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April 11, 2024

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Falcons drop fifth straight match in four-set loss to Ball State

Alex+Laboy+sets+up+a+teammate
Drake Harlett
Alex Laboy sets up a teammate

Bowling Green Volleyball’s losing streak was extended to five straight earlier Saturday evening, as the Falcons fell to the Ball State Cardinals at the Stroh Center in four sets (21-25, 20-25, 25-21, 21-25).

The last time these two teams faced each other, it was in the 2022 MAC Championship, where the Falcons won the title in five thrilling sets.

Spoiler alert: things are different now.

The match started off in a quiet fashion, as the Cardinals began the battle with 10-3 run to silence the crowd early.

After a 4-0 response from the orange and brown, the red and black built up a 17-9 lead, which powered them to the finish line despite a late rally effort.

In the second set, the Falcons at one point grabbed ahold of the lead at 13-11, but Ball State ended the set on a 14-7 run to gain the commanding lead.

But the third set saw a BG team come out and play lose, which was spark-plugged by the debut of freshman Helen Wilford, who replaced Jessica Andrews in the normal middle blocker rotation after Andrews left the match late in the second set with a hand injury.

A 13-6 run by the Falcons, which saw the offense be able to move the Cardinal around and fluster them, led the team to a set win to push the match to another set. The lost set was only Ball State’s second in the last 23 sets.

In the fourth, the two teams traded points until late in the set, where the Cardinals went on a dominant 7-1 run to close out the match at 25-21, and send the Falcons home disappointed.

Lauryn Hovey, who earned her first triple-double of the season on Friday against Toledo, led the way once again in kills with 17, to go along with 17 assists.

Kat Mandly put together another strong offensive performance, ending the night with 14 kills. For Wilford in her BGSU debut, she racked up four quick kills, along with a .500 hitting percentage.

For the Cardinals, Aniya Kennedy led the way with 21 kills, while Megan Wielonski added a double-double of 42 assists and 12 digs.

The losing streak is naturally frustrating for any coach/player, but for this BG team, this is now a challenge to try and focus harder than ever.

“I asked our players to be better learners,” said a fired up Danijela Tomic. “They need to bring learn ability, and we’re going to continue losing until our players understand and start listening to those who try to help them.”

BGSU now looks to salvage their chances of staying in conference tournament contention next week in Athens, when they take on the Ohio Bobcats.

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

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