Volleyball wins two at WSU Invitational

Jason A. Dixon and Jason A. Dixon

The Bowling Green State volleyball team was hoping to win all three of its games at last weekend’s Wright State Invitational, only it didn’t materialize.

What did come to fruition, however, were two victories over Wright State and Morehead State, a four game loss to Wake Forest, a top 25 caliber team, and the breakout performances of two freshmen.

All of which has assistant coach Mark Hardaway feeling optimistic about a team that has won six out of the last seven games.

“I think they’re improving constantly,” Hardaway said. “I think it’s a great freshmen class, they work hard and the upperclassmen are doing a great job of helping them. I think it’s a young team that has a chance to be good this year.”

The Falcons (7-4) opened the Raider Challenge by sweeping WSU in three games, led by freshman Maggie Karges’ 19 kills, 22 digs and .529 hitting percentage.

Stephanie Swiger and Ashlei Nofzinger chipped in with 10 kills apiece, and Amber Mareski handed out 51 assists.

Saturday, BG met up with the Demon Deacons for the first time in school history.

After dropping the first two games, the Falcons recovered to capture their only win in the match 30-22.

Redshirt freshmen Corrie Mills filled in for an injured Taylor Twite, who left with knee problems during the match, and led the team with 19 kills, 5 blocks at the net and a .361 hitting percentage.

Mills said the team was upset about the loss to W.F.

“We thought we could have played a little better,” she said. “It did prepare us for a big match against Toledo this weekend. It felt good to get a game from, because we heard they beat some good teams like Purdue and Penn State.”

BG used a balanced attack, with four players accounting for nine or more kills, in defeating MSU in four games to end the tournament.

Mills, who was named to the All-Tournament Team, also lead the Falcons in the match with 10 kills and a .318 hitting percentage.

Hardaway said it would have been a better weekend if they would have beaten the Demon Deacons.

“We had an opportunity to beat Wake Forest, so it’s really disappointing when you have an opportunity and you don’t take advantage of it,” he said. “Even though it was a good weekend, I still have in my mind that we had a chance to beat Wake Forest, because they opened the door for us and we got close.

“I was impressed with the people coming off the bench. It seemed like almost any time someone wasn’t doing well or struggling, we put someone in and they came right in and produced,” he said. “Our left sides, I think all three played and it seemed like whoever was coming off the bench had the best night.”

The depth BG displayed was the key to success, Hardaway added.

Karges said they made big strides toward achieving their goal.

“It was a really good weekend and we learned a lot of things as a team,” she said. “It was really devastating losing Taylor, but we stepped it up really well. I think it showed that we’re growing as a team and getting more comfortable with one another.”

The Falcons return to the court Friday at 7 p.m. when they host an undefeated Toledo Rocket squad in Anderson Arena.