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February 16, 2024

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BG Volleyball team to start season off with new coach

Danielle+Tonyan%2C+BG+right+side%2C+throws+the+volleyball+up+in+the+air+to+serve+it+over+the+net+in+a+game+last+season.

Danielle Tonyan, BG right side, throws the volleyball up in the air to serve it over the net in a game last season.

The BGSU Volleyball team looks to turn the page on a 2011-12 campaign which saw it drop six of its last eight matches to equal an ending record of 19-12. Its record could have been a lot better considering it opened up with 12 straight wins which was the best in the teams’ history.

In that stretch the Falcons had one of its biggest wins in team history when it defeated then unbeaten Michigan State to open up the Stroh Center. Looking ahead to this year the Falcons will again be tested early with teams like Marquette in the opener Purdue and at Indiana.

While it will be tough, these challenges are ones the Falcons will welcome with open arms.

“I think playing such tough competition in the beginning will help us in the long run into being the team we want to be,” Senior Kari Galen said. “Last year I feel we were not tested enough early on and that is part of the reason why we struggled in conference play.”

Part of the off-season transition for the Falcons will be learning to adjust to a new coaching staff as long time Coach Denise Van De Walle retired at the end of this past season. Hired in to replace her was Danijela Tomic, who comes from Florida International University where in her past two seasons she led the team to the NCAA Tournament.

Tomic was 158-61 in seven seasons at FIU, and even though the season hasn’t begun it appears she has instilled a winner’s mentality within the players.

“We want to win the MAC this year and as a team we are all on the same page about that,” Junior Paige Penrod said.

“Nineteen wins is not good enough,” Kari Galen said when referring to this past years’ team. “Our number one goal as a team is to win the MAC, which will also get us to the NCAA Tournament which is the ultimate goal.”

The reason for the team’s high confidence level could be the fact that it returns 12 players from this past season, including most of the starting lineup. That lineup is one that includes first team All-MAC selection Danielle Tonyan and Penrod who were one and two in many statistical categories such as kills and points.

The Falcons will start its run at the MAC Title with an intra-squad Brown and Orange scrimmage Saturday. The event will be free to the public and will include a meet and greet as well as a clinic for students.

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