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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Coach wins No. 375

The outcome was never really in doubt, the scoreboard said so and the play-by-play announcer confirmed it before the match even started.

And the BGSU volleyball team barely broke a sweat when it did, sweeping the Oakland Grizzlies last night at Anderson Arena, giving head coach Denise Van De Walle her 375th career victory.

“I’m glad we won in three,” Van De Walle said. “That was our goal before the match started. You always have an individual goal, then team goals and the team goal tonight was to win in three.”

Van De Walle said that she knew something was going to happen when she was introduced before the match, but it didn’t make her nervous.

“No not at all, I was pretty confident” she said about the pregame comments. “George (announcer) is a very good friend of mine and I knew that he was gonna say something, so it was great…I was glad that he said something.”

The announcer said, “With the win tonight, Van De Walle will have her 375th career victory.”

Taken at face value, it appeared the postgame celebration would be subdued for all of about two minutes, which was how long it took the Falcons to gain control of the first match.

The Grizzlies jumped out to an early 3-2 lead, but Samantha Rennau used one of her game-high 12 kills on the night to tie the match.

BG surged ahead by eight, 16-8, prompting OU to call a timeout. However, it did little to garner the momentum because the Falcons only allowed nine more points in taking the set, 30-17.

The second set started off slowly for both teams and the Grizzlies took control early once again, scoring the first three points.

OU played the Falcons tough throughout the set, leading the Falcons 21-20 before BG used a 10-1 run to take a 2-0 advantage into the half.

The Falcons took their first lead at 3-2 in the third set and never looked back, taming a gritty performance by the Grizzlies with a 30-22 win.

Taylor Twite, who had 11 kills and a .500 hitting percentage, tried to put into perspective what this win meant for her coach and the team.

“Just that many wins, let alone as a coach at one school is just amazing that you can accomplish that throughout your career,” she said.

It was a balanced attack for BG with Mohr tying Rennau for game-high with 12 kills.

Emily Manser and Sara Sikorski both chipped in with five kills apiece and Chrissy Gothke lead all players with 14 defensive digs.

The only thing that went array for the Falcons was their attempt to shower Van De Walle following the game, who went sliding to the court in a puddle of Gatorade.

“I don’t think it went as expected,” Sikorski said. “But, it was a great to celebrate coach’s 375th win.”

Twite said that the team knew “coach” would like it.

Van De Walle was all smiles when referring to the incident. “I had an idea that it was coming,” she said with a chuckle. “I just wasn’t ready for it.”

BG (7-3) has little time to savor the victory because their back in action tonight when Valparaiso (10-2) visits Anderson Arena for a 7 p.m. matchup.

“I think we have a lot of momentum and confidence going up against Valparaiso,” Sikorski said after the win. “They’re a good team and I think it’s going to be a great match.”


BG is two wins away all of last seasons total of nine. Van De Walle has 375-253 record in 21 seasons at BGSU. BG has a 1-0 record against Valparaiso.

BG has two non-conference games remaining [Ohio State and Indiana-Purdue Fort Wayne].

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