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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Team takes winning steps


Progress these days is measured in modest steps for a team as young as the Bowling Green volleyball squad.

But coach Denise Van De Walle said the victory over Dayton in Tuesday’s home opener was a step in the right direction for the Falcons (2-3), affording them the right to head into this weekend’s fifth annual BGSU Invitational brimming with confidence.

‘I definitely think they should be feeling good about themselves,’ Van De Walle said. ‘However, we know … It’s just one step on the path of a long season. The bar is set and it’s set pretty high, but just because we won one match doesn’t mean it’s over.

‘We expect them to be focused and even hungrier than they were against Dayton.’

Chicago State will get the first shot at the Falcons when the two teams play tonight at 7 p.m. in Anderson Arena. The game will follow East Carolina and Ohio State, which is scheduled to begin at 4:30 p.m.

Van De Walle said the key for the Falcons is not overlooking any of their opponents.

‘This whole weekend is going to be match by match,’ she said. ‘We now have to be focused in Friday night for Chicago State, then we have to turn around in just a few short hours and be prepared to play East Carolina on Saturday. And then that night, we get an opportunity to play the 12th ranked team in the country in Ohio State.

‘I’m very excited to have Ohio State in here, because {coach} Jim’s {Stone} a friend of mine,’ Van De Walle added. ‘We went to school together. I’ve known him for a long time and he has a great program. Year in and year out, Ohio State is very good. We look for them to come in here and be an extremely tough opponent.’

CSU (0-6) hasn’t won a set in any match this season, and are coming off a loss to Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne Tuesday.

ECU (3-2) will face BGSU Saturday at 12:30 p.m. The Pirates are led by Pam Ferris and Erica Wilson, who average 4.05 and 3.32 kills per game, respectively.

The Falcons and Buckeyes will do battle Saturday night at 7:30. OSU (3-1), who last faced BGSU in Columbus two years ago, is led by Danielle Meyers’ 6.71 kills per game.

BG’s senior co-captain Emily Manser, who tied a career-high with 24 digs to go with 10 kills over Dayton, said momentum and the tough competition should help the Falcons raise their level of play.

‘This is just a stepping-stone,’ she said. ‘That was BG volleyball {against Dayton}. We worked our butts off and it definitely showed.

‘We’re hoping to obviously go 3-0,’ Manser said. ‘The last game is Saturday night against the Buckeyes, which is going to be huge. But I think we can pull it off.’

One area where the Falcons are continuing to show signs of growth is offensively, Van De Walle said.

‘We know that our strength is the entire team,’ she said. ‘We don’t have a Faye Barhorst-type {Dayton} player on our team … But that’s a good thing, because they’re going to rely on each other all season.’

Van De Wallle added that crowd support can give a much-welcomed advantage to BGSU.

‘I thought the crowd, once they got into it, was very supportive {against Dayton},’ she said. ‘The crowd was great. We love when they’re standing on their feet clapping, jingling keys or doing whatever it is they do to create such a fun atmosphere in here.’

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