Volleyball team in pursuit

Buoyed by a victory over Iowa State, the BGSU volleyball team enters tonight’s match with the Oakland Grizzlies in pursuit mode.

The Falcons want to avoid a letdown after a thrilling five-set victory over the Cyclones on Saturday, but their motivation also has much deeper implications.

With a strong performance BG has a chance to give head coach Denise Van De Walle her 375th victory and tally their seventh win, something they didn’t accomplish until Oct. 25 last season.

Van De Walle said she doubted if her team knew of the possible milestone win.

“I don’t think they know; I certainly haven’t said anything,” Van De Walle said. “I didn’t know until my assistant told me, but no matter what the circumstances may be, I think the team will go into the match confident and ready to compete.”

While Van De Walle downplays what a victory could mean, Melissa Mohr, who was named to the All-Tournament team after last weekend’s BGSU Invitational, was more enthusiastic about the game.

“I think that’s awesome and we’re all going to be excited about the match,” Mohr said yesterday before practice. “We know what this would mean, so we’re going to go out and try to get a win.”

The Grizzlies (1-3), a team that was swept in last season’s meeting, will be standing in the way of the Falcons’ destination.

First-year head coach Dave Schmidlin and his team returns from a loss to Leheigh at the Cleveland State Invitational.

Patti Hunter and Cortney Varterasian average 2.27 and 2.14 kills per game, respectively, to lead OU. Becca Moller paces the Grizzlies with 7.36 assists an outing.

However, it looks like a mismatch on paper.

OU is averaging 10.6 kills, while BG is producing 15.8 a game led by Taylor Twite’s 3.79. Furthermore, the Falcons are averaging 16.0 defensive digs and a .194 hitting percentage compared to 14.6 digs and a .102 hitting percentage by the Grizzlies.

Disparity aside, Van De Walle says her team cannot overlook any of its opponents.

“I know that they can duplicate their performance, but they know that every time you take the floor you have to be on,” she said. “We can’t look past anyone because of Ohio State on the weekend. We can’t look past Oakland. We can’t look past Valparaiso because we know that both of those programs are solid and certainly plan on coming in here and playing their best volleyball.”

Tuesday, Valparaiso (10-2) will visit Anderson Arena to play the Falcons for the second time ever. BG is 1-0 against the Crusaders.

Second-year head coach Cairn Avery boasts a team whose only losses have come at the hands of Notre Dame and Mid-American Conference foe Northern Illinois.

Samantha Rennau, who is averaging 3.06 kills and 2.18 digs says the team is confident going into the match.

“We were thrilled about the win over Iowa State and everyone was upbeat for practice,” Renee said after yesterday’s practice.

“I think the win showed our capability and I think we can play better,” she said. “We just want to win. We realize that we have to maintain a high level of play, so we have to keep our standards high and play from there.”