finals, the attendance at Seattle’s KeyArena was 14,975.

The women play a better game! It’s more nuanced, less pure power. There is great defense, there are dramatic saves, many subtleties. Hey, the crowds have voted, and it is women’s volleyball that we follow.

So how did they do last night? Of the four teams, there were #1 seed Texas, #2 Penn State, #3 Washington, and #12 Wisconsin.

Wisconsin, as they took on Texas, had a new coach (only last year he was coaching the Dayton Flyers) and a freshman setter, Lauren Carlini. Here she is on the floor after the match:

Wisconsin defeats Texas

A dramatic, fabulous victory for Wisconsin, the clear underdog now going to the finals.

Penn State was more subdued after their victory. After all, they throttled Washington 25-14, 25-13, 25-16.

Penn State beats Washington

It should be a great finals match on Saturday night.

Our Battle With Michigan State

December 10th, 2013 by John Thorndike

We lost, you already know that. But our single match in the 2013 NCAA tournament was a good one, against a great team. They edged us. We fought the whole way and played some beautiful ball.

Just getting to Lexington on Friday for the scheduled match was a trial. The team made it, most parents made it, the band made it. Cricket and I got within twenty miles of Lexington before we heard that the University of Kentucky had closed (three and a half inches of snow, how terrifying), and the match postponed until Saturday. Cricket had an arts and crafts show to attend to in Columbus. I returned to Lexington on Saturday, and here’s the video, one of my favorites of the year.

It Was The Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

November 27th, 2013 by John Thorndike

No, wait! There was no worst! It was all fabulous, it was all the best of times. What a tournament up at the MAC Championships, culminating in this moment:

matchpoint championships

With that, we bid a fond farewell to the Spire Institute, with its walls of draped plastic, with its helpful crew (almost always), farewell to Geneva with its gray skies, its Best Friend’s Restaurant (under new management), with Ted the OU graduate and his 40-room house full of collectibles. Will we ever go back? The Spire arrangement has yielded to a much more reasonable (it seems to us) decision to host the Championships at the site of the team that wins the regular season. So as much as we’ll miss the Spire, they’ll have to make do without us next year, as we’ll be rockin’ in the Convo.

Slow in the making, here, finally, is the video of the final match. That’s all I could handle before Thanksgiving—and it may be 2014 before I present a video from the two previous matches. But I will: too much glory in the 200 clips I have not to distill them and put them up on YouTube.