Falcons down CSU 3-1

The BGSU women’s volleyball team opened up the home portion of their season last night, defeating Cleveland State University by a score of 30-22, 30-21, 28-30 and 30-17. The team rebounded from a season-opening loss at nationally ranked Notre Dame by dominating the Vikings for most of the match.

The team was led in kills again by freshman Corey Domek. This time she recorded 22 kills, with Madeline Means and Corrie Mills recording 12 each. The Falcons had three players record five blocks: Stephanie Swiger, Meghan Mohr and Corrie Mills. The win gives the Falcons a 1-1 record on the year while CSU fell to 2-2.

“I’m impressed with how [Domek] is doing as a freshman,” said Coach Denise Van De Walle. “Through two games, she is averaging over four kills a game and is transitioning well into the college game.”

“I was getting good sets all night from Chrissy [Gothke] and that helped me perform like I did,” Domek said. “Also, playing in this environment with the fans and students behind us was exciting.”

Swiger added that the crowd was “amazing.” She said they brought some noise and thought it was great to see for the home opener.

The first game was a see-saw battle between the two squads until the Falcons were able to stretch their lead to as large as eight before finishing the set with two CSU errors.

The second set followed the form of the first, as the teams battled for the first half of the game evenly. Eventually, the Falcons took eight of 10 points to increase their lead to 19-14. After that, there was no looking back as CSU didn’t draw closer than four points for the rest of the game.

“I thought it was important to win the home opener,” Van De Walle said. “This team is where I expected them to be and that’s good. It’s important to get off to a good start. Our offense has been our strength so far, with [Swiger, Domek, Meghan Mohr] hitting over 40 percent.”

The Falcons stumbled a bit in the third game, as CSU came out strong and did not let up. The Vikings grabbed the lead at 14-13 and never looked back. The Falcons would rally but fell short. BG only hit 10 percent in the game, making 11 errors. The team made 11 errors in the first two sets combined.

“We made some errors in the third set that killed our chances and we had a chance to win considering the closeness of the score,” Van De Walle said. “We seemed to lose focus a bit after winning the first two games. It may have seemed easy the first two sets but we worked hard for them and that loss of focus came back to hurt us in the third.”

BG finished the job in the fourth game with their best game of the season. The team raced ahead early and never gave CSU much of a chance. The Falcons had some big blocks early, causing CSU to lose points and the confidence they had gained from the previous game.

“We were off hitting in the third game but we got it back for the fourth, finding some holes in the court that may not have been there in the third,” Swiger said. “We’re doing well as a team through two matches. Practice will help us find the problems and correct them. Our plan is to go to Denver and get some wins.”

“Our offense has been great so far this year and the kill differential was great for us tonight,” Van De Walle said. “Our goal is to go 24 percent on attack in each game and we did that in three of the four games.”

The team will have little time to rest, as they will practice Wednesday before heading to Denver. The team will play Friday and twice Saturday in a tournament against Denver, Cal Riverside and Northern Arizona.

“Tomorrow we will definitely be working on passing,” Van De Walle said. “That was our weakness tonight and it’s a fundamental we have to have at all times. Without the passing game working, we will not be able to run our offense and open up the possibility of the other team running their’s”.

“Everyone is very excited as we all know we can do a lot when we get everything flowing,” Domek said. “With our crowd behind us like it was tonight, we hope to achieve our goals which include winning our division in the Mid-American Conference.”

The Falcons will not be home again at Anderson Arena until Sept. 22, when they will host Toledo. They will have three major road trips until then and will be looking to be at the top of their game when they open the MAC season.

“We are all disappointed in our passing but otherwise this team is right where they need to be at this point, through two matches,” Van De Walle said. “We are going to work on things in practice and hopefully keep this going in the next few weeks while we are gone.”