GENEVA, Ohio - - The No. 8 seeded Ball State (14-16) women's volleyball team fell short in its upset bid of No. 1 Ohio (20-9) Friday afternoon, suffering a 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-15) loss to the Bobcats in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio.
Freshman outside hitter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) and senior middle hitter Lisa Scott (McLean, Va./Langley/Maryland) tied for team-high honors with eight kills apiece against Ohio. Spadafora would add six digs and a solo block to her stat line, while Scott scored a pair of block assists and hit .294 (8-3-17).
In addition to her seven kills, Marx led the Ball State attack with a .353 (7-1-17) hitting mark while adding four digs and a pair of block assists. Bates tied for match-high honors with three total blocks (one solo and two assists).
Junior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) finished the match one dig shy of a double-double with 29 assists and nine digs. Junior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) led the Ball State defense with 10 digs.
Ohio's Chelsea Bilger and Kelly Lamberti tied for match-high honors with 11 kills apiece, while Meredith Ashy led all players with 15 digs.
Overall, the Bobcats held a .361 (47-12-97) to .188 (34-15-101) hitting advantage in the contest and out-dug the Cardinals 48-36. Ohio also held an 8-7 edge in total blocks, while out-acing BSU 4-1.
A pair of kills from Spadafora helped the Cardinals pull out to a 3-0 advantage in the opening set. However, the Bobcats battled back to even the score at 6-6. The teams then fought to a 9-9 deadlock before a three point Ohio run gave the top seed the momentum and a 12-9 lead. The Bobcats controlled the flow from there, winning the set 25-17 on a kill from Serena Warner.
Ohio carried the momentum over early in the second set, pulling out to a 6-3 edge. However, kills from Bates and Marx would help the Cardinals regain their focus and eventually even the score at 7-7. A blast from Scott on the next rally gave BSU its first lead of the set at 8-7, while two more Spadafora markers helped BSU pull ahead 10-8.
The Bobcats rallied back to take a 12-11 edge and maintained the one-point lead at 14-13. Ball State followed with the next four points, however, taking a 17-14 advantage on a solo block from Spadafora. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived as Ohio responded with a 4-1 run to even the score at 18. With the score tied at 22-22, a pair of BSU hitting errors would give the Bobcats set point, while a kill from Lamberti closed the frame at 25-23.
Ohio scored the first two points of the third set and would not relinquish the lead. Ball State kept within one at the 5-4 mark following a kill from Marx, only to have two ball handling errors and a service ace give the Bobcats an 8-4 advantage. Ohio would control play from there, scoring 17 of the final 28 points to win the set 25-15.
The Ball State women's volleyball team closes the 2012 season next Saturday (Nov. 24) when it hosts Xavier in a 7 p.m. first serve at Worthen Arena.