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Game one in NYC

Bowling Green’s Chrissy Gothke said the volleyball team’s trip to New York City last weekend was an eye-opening experience for her.

“It was so fun,” she said. “I’ve never been to New York before. We went on a two hour cruise, visited everything and went to see Phantom of the Opera – which was unbelievable.”

What was even more unbelievable for BGSU coach Denise Van De Walle was losing to host Long Island University 3-1 in the opening game of the Blackbird Classic Friday, especially when she felt it should have been the championship game of the tournament.

“That would have been ideal and I would have loved to have seen that as a final match, but we didn’t set up the tournament,” said Van De Walle. “I feel we had chances to win, but we just didn’t put together a full game from start to finish.

“They have about five or six international players on their team who are very experienced and I think their experience won out over us,” she said.

Once the Falcons took the floor Saturday they did some eye-opening of their own, sweeping Georgia Southern 3-0 and defeating a tough Weber State squad in five games.

Van De Walle said the two wins concluded a great weekend for BGSU, which ended the pre-conference portion of the schedule with a 6-5 record.

“We would have love to come back 3-0, but we fell a little bit short,” she said. “The fact that we beat Georgia Southern, is a huge win for us and the fact that we outlasted Weber State is a great win.

“I just thought both teams were very solid, but when we took the floor on Saturday I thought that we were as aggressive as I’ve seen us.”

After the win over Georgia Southern, the Falcons had to take the court 45 minutes later, Van De Walle said.

“We had to play back-to-back and that’s extremely hard to do,” she said.

Van De Walle said the match got very intense.

“During the match we had pretty good control and should have won in four,” she said. “That’s how good we were playing. We had a good lead in game four and let it slip away. In the fifth we had at least a 3-4 point lead almost all the way through and then before you know it they’re right there with us.”

Ashlei Nofzinger, who had 13 kills during the final match and joined Gothke on the All-Tournament Team, said the team knew they had the “fight” in them to win the game.

Stephanie Swiger poured in a season-high and a combined total of 27 kills in the victories and Madeline Means chipped in with 12 kills, to go along with 21 digs against Weber State.

Although she gave credit to Swiger, Means and Gothke, who set eight consecutive games on Saturday without coming out, Van De Walle also paid homage to the collective effort displayed throughout the weekend.

Van De Walle feels like the high level of play from the Falcons this past weekend will create some competition on the floor, which is something she is embracing as BGSU starts the Mid-American Conference this weekend with games at Toledo Friday night and Ball State Saturday.”

“I think it’s going to be a good thing, because we need depth and we need good depth,” she said.

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