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Volleyball to open up conference play tonight

After nearly a month of non-conference action, the BG volleyball team will open Mid-American Conference play tonight as they head to Oxford, Ohio, to face the Miami Red hawks.

BG heads to Miami looking to continue its four-game win streak against a Red Hawks team that is currently 3-6. They’re an experienced team returning seven starters.

The Falcons have high expectations for the coming MAC season as they believe their tough non conference schedule prepared them for the season, having beaten Portland State earlier in the year and Valparaiso to win the Best Western Invitational last weekend.

“The last couple weeks have been fun and challenging, but the MAC is down to business,” said senior Maggie Karges.

According to head coach Denise Van De Walle, Miami is one of many difficult opponents BG will face in MAC play. Van De Walle also said Ball State, Akron, Kent State and Ohio would all be tough opponents.

Ohio in particular is a target for BG as the Bobcats are four-time defending MAC champions and have a current 50-game conference winning streak.

“We always look at the match at OU as something big, just because of their dominance they’ve had in the MAC the last few years, Stephanie Swiger said. “I know it’s a goal that we all have to knock them off their pedestal and take a match from them.”

Another rivalry BG looks forward to is the I-75 rivalry with Toledo, whom they defeated in three straight two times in 2006, according to senior Elizabeth Simon.

As for tonight against Miami, the Red Hawks hold a 35-21 advantage. However, the Falcons have won the last three matches.

Following tonight’s match in Miami, the Falcons return home for their MAC home opener Saturday at 4 p.m. when the visiting Northern Illinois Huskies come to Anderson Arena.

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