Netters looking to maintain first-round bye

Sean Shapiro and Sean Shapiro

Following a weekend in which the Falcons faced off against two of the top teams in the MAC east they head on the road this weekend to face two of the worst teams, Buffalo 2-28 (1-13) and Akron 10-16 (2-13).

“We don’t change anything in practice, we’re still working hard even though they’re at the bottom of the MAC they’re still looking to spoil somebody’s bye [in the MAC],” said Kendra Halm, MAC east player of the week for the third time this season.

Heading into the weekend at 19-9 (10-4 MAC) BG has put itself in position to reach its pre-season goal of 20 wins.

The Falcon first game comes today at 6:30 p.m. in Buffalo were they look to emulate their performance from the first match against the Bulls in which they set school records for service aces (19) and hitting percentage (.553) in a match.

The Bulls are a young team that has not won a match or game since Sept. 27 against Akron when they won their second match of the season 3-1. Statistically the Bulls have hit .105 this season and are lead by freshman setter Lindsey Schlegel with 8.55 assists a game.

“When we played Buffalo and Akron here we were able to put a lot of pressure on them from behind the service line and than at the net and we forced them to not play very good volleyball. If that doesn’t happen on any given day in this conference it becomes a battle,” said head coach Denise Van De Walle.

From Buffalo the Falcons head back to Ohio to face Akron, who like the Bulls have struggled in conference play but have faired well in non-conference matches. The Zips are another young team with only four upperclassmen.

All time BG is 10-5 at Akron and has won the last seven meetings between the two teams, including Oct. 5 when senior Stephanie Swiger became the 13th Falcon in school history to record her 1,000th kill.

This weekend could see more Falcons hit milestones as senior Maggie Karges is one away from her 100th career service ace and Swiger is closing in on a 100 block season.

Despite the glamour that goes with milestones and records BG is aware of the real reason for the trip, getting two more wins.

“I’m not using Buffalo and Akron to get better. We’re going in to win and when we are training this whole week we are talking about Buffalo Friday Akron Saturday. Teams like that have nothing to lose and everything to gain,” Van De Walle said.

Currently tied for third in the MAC east with Kent two wins this season would not only get BG to its goal 20 wins but also help improve their seeding in the MAC tournament next weekend.