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April 11, 2024

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    “gAyPRIL” (Gay-April) continues on Falcon Radio, sharing a playlist curated by the Queer Trans Student Union, sharing songs celebrating the LGBTQ+ experience. In similar vein, you will enjoy Jeanette Winterson’s books if you find yourself interested in LGBTQ+ voices and nonlinear narratives. As “dead week” is upon us, students, we can utilize resources such as Falcon […]
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    As we enter into the poetics of April, also known as national poetry month, here are four voices from well to lesser known. The Tradition – Jericho Brown Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, Brown visited the last American Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP 2024) conference, and I loved his speech and humor. Besides […]
Spring Housing Guide

Sunday Setter: BG can create sparks, but how will they sustain them as MACtion continues on?

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Keira Ellenberger

Any given game.

That is a theme that throughout any level of athletics, any team, no matter how talented, can be subjected to the occasional upset.

Well unfortunately so far this season for BGSU Volleyball, that has become their mantra.

“I think it’s mostly consistency that we still have to learn,” said Mia Tyler following Friday’s loss to Northern Illinois. “We have really high highs and very low lows, and I think just finding that middle ground and be able to stay there throughout these matches especially in five sets with a good team.”

I give them credit- at least they recognize it.

Once again, I will pound the drum and say to anyone that this Falcon team has all the physical gifts to be a nationally-ranked program.

However the problem so far this season has been two-fold; a missing piece of offensive dominance night in and night out, as well as a lack of consistency in offensive efficiency.

“You let a team back in the way that we let NIU, the momentum shifted in the second set,” said Danijela Tomic after Friday’s loss. “That first set was probably the best set we played… I don’t think I can find one thing that I would say let’s improve upon. I asked the team- can we keep that focus, the way that we played clean, and we don’t have that ability yet.”

Tomic knows all of this already, but for the rest of us, let me start with the current pieces.

With Lauryn Hovey leading the charge offensively, the void to fill as the secondary offensive beast is one that has been in need of filling since the announcement of Petra Indrova’s season-ending injury back in August.

Of course BG has talented weapons like Tyler and Kat Mandly, but the issue is this- the team now needs these two to be on pace for 300+ kills.

Last year, Indrova led the team with 332 kills, while Hovey had 326, and senior Katelyn Meyer added 251. Add in the seasonings of Tyler’s 201 and Mandly’s 195, and the Falcons had an offensive juggernaut that was hard to top anywhere.

Right now, they are on pace for just a bit over 250 for Tyler, and under 200 for Mandly.

Anddd that appears to be it in terms of notable supporting cast.

Going from five consistent weapons to, so far, three consistent weapons, is a tough adjustment to make, but that does not mean that BG cannot find their groove and get some more production from others around them.

Look at Amanda Otten– she has 99 kills heading into this week and has already racked up a pair of MAC East Division Player of the Week awards.

But the problem is that Otten, although physically so gifted, is not seasoned yet to be the type of player that Indrova and Meyer were.

And trust me, that’s a pretty big void to fill.

And the void is being felt, as BG is sixth in the MAC in total kills, third in hitting percentage, sixth in points, and only has one player in the top 10 individually in kills (Hovey, 10th).

Now let’s transition to the efficiency.

When evaluating their hitting percentages, there is a common theme-  when the Falcons are held below 25 percent, the team loses the set. In the sets above 25 percent? wins.

I know that comes off as superficial, but overall, Bowling Green’s offensive efficiency is the driving engine surrounding the end results of each set.

It was this way Friday night, where in the five sets, the Falcons were (.611, .209,.237, .406,.182).

The three sets below.250?

You guessed it.

And in Thursday’s win, the efficiency ratings were: (380, .100, .258 and .286). The .100? the lone lost set.

Catch my drift yet?

Sure, there are other reasons for this, but too many stretches of error-filled volleyball, as well as opponents giving BG their best shot as MACtion begins, will be aspects that BGSU has to overcome as time goes on in the season.

But hey, maybe all this means the MAC is just gotten a whole lot better.

“Every team wants to win, and we know in the MAC, anything can happen,” said Hovey following Thursday’s win over NIU.

Amen to that.

Now, BG has to travel to Kalamazoo this week, where they get a two-day date with the first place Western Michigan Broncos, who are led by offensive studs Keona Salesman and Maggie King, as well as an anchor in the setter position in Logan Case, who is currently third in the COUNTRY in assists per set (11.33).

But hey, the MAC is the MAC, and anything and everything can happen.

Maybe all it will take is BG to feel a little disrespected and adapt an underdog mentality to fuel the fire and sharpen their armor.

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

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