450 Wins for Van de Walle

Sean Shapiro and Sean Shapiro

OXFORD, Ohio – In order for Coach Denise Van De Walle to win her 450th career game BG would have to travel to Miami University for a battle between the teams predicted to finish second and third in the MAC East this year.

Miami was not willing to go down easily as the Falcons held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in games.

In the fifth and deciding game the Falcons came out strong taking an 8-4 lead as the teams switched sides.

Miami began to come back after switch, pushing the score to 11-9 prompting Van De Walle to call a timeout.

“I told them that we were playing great, and just gave them some blocking assignments and what shots to hit and just go out and get it,” said Van De Walle.

The strategy seemed to work as the Falcons came out and took the next four points from the Red Hawks earning Van De Walle her 450th career victory.

“This win was extremely important. It was [Van de Walle’s] 450th career win, and we got a great start in the MAC,” said junior Chelsey Meek.

The Falcons prevailed in game one 30-27 in what might have seemed like a soccer match for sophomore left-side hitter Corey Domek. Domek saved a rally early in the match when she played the ball with her right foot setting up a Falcon point and was then later given a yellow card for unsportsmanlike conduct for yelling through the net after a point.

For the game the Falcons had 21 kills and came back from an early 5-point deficit. They clinched the game on Junior Kendra Halms seventh kill of the match.

Down 27-24 late in game two the Falcons made a comeback attempt, tying the game at 28.

On the next play a Red Hawk kill seemed to be out of play, but the officials thought otherwise giving the Miami a one-point lead.

BG battled back but eventually lost the game 31-29. In the game, both teams hit poorly; BG hitting .123 and Miami hitting .241.

BG came out and dominated the Red Hawks in game three winning 30-19. The deciding point was on a ball handling error by Miami.

For the match the Falcons were statistically better but in almost every category as well as only committing five attacking errors.

In game four the Red Hawks won 30-22. To force game five, Miami won the match on a serving error by senior Madeline Means.

Throughout the game the Falcons were close with Miami finally pulling away in the last third of the match.

For the game the Falcons were led by freshman setter Sam Fish who had 12 assists and a .500 hitting percentage.

For the match the Falcons were lead statistically by Halm and Stephanie Swiger who combined for 39 kills and Fish who recorded 58 assists.

“I was so relieved when it was finally over it’s always a battle down here in Oxford. I was so proud that we were able to play so strong in game five, in game five it doesn’t matter what you did in the previous games,” said Van De Walle.

The Falcons continue MAC play tomorrow with their home opener against Northern Illinois at 4 p.m.