Volleyball team sets records in stellar weekend matches

Rebounding from defeat is one aspect of a championship quality team. After a loss to Cleveland State on Friday night, BGSU’s women’s volleyball team rebounded well, posting impressive wins over Oakland and Indiana State on Saturday.

During the two wins, the team set numerous offensive school records.

BG began the weekend with a hard fought five-game loss to Cleveland State; 31-29, 32-30, 29-31, 28-30 and 14-16. The Falcons came back from sizeable deficits to win the first two games before dropping the third and fourth games. In the fifth and deciding game, the teams battled back and forth before they tied at 14-14. Only after two BGSU errors was this match over. The Vikings avenged an earlier loss to BGSU in the Falcons’ home opener on Aug. 29.

“I think it was rough to lose that match,” said BG coach Denise Van De Walle. “We just did not play how we wanted to play. They came after us hard and were very aggressive. They gained momentum and that fueled them to victory.”

The team lost a two-game lead in a match that saw all five games decided by two points. Corey Domek, freshman, continued the impressive start to her college career with 20 kills. Stephanie Swiger added 15 kills while Kendra Halm had 14. Chrissy Gothke gave the Falcons a solid all-around game, producing 13 kills, 11 digs and a block. Chelsey Meek led the team in digs with 23.

“This weekend was good considering we won two of three but it could have been great,” Van De Walle said. “We played very well on Saturday after letting the match slip away Friday. I think we learned from the loss that there are no [easy games] on the schedule. We have to stay focused at all times.”

“The first match was rough,” said Domek. “We did not play the way we wanted to until Saturday’s matches. We looked over the tapes after the loss and changed the things that were wrong.”

BG returned to the courts in Rochester, Mich. on Saturday with redemption on its mind. The Falcons set a record during the match against Oakland, compiling a .500 hitting percentage. That topped the previous record of .473 set in 1987 against Xavier.

“We got back to running our offense Saturday and it showed,” Van De Walle said. “CSU ran their system of play all night Friday and we needed to get back to our system. Our attack was unbelievable and we had two great matches Saturday.”

The team had its most lopsided game of the year against Oakland. The Falcons won the first game 30-8 and followed that up with 30-16 and 30-19 wins. Domek again led the team in kills with 14 in a match that saw nine different Falcons record a kill. Kendra Halm recorded six blocks while Gothke led the team with 11 digs. The efficient Falcon offense saw Halm hit 1.000 with Gothke hitting .800.

Swiger, Domek and Madeline Means also posted impressive offensive numbers with each player hitting in the .400’s.

“Chrissy has done a very nice job, being the only senior and taking over the leadership role,” Domek said. “We need to win all the matches next week and go in to MAC play with only two losses.”

This was not the only impressive offensive showing, as the team warmed up earlier in the day, hitting .422 against Indiana State in a three-game sweep. BG won the match with scores of 30-14, 30-17 and 30-25.

“We still need to work on serving and passing everyday,” Van De Walle said. “We can make more plays and our transition offense is something that can be improved each day.”

BGSU will hit the road for the third consecutive weekend when it heads to Youngstown on Friday. The Falcons will play Youngstown State and Duquesne on Friday before playing Morehead State and St. Francis (Pa.) on Saturday. These will be some of the team’s last non-conference games before they open up Mid-American Conference play on Sept. 22 against Toledo.

“Friday should be the [harder] of the two days in terms of talent of opposition,” Van De Walle said. “Saturday will be tough because we play back to back [3 p.m. and 5 p.m.]. We do not mind the rest in between matches but we have to be ready to play two matches in a row once Saturday comes along.”