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April 18, 2024

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Falcons fall down early, fight back to top Ramblers in home opener thriller

BGSU now faces Texas A&M Friday at 6 p.m.
Keira Ellenberger

Last night, BGSU Volleyball took on the Loyola Chicago Ramblers in the home opener for the Falcons as the nightcap of day one of the Hampton Inn Invitational. After falling short in the first two sets, Bowling Green came to life in the third set, winning the next three to take the match.  

Here’s how it happened.  

Set 1: 25-16 (Loyola)

The Falcons started off fast scoring the first point of the night via a kill from Lauryn Hovey. From here, Bowling Green and Loyola took turns scoring while keeping the score too close for comfort. The Ramblers eventually took advantage of this opportunity, taking a 5-0 run.

Moving forward, Bowling Green played damage control; keeping in step with Loyola but unable to take the lead. With the score 13-12, the Ramblers continued their hot streak and logged yet another 5-0 run.  

Soon enough, Loyola Chicago added to it with a 5-1 scoring stretch, pushing the Ramblers ahead still to 24-15, where with one final kill from the Ramblers, Loyola took the first set.  

Set 2: 25-23 (Loyola)

Starting the second set, the Orange and Brown struck first and scored the first point. The two teams spent the next few minutes scoring back and forth, until Bowling Green slowly pulled into a three point lead. After more back and forth scoring, the Ramblers took charge with a 4-0 run.  

With a nearly closed gap, the Falcons still held a 15-13 lead over Loyola Chicago. Adding a 5-1 stretch to the scoresheet, Bowling Green extended their lead to 20-14.  

The Ramblers followed suit with a 5-1 stretch of their own, making the score now 21-19. With yet another 5-1 stretch by Loyola, the Ramblers found themselves with a match point, 24-22. After one final kill, Loyola Chicago had won the first two sets of the match.  

Set 3: 25-20 (BGSU)

Following the trend of the first two sets, the Falcons took an early start to set three. With lots of ground to make up being down two sets, Bowling Green got to work. Going head to head with the Ramblers, the score soon reached 8-7 with BG in the lead. From here, the Falcons sprung into action with a 6-0 run, their score now doubling Loyola at 14-7.  

Bowling Green held this lead for a while until the Ramblers logged a 5-0 run, quickly closing the gap the Falcons built. Each team took turns scoring a few points until BGSU took advantage with a three point run, Bowling Green now with the match point in their favor at 24-18. With a final kill by junior Mia Tyler, the Falcons took the third set and forced a fourth.  

Set 4: 25-21 (BGSU)

The fourth set started similarly to the first three; taking turns scoring. When the score reached 10-9 BGSU, the Falcons pulled away with an exciting 9-1 stretch, giving Bowling Green an extended lead.  

Later on, the Ramblers pushed ahead, logging a 3-0 run (15-21) and then a 4-0 run (19-23) soon after.  

The Falcons took this fourth set, 25-21, after a kill via Hovey, sending BG to a fifth and final set.  

Set 5: 18-16 (BGSU) 

Ending with a nailbiter, this fifth set was the most closely matched of the night. BGSU struck first, scoring the first two points. Almost immediately, Loyola matched the score.  

This game of back and forth continued on for seven points straight when the Ramblers took a 3-0 run to pull into the lead and force a BGSU timeout with the score 10-7. The Falcons regrouped and came back swinging with a 4-0 run of their own, including three straight kills. Soon after, with the score 11-11, each team never gave up an inch on the scoreboard, sending the match into bonus ball. 

A service error and attack error by Karlie McNabb and Anna Feldkamp respectively handed the last two points of the match to the orange and brown, giving BG the win.

Tyler led the charge offensively with 20 kills, a career high for the sophomore and a team high for the 2023 season. Leading in assists were Amanda Otten and Jaden Walz with 24 each, also a new season high for the Falcons.  

Senior Alex Laboy was able to log her first double-double last night with 19 digs and 11 assists, also leading the stat sheet in digs.  

Kat Mandly landed a season-high 16 kills on a season-high 44 attacks while posting a season-best .205 hitting percentage. Mandly also just missed her second double-double of the season, finishing with nine digs.

Lindsey LaPinta tallied a career-high 10 digs for the Orange and Brown and landed her first ace of the 2023 season.

Benedetta Marcon made her collegiate debut for the Falcons, playing in all five sets. Marcon logged six digs and an assist while being perfect in serve receive on 13 attempts.

The quality of play in early-season tournaments like these gives BG a chance to really test the depth and skill of their team.

“This season, our schedule is going to not just sharpen us, but forge us,” said head coach Danijela Tomic. 

With the thrilling home-opener for the Falcons, last night also marked the first time Bowling Green has won after being behind by two sets since the 2020-2021 season.  

The Falcons face the Texas A&M Aggies tonight, Sept. 1, with first serve at 6 p.m. at the Stroh Center. Be sure to tune in with Steve Iwanek on 88.1 FM WBGU starting at 5:45 for pregame.  

For more information about the team and BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn). 

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