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April 18, 2024

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BG netters win four more over weekend

BGSU’s Women’s Volleyball team did exactly what it wanted to do this weekend: sweep all four matches at the Country Inn ‘ Suites Classic.

The Falcons improved their record to 10-2 in their last matches going into Mid-American Conference play against Toledo on Friday at Anderson Arena.

BGSU began the weekend on Friday with an early match against host Youngstown State. The team dominated in the first game but won two close games to close out the match (30-18, 30-28, 31-29). The Falcons held the Penguins to a .000 hitting percentage in the first game while hitting .357 themselves. BGSU was not able to capitalize on a six-point lead in the second game as the Penguins fought back to tie it at 28 all. Kills by Stephanie Swiger and Madeline Means closed out the second game for BGSU.

Another sizeable lead was squandered in the third game but again the Falcons came through in the clutch, scoring two points to win the match after being tied 29-29. In the match, four Falcons had double-digit kills, with Swiger leading the team with 12.

“I think we played very sloppy at times against YSU,” said Coach Denise Van De Walle. “We were not as sharp and crisp as we normally are but we got a win even though we did not play our best.”

In the later game Friday, BGSU played a roller coaster of a game against Duquesne that saw a two-game lead evaporate. The Falcons dominated in the fifth game for a victory.

In the first two games, BGSU won 30-17 and 30-26 while hitting .387. Instead winning the next game and sweeping the match, Duquesne was able to defeat BGSU 30-18 and 30-26 in the third and fourth games to send the match a deciding game.

The Falcons did not let Duquesne take a third straight game, defeating them 15-5 to take the match. The team had a .400 hitting percentage in that fifth game.

Kendra Halm led the team in kills against Duquesne with 18. Also, Swiger had 17 kills with Corrie Domek scoring 15 and Corrie Mills scoring 14. Means led the team in digs with 24 while Chelsey Meek had 22.

“This match was similar in many ways to our loss to CSU earlier in the season,” said Van De Walle. “We got up two games but saw the match taken to the fifth game. We played a great fifth game and we put a lot of pressure on them.”

After a 2-0 Friday, the team returned to the floor on Saturday afternoon to play Morehead State. The Falcons defeated them in four games (32-30, 28-30, 30-24, 30-20).

The first game against Morehead State came down to the very end again. After being tied 29-29, the Falcons were able to get 2 kills from Domek and a game ending kill from Chrissy Gothke to win the game. After dropping the second game, the team rallied to impressively dismiss any chance Morehead State had of winning by taking the next two games. The team hit a .365 in the third game to set the tempo and was able to improve its’ record to 3-0 on the weekend.

“We knew that the match with Morehead State would decide the tournament because both teams started 2-0 on Friday,” Van De Walle said. “We had a very hard-fought victory, with Gothke getting her third triple double of the season. We played great, with lots of blocks and digs. Our defense definitely played great all weekend.”

With one match left, the tournament winner would be decided in the late match on Saturday between BGSU and St. Francis. The match lasted all of three games as the Falcons produced their best match of the tournament.

BGSU won the first game 30-22 but that was only the start. In the second game, the team posted a 30-5 victory as they continued to show an offensive attack that can dominate at times.

In that game, BGSU hit at a .636 hitting percentage. They closed out the match with a closer third game, winning 30-25. Freshman Milica Askic led the team in kills for the first time this season, as she had 11 kills while hitting a .333.

“We had a great weekend and all of the wins were very good,” Domek said. “We wanted to be 10-2 going into MAC play and we were able to do that. We feel really good right now.”

Stephanie Swiger was named tournament MVP while she also joined teammate Corrie Mills on the all-tournament team.

“Swiger played very well,” Halm said. “She did everything well and it was great to be able to pull it all together and get four wins.”

The team must now turn its attention to the MAC as they will host Toledo on Friday night at 7 p.m. The weekend continues with a home match against Ball State on Saturday at 4 p.m.

The team has been very impressive through 12 matches, winning ten of them with the only losses coming to Notre Dame and Cleveland State.

BGSU has won all different kinds of matches and has proved it can play any style of game and be successful. The 10-2 start will be put to the test to see if these Falcons are for real when the rival Rockets come to town Friday night.

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