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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Stats show women’s newly found focus

Throughout their first four conference games the Bowling Green volleyball team has resembled a Mid-American mystery, dropping three winnable matches – two of which were at home – while ending a 24-match losing streak to Ball State, on the road of all places.

All went well for the Falcons last weekend, however, temporarily solving the mystery by going on the road and defeating Akron 3-1 on Saturday and manhandling Buffalo in a sweep the following night to improve their record to 3-3 in the MAC and 9-8 overall.

Seniors Ashlei Nofzinger and Emily Manser lead BG, accumulating 33 and 29 kills in the wins, respectively. Chrissy Gothke recorded her 1,000th dig against Akron and finished with a combined 83 assists for both matches.

Stephanie Swiger went error free, accounting for 18 kills and a .419 hitting percentage on the weekend. She said the Falcons came into the matches with a focus on meeting their individual team goals.

“We weren’t necessarily disappointed with our performance in the past, but we knew that we could play better and we knew that we could … have our offense run a lot smoother,” Swiger said. “It just seemed like the moment we stepped on the floor in Akron everything just clicked.”

BG hit over .300 in two of their three wins against the Zips and pounded down 78 kills – eight more than Akron. The Falcons had four players record double-digit kills and three players with double-digit digs.

Jennifer Stewart led the Zips with a game-high 23 kills to go along with 19 digs.

BG coach Denise Van De Walle said the team looked good in the win against Akron, but it was a 41-39 loss suffered in game two which stood out in her mind.

“It happened to be the biggest score I’ve been involved with since we started the rally scoring,” she said. “We played very very well. We really did battle hard … to win it.”

There weren’t any signs of fatigue the next night, as the Falcons easily disposed of Buffalo in what Van De Walle called one of the teams best offensive performance this season.

The Falcons hit a season-high .365 for the match, while blocking 14 shots at the net and holding the Bulls to a .094 hitting percentage.

Nofzinger, who had a game-high 17 kills and a .353 hitting percentage against Buffalo, said the Falcons came into the match feeling they had something to prove.

“The night before Buffalo played Miami, who we lost to and they beat Buffalo but they took them to four,” she said. “So dominating Buffalo in three was pretty well. It just gave us more confidence for Miami next time we see them.”

Van De Walle was complementary on the teams entire effort throughout the weekend before yesterday’s practice.

“It was really a great performance for us both nights,” she said. “Our outside hitters did a very nice job of carrying the load for us, Nofzinger and Manser. What was really impressive was Stephanie Swiger … it’s very hard to not commit one error.

“I really felt we had a good week of practice and it transferred over into both matches.”

BG will begin a five-game home-stand against Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne tonight at 7 p.m. in Anderson Arena.

And based on the way the Falcons have performed at home this season, Manser said they have something to prove.

“Every time we have a home match we want to show our fans what we can do,” she said. “This is the perfect opportunity for us, because it’s right after big wins, we’re feeling good and we’re confident.”

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