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Sweeping weekend for BG

It was a doubly good weekend for the BGSU volleyball team, and they were expecting nothing less than what it was: Two dominating sweeps over Buffalo and Akron.

The wins moved the Falcons to 6-4 in the Mid-American Conference East Division – one game behind Miami for second place – and 13-9 overall.

BG coach Denise Van De Walle said the team came into the weekend with a goal of controlling the matches, knowing that they had beaten both teams earlier this season.

“I think we met and exceeded that goal by getting a sweep of Akron,” she said. “The overall performance was very good from top to bottom. Our hitting looked good. Our serving was really good. Our passing was pretty solid.

“Defensively against Akron, that was one of the best … games that we’ve had because not only did we block 12 balls, but we dug 75.”

Chrissy Gothke poured in 18 assists, 11 kills and six digs to help lead the Falcons over the Bulls (1-9, 9-15) Friday night, 30-10, 33-31, 30-20. Ashlei Nofzinger had eight kills to go along with a .400 hitting percentage, while Meghan Mohr chipped in with seven kills.

Senior Emily Manser and Chelsey Meek totaled 13 and 12 digs, respectively, in the win.

The following night BG came out displaying the same hunger and desire in pummeling the Zips (3-8, 8-14) in three games. Gothke recorded her fifth triple-double of the season with 10 kills, 34 assists and 11 digs.

Nofzinger, Stephanie Swiger and Kendra Halm combined to produce 32 of the team’s 55 kills, as the Falcons hit .238 for the match.

Manser’s 17 digs put her over the 1,000th-dig plateau for her career, joining Gothke, who eclipsed the milestone earlier this season. The two became only the second duo in school history to surpass the mark in the same season.

Tammy Schiller and Lisa Mika accomplished the feat in 1991.

Van De Walle said she was happy to see Manser reach the goal, especially at home.

“I like that for the players … Something that they can really feel proud of,” she said. “It takes a lot of work to dig 1,000 balls.”

The Falcons step out of conference play and travel tonight to take on Cleveland State, which leads the Horizon League with a 7-2 conference mark and a 15-6 overall record. The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

Van De Walle doesn’t want to minimize the importance of the match. But in hindsight, she said it’s just a tune-up for this weekend’s road tests with No. 21 Ohio and Kent State.

“This is a big week … It’s three Ohio schools and you always like to get that Ohio win,” she said before yesterday’s practice. “We’re at the point in the season where we’re not going to be doing new things. We’re just trying to stay steady and consistent.

“I think we have a really good thing going right now and the way we played on Saturday … Right now, I’d say we’re definitely one of the top three teams [in the MAC].”

Swiger said the team is finally beginning to realize how good they can become.

“I think the moment that we came in during preseason … We thought we had the potential to be a top MAC contender,” she said. “The way things started we started to question ourselves a little bit. But now that we’re beating these teams, I think we’re ready to show everybody what we can do.”

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