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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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Eagles soar past Falcons

With no way to crack Eastern Michigan’s stifling defense and unable to find a rhythm offensively, the Bowling Green volleyball team was handed their first defeat in four games Saturday night, 30-20, 30-22, 28-30, 30-26.

“It’s nice to get a road win, but we just have outright wars with Bowling Green,” said EMU coach Kim Berrington. “It doesn’t matter if one team’s doing well and the other one’s not. They fight so hard and they’re so physical, the rallies are so long and both teams are just into it.

“We were really worried, because they’ve put up some big numbers and we know they really get after it offensively,” she continued. “We were just trying to stay disciplined blocking and disciplined defensively.”

The Eagles (13-5, 7-1) dug 90 balls and held the Falcons to a .202 hitting percentage. Becky Baltare, Melissa Bartlett and Lindsay Piccolini combined for 55 kills, as EMU hit .234 for the match.

BG’s Kendra Halm and Ashlei Nofzinger chipped in with 14 and 12 kills, respectively. BG (11-9) fell to 4-4 in the Mid-American Conference and remains in third-place in the East Division.

The Falcons jumped out to an early 5-3 led, but the Eagles used a 17-5 run to take a commanding 10-point lead, never looking back.

Falcon coach Denise Van De Walle said it was tough to rebound from the game one loss.

“I think any team that wins the first game in volleyball has the momentum, because then you have to go try and steal it,” she said. “I don’t want to take anything away from Eastern Michigan, because I thought they played great defense tonight and I thought they did a lot of nice things offensively that we couldn’t handle.”

BG was pushed to the limit during game three but never trailed en route to its lone win. Unfortunately for the Falcons, EMU wasn’t phased from the loss, according to Bartlett.

“They gave us a bit of a scare in the third game, but luckily we were able to come back and get the fourth game,” she said. “It’s always tough to play on the road … We knew it was going to be a tough match. We played pretty good defense and passed really well, which set up well for our defense.”

Van De Walle said she was disappointed the team was outworked by the Eagles in the backrow.

“I knew what to expect offensively from them … But in the backcourt to me, there’s no excuse for sometimes lack of effort, letting balls drop and the miscommunication that we showed,” she said.

“You can always work hard. You can’t always win, and I don’t feel we did throughout the match. There were points where we battled and really pressed, and then were points where we looked flat, non-agressive and I don’t like that.

The two areas where I’m disappointed for us, is that I just didn’t feel our serving stressed them enough and then secondly, they outworked us in the backrow. That shouldn’t happen.”

On Friday night, the Falcons swept Central Michigan 30-17, 30-20, 33-31. Chrissy Gothke led BG by recording 12 kills, 30 assists and 10 digs – her second triple-double of the season. Kendra Halm, who was named MAC East Player of the Week yesterday, pounded down a career-high 20 kills.

The Falcons outscored CMU 63-37 in the first two games before pulling a 33-31 victory in the final game.

“I thought we looked pretty good and we had expected to take the floor really aggressive, and we did,” she said. “Kendra came in and had one heck of a night. Chelsea [Meek] had a great night defensively.

“We felt confident all the way through and that was a good thing. I just saw how aggressive were from the get-go that winning in three was the goal.”

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