Down to business

Sean Shapiro and Sean Shapiro

There are eight banners hanging above Anderson Arena and this weekend BG looks to add a ninth in the MAC tournament at the Seagate Center in Toledo.

Coming off last year’s season-ending loss in the championship game against Ohio University, BG looks to be there again on Sunday, only this time the Falcons are looking to hoist the trophy.

“It’s the best feeling to be in that championship game and that’s what we’ve worked all year for. It’s definitely where we want to be on Sunday,” said senior Maggie Karges.

However, before there is talk of championships BG must first face-off this afternoon in the quarterfinals against the fifth seed Kent State (20-9, 11-5 MAC). This season the Falcons and the Golden Flashes split the season series, with the home team winning both contests.

The Flashes are a quick team laden with underclassmen who run a different system than any other MAC school. Kent implements the swing offense, where hitters start in the middle and fan out making it difficult for blockers to track their hitters creating many open shots.

“I think it will be a really good match, I think we’re two very good teams. They are very excited that they turned their season around from last year and we have a lot to fight for, we want to find ourselves in that championship match and we know we have to get by Kent State to do that,” said Head Coach Denise Van De Wale.

With a win over Kent, BG would most likely face off against Ohio tomorrow creating a re-match of last year’s championship. Ohio comes in to the tournament as the perennial favorite as the No. 1 seed and the 15th ranked team in the nation.

Out of the other side of the bracket Miami (16-9,13-3 MAC) and MAC west champion Western Michigan (21-9,12-4) look to compete for a spot in Sunday’s title game.

“In the MAC any team can win at any given time, people can peak at different times, it just depends who comes ready to play on the floor,” Karges said.

In order for BG to be successful this weekend they have to continue their strong play at the net lead by Stephanie Swiger, Corey Domek and three-time MAC player of the week Kendra Halm. All three have over 330 kills this season and Halm leads the MAC with 1.23 blocks per game.

Defensively, BG will look to new all time dig leader Chelsey Meek who is third in the MAC with 5.61 digs a game. As a team BG is averaging over 17 digs a game while senior Madeline Means is second on the team with 3.31 a game.

In practice this week, BG has worked on being more aggressive behind the service line and playing fast to prepare for Kent and hopefully another match on Saturday and Sunday.

“Practices have been really intense, we really stepped it up a notch this week in practice. We focused a lot on passing, which has been off the last couple games, we focused on blocking, which is something we think is going to be crucial,” Swiger said.

BG reached it’s goal of 20 wins last weekend in Buffalo and hopes to keep playing improving their 21-9 record and perhaps an NCAA tournament birth if they win the Championship at 1 p.m.