Volleyball at Ohio University

Home About Us Contact Us

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

Ohio vs Oklahoma

September 4th, 2017 by John Thorndike

Friday night’s match against Oklahoma looked disastrous for two sets. Then we came back and showed what we’re made of: muscle, fiber, heart and soul.

Here’s the video:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8X5vnwUnlz8

The New Players, 2017

August 25th, 2017 by John Thorndike

MatchPointOhio is moving slowly. A week to make a video! I blame it on my garden. But here’s an introduction to the four new players, as well as our new volunteer assistant coach.

There’s not much in the video about Dahlias (“You can call me D”) Bouyer, a middle blocker from Brownstown, MI. She has injured her knee and couldn’t play until October at the earliest, so she will be redshirting her freshman year.

The team, as I write this, just knocked off Murray State in three, down in Alabama. Another match, against Samborn, at 8 tonight—and that one will be streamed.


My Annual First Post

August 19th, 2017 by John Thorndike

At the start of each season I repost the first little essay I wrote for this website, coming up to a decade ago. It still applies, I feel–and even though it won’t be a Tachikara SV5W I’ll be playing with tomorrow, I’ll be glad to be setting the ball again after a summer of work and travels.

The Feel of the Ball

The way it fits between your hands, the texture of it, the faint give under pressure, the perfect balance with which it rises into the air after you set it. For pure sensuous pleasure in sport, there is nothing like the feel of a volleyball.

That’s what drew me to the game years ago: how right the ball felt. And that first one was a mangy old street ball in New York City’s Washington Square Park. Later, in a gym in Yellow Springs, Ohio, I got hold of my first Tachikara SV5W. Now there’s a ball. When I die, that’s the one you can lace my fingers around as you slip me into the earth. The OU team, I have to admit, plays mainly with Moltens these days, which along with Badens have been horning in on the market once dominated by Tachikara. No matter, when it comes to my ultimate rest, make it the SV5W.

Other sports offer utilitarian, sometimes curious balls:

-The Little League baseball I played with when I was ten. I admit that it’s a handsome little nugget of a ball, with its infinite stitching pattern—but it’s nothing to cozy up with. Designed for violent contact with oak or hickory, it’s best handled with a glove.

–The big pebbled basketball I played with for hours at a time when I was a kid, shooting on a hoop my father nailed to the back of our house. The surface is foreign, the texture reminiscent of the factory it was made in.

-The soccer ball, rugged and impervious, and clearly designed not to be touched. Penalty if you do.

-That jive pellet the lacrosse ball, heavy and smooth. It feels like some kind of ammo.

-I admit to the football’s aerodynamic superiority. But it’s another of those industrial balls, faintly pebbled.

-The ping pong ball, tiny, smooth and brittle—and its dense second cousin, the golf ball. We buy them by the dozen, then squash them underfoot or lose them in the rough.

–The raquetball, similar to the pink spaldeen kids used to play with on the streets of New York, perhaps still do. Bouncy and utilitarian.

-The squash ball, with its two-inch bounce, at least before you warm it up.

–The tennis ball. I love the sport so I’m fond of the ball—but after a couple of sets bring out some new ones, the first are already worn out.

Only a volleyball fits the hand so well, and has a perfect, smooth, animal texture. Of course, this is written by a setter, someone who thinks the key moment in each point is the tenth of a second when the ball enters the setter’s hands and flies out redirected. It’s all in service to the hitter, and we’d be nowhere without the crushing spike, or the salvation of a great dig. But to me it’s still the ball, and the feel of the ball, that defines the game.

I admit, here at the start, to a river of bias on every topic. But that’s what makes this a blog post instead of a news report.

Cricket’s Stills from the Green & White Scrimmage

August 19th, 2017 by Cricket Jones







Follow this link:        https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipOiJ5j0-DYVlp7lAaBUhFckClCySfDuQ_7hzx_Xh5mHgTPabIIbfy-1HRlahb89eg?key=TkFiQVA4SVAxZnFQaUxnWTZTTkRtVS1RaEpQSFZB

Spring Play against Ohio State and Fairmont State

April 18th, 2017 by John Thorndike



Here’s MatchPointOhio’s video offering for the spring: two matches in the Convo against Ohio State and Fairmont State.

Lots of promise, lots to work on, lots of great serves, passes, sets, kills and blocks.

As my new T-shirt says:




And we’ll see you all in August.

Better Than It Seemed

November 23rd, 2016 by John Thorndike

Our match against Northern Illinois, one of two semi-final matches on Saturday night in Northern’s gym in DeKalb, was a tough one. By the end of it, standing among several parents of players on the team, there was a sense of pure misery.

I don’t know, perhaps the team didn’t feel this. But the Bobcat fans in the stands were unhappy. It didn’t feel like we’d played well. There were too many crushing hits by Northern, too many blocks (13 team blocks to our 4.) Clearly, it was not the end of the season we’d hoped for.

But an hour later, having downloaded the 150 clips I took of the match, a different story soon became evident. Yes, Northern had played well. They’d beaten us 25-21, 25-16, 25-19. Yet dozens of clips showed us winning points as we fought to stay in the match. Northern outplayed us, but it was a pretty good match.

The next night, watching Miami play Northern on ESPN, back home in Athens, Miami was putting up a good fight. They lost in three, having taken a total of 58 points in the match. But 58 was only two more than we scored the night before. (And in the final match of last year’s MAC Championship, in which we defeated Northern in three, they only managed to take 48 points.)

As I explain in the video, I think the loud and exuberant Northern fans had much to do with the sense in the gym that Northern was pulling off a complete rout. I’m sorry to say it, but the Northern fans behaved the way I wish OU’s fans would: loud, exuberant, happy with every winning point.

Some of it was the gym. Seating only 800, it was no larger than many high school gyms. This allows for a certain pressure to build up, for the wildness to grow. But the heart of it is that the Northern fans were putting out lots of energy and enthusiasm. Cricket and I only wish we could get the fans going in the Convo that way. Where’s Jim Post when we need him?!

In any case, you’ll see in the video that while we lost, we were putting up a pretty good fight.

First, The Glory

November 21st, 2016 by John Thorndike


This was the easy video. The small gym at Northern Illinois, seating only about 800, was perhaps half full. The Bobcats were clearly ready to go, they were having fun, the wind was blowing hard outside, but inside it was mostly going our way.

Toledo handed us a 3-1 defeat earlier in the season, but we rose up and took care of them Friday night, at our first match at the MAC Championships.

Go to the 2016 Match Videos page on the right, and click on the Toledo match. Plenty of great play coming up.