The end of an 11-match winning streak wasn’t cause for despair at Ohio University this week.
Instead, Cary-Grove graduate Kelly Lamberti and Marian Central’s Abby Gilleland – two of the NCAA Division I Bobcats’ top players – took an optimistic view of their five-set loss last weekend at Central Michigan.
“We try to take something positive out of every match,” said Gilleland, the team’s starting freshman setter. “We were down 2-0 and we came all the way back and lost in five (games).”
“It definitely shows the character of our team,” said Lamberti, a sophomore outside hitter.
The Bobcats (17-9) have been impressive this season in compiling the Mid-American Conference’s top record at 12-2.
During the winning streak, Ohio lost only four games. The streak included a 3-0 victory against Bowling Green, the other MAC team with a 12-2 mark.
A first-team All-MAC selection last season, Lamberti has continued to make a huge impact for the Bobcats. She leads the team and ranks second in the conference with 3.97 kills per set. She also is tops on the team with 27 service aces, which is fourth-best among MAC players.
Gilleland has a team-best 9.02 assists per game and has compiled more than 35 assists in a match eight times this season for an Ohio team that ranks second in the MAC in hitting percentage. Gilleland also is contributing 2.19 digs a game.
“It’s been a blessing to be out on the floor,” Gilleland said. “I didn’t know what to expect in my first college season.”
Lamberti, who made an offseason trip to China with a USA developmental team, has 14 double-doubles on the season, including six in a row in the team’s past six matches. Her 3.51 digs a game rank second for the Bobcats, who lead the MAC in blocks and rank second in digs.
“My defense has definitely gotten better,” said Lamberti, who credited first-year Ohio assistant coach Ryan Walthall – a former libero at Penn State – with sharpening her defensive skills.
“I’m happy that the team is winning and that I’m able to contribute to a really good season,” Lamberti said.
Aubert earns All-SBC: Arkansas State junior cross country athlete Kristina Aubert of Crystal Lake South earned first-team All-Sun Belt Conference honors Oct. 27 by finishing third in the league’s women’s cross country meet at Bowling Green, Ky.
Aubert ran the 5-kilometer race in 17:51.5 to finish 10 seconds off the winning time.
D-I Arkansas State’s second-place team finish was the best in school history at the SBC meet. This week, the team also reached ninth in the U.S. Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association poll, its highest ranking in program history.
All-GLVC honorees: Crystal Lake Central’s Jenny Hyde of Lewis and Huntley’s Emily Konior of Wisconsin-Parkside earned all-conference women’s soccer honors this season in the D-II Great Lakes Valley Conference.
Hyde was named a second-team selection as a back after being part of a defense for Lewis (10-7-1) that allowed a 1.15 goals-against average. Hyde, a team captain, started every match this season and has 66 starts in her four-year career.
A third-team selection as a back, Konior has helped the Rangers (12-4-1) by tying for the team lead with six goals and ranking second with 12 points. Her four game-winning goals lead the team.
For the third season in a row, Parkside was selected for the 48-team NCAA tournament field.
Ott is OVC’s best: Marian Central grad Dena Ott was named Ohio Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week in women’s volleyball Monday.
Ott, a sophomore libero, leads the Colonels (9-17) in digs per set (5.43), which ranks second in the OVC and 23rd in NCAA Division I.
Big-play back: D-III Augustana running back Eric Chandler scored on a 78-yard scoring pass last weekend to lift the Vikings (5-4) to their fourth consecutive victory, a 22-7 triumph against Illinois Wesleyan.
Chandler, a Cary-Grove grad, is Augie’s leading rusher (687 yards) while running for five TDs this season, catching two scoring passes and throwing for a score this season. The junior also leads the team with 853 all-purpose yards.
North Central milestone: Senior midfielder Emily Page and senior forward Stephanie Crutchfield were part of a historic women’s soccer season at D-III North Central College.
The McHenry grads helped the Cardinals (6-9-3) advance to the College Conference of Illinois and Wisconsin tournament this fall, the first postseason appearance in the program’s 19-year history.
Page started every match for NCC, scoring two goals and collecting an assist. Crutchfield, who started four of the 14 matches she played in, scored one goal.
• Barry Bottino writes a weekly column and a blog about local college athletes for the Northwest Herald. Write to him at BarryOnCampus@hotmail.com, check out his On Campus blog at McHenryCountySports.com and follow him @BarryOnCampus on Twitter.