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Sweet senior sweep: Falcons clinch spot in MAC Tournament with Senior Day win over Bulls

The six seniors for BGSU Volleyball

When you can get a win on senior day for your particular program, that in itself is sweet enough.

But to get a win on senior day, as well as clinch a spot in your postseason tournament?

The definition of a perfect day.

“We’ve had to deal with a lot of adversity in the past week,” said Lauryn Hovey. “So it felt nice to go out there and get a win for the seniors and for the team.”

That is exactly what Bowling Green Volleyball did for themselves earlier Saturday afternoon, as the Falcons (16-12 OVR, 10-7 MAC) defeated the Buffalo Bulls (22-7 OVR, 12-5 MAC) at the Stroh Center in straight sets (25-16, 25-23, 25-22).

The win for BG was their second straight over the Bulls, and not only was it a win, it was a tournament-clinching win, as with a loss by Central Michigan to Ohio as well, the Falcons clinched a spot in the 2023 MAC Tournament.

Picking up where they left off from Friday, the Falcons began the match by making a statement cruising to a 25-16 set win via a 53.8% hitting percentage, as well as eight kills alone from Hovey.

But then the Bulls, who were reeling after four straight set losses, decided to make the orange and brown earn it a little bit more, as in the second set, the blue and white held the advantage in hitting percentage (17.9% to 15.5%).

And yet, it did not matter, as the Falcons, paced by Kat Mandly’s eight kills and six from Hovey, held a +8 advantage in kills (19-11), +7 advantage in assists (18-11), and matched in digs (23), to grind out the win and take a decisive two sets to zero lead.

Then we had the third, which saw the Falcons continue to go back and forth with the Bulls, but ultimately grinded out the 25-22 set win off a final point via a kill from senior Hannah Best.

On a day that saw the Falcons honor the seniors (Mandly, Best, Alex Laboy, Alexis Mettille, Jaden Walz, Petra Indrova), getting a team win made the night even more magical.

“I thought our pins did a really good job of being decisive and this team just continued to play well,” Associate Head Coach Alison Cooke said postgame. “Happy we got to go out and win today, but the job is not done, so we need to have a good practice and prepare for Miami and then the MAC Tournament.”

Hovey once again paced the Falcon offense with 20 kills, while Mandly finished two kills shy of matching her career high of 19 (17). Best also added in some impactful points, ending the night with a half dozen kills.

Walz finished just one dig shy of her tenth double-double, ending the night with 40 assists and nine digs. Laboy once again paced the back row defense with 16 digs.

BG wraps up the regular season on Wednesday night at the Stroh Center against the Miami RedHawks, who will be honoring head coach Carolyn Condit, who is set to retire after 40 years with the Miami program.

After that? A date once again in Kalamazoo, where the Falcons are heading to next for the 2023 MAC Tournament.

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

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