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Muskingum womens volleyball looking for redemption against Otterbein

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Muskingum womens volleyball looking for redemption against Otterbein

Muskingum sophomores Brynn Guist (32) and Erin Dickson block Wilmington freshman Karrah Woods' attempt.

Muskingum sophomores Brynn Guist (32) and Erin Dickson block Wilmington freshman Karrah Woods' attempt.

Muskingum sophomores Brynn Guist (32) and Erin Dickson block Wilmington freshman Karrah Woods' attempt.

Muskingum sophomores Brynn Guist (32) and Erin Dickson block Wilmington freshman Karrah Woods' attempt.

By Nick McWilliams, Sports Director

Just 11 days ago, the Muskingum womens volleyball team found out just how hard it is to beat Otterbein at home, falling in four sets.

Now, the stakes are higher.

Following a three-set win over Mount Union at home, the Muskies are set to return to Westerville to meet the Cardinals for the second time in less than two weeks. A spot in the finals of the Ohio Athletic Conference is on the line.

Both sides benefited all season long from top performances from young players, with each side boasting just a handful of seniors (three for Otterbein, two for Muskingum).

That abundance of youth helped lead the Muskies to their first OAC tournament victory in a decade, led by sophomore Brooke Fatheree with 14 points and 13 kills. Muskingum never allowed more than 19 points in a set to best the sixth-seeded Mount Union Purple Raiders.

In their last meeting, the Muskies were hurt by six Cardinal aces and an inability to pull ahead in close-fought sets. In all three losing sets, Muskingum found themselves playing catchup, unable to scrape ahead.

In the third set with the chance to take the lead, the Muskies allowed a big run for a seven-point deficit, putting the team in a hard position to come back. In the fourth set, with the set tied 20-20 after a run, it was a similar situation, letting Otterbein pull away.

With the stakes high in the conference tournament, that kind of play will have to be corrected. Thursday’s game will kick off at 7 p.m. from Westerville.

The winner of the semifinals matchup will face either No. 1 seed Ohio Northern or No. 4 Baldwin Wallace, depending on that games outcome. Muskingum lost in three sets to the Polar Bears earlier this season, while topping the Eagles in five sets.

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