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BG’s weekend a ‘rollercoaster’

BGSU volleyball coach Denise Van De Walle described her team’s experience at last weekend’#39;s UIC Invitational as a ‘rollercoaster ride’ after finishing with a 1-3 record.

The Falcons’ lone win came against host team Illinois-Chicago on Friday. Despite the setbacks suffered to Denver, College of Charleston and James Madison, Van De Walle said she saw some bright spots in the season-opening tournament.

‘There were times when we looked very, very good,’ Van De said during yesterday’s practice. ‘The competition was a lot tougher than I had anticipated based upon last year’s records and last year’s information.

‘It was a great tournament … College of Charleston, Denver and UIC are three tough teams, and they really challenged us,’ Van De Walle continued. ‘The reason I say rollercoaster is because we were just inconsistent and the more I think about it, playing the level of competition that we were playing … We almost could have expected it.’

BG now turns their attention to tonight’s home opener against Dayton, which is the first meeting with the Flyers since 1995. The match is set for 7 p.m. at Anderson Arena.

Dayton (3-3) is led by Faye Barhost’s 3.75 kills per game, along with frontcourt mates Robynne Green and Amanda Kenny, who average 3.35 and 2.90 kills, respectively.

The Falcons enter the match having won 10 consecutive home openers dating back to 1994. Junior setter Chrissy Gothke expressed shock and a quiet confidence regarding the winning streak.

‘I think it’s a good possibility we can make it 11,’ Gothke said. ‘I don’t know if it’ll motivate us to say ‘Let’s keep the streak going’ more than it would to just try and play better as a team than we did last weekend.’

Freshman Meghan Mohr, who finished the weekend with 41 kills and a .300 hitting percentage, likes the Falcons’ chances in tonight’s match.

‘Personally, I think we’re going to win,’ she said. ‘We just have the talent and the ability to do so. All we have to do is pull it off and follow through with everything we have. I’m pumped … My grandparents and parents are going to come, and I’m just excited to play in front of a bunch of people.’

Van De Walle said the team was disappointed by last weekend’s performance, but wants to put everything into perspective.

‘It’s early,’ Van De Walle said. ‘We have a long way to go, but we have a long season to develop in. I’m confident, as long as this group stays focused and doesn’t get caught in some of the little things that always seem to take your focus away … We’ll be fine.’

‘Dayton is a very good team … and I think it’s going to be a very competitive match,’ she continued. ‘It’s not about winning every match, it’s about taking the floor and feeling prepared … and we want the team to come in [tonight] and show the BG faculty, community and students what kind of product we have to put on the floor, because we play an exciting brand of volleyball.’

Notes … The BGSU volleyball team will be starting Kills for Katrina and Digs for Dollars at tonight’s match. Fans will be able to pick up forms at the arena and sponsor a player for how many kills or digs they get throughout the season.

‘It’s going to be a big push for our volleyball team to help support victims down South,’ Van De Walle said. ‘We’re very excited and [tonight] will be the first time we have a chance to show people that we really want to try and make a contribution to that effort.’

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