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Sunday Setter: In a season full of darkness, Falcons are shining at the right time

Bowling+Green+celebrates+after+a+win+on+Saturday+against+Buffalo
Drake Harlett
Bowling Green celebrates after a win on Saturday against Buffalo

You have to love a group of people who are able to rally together during times of adversity and uncertainty.

Well for fans of Bowling Green Volleyball, all year long this has been the story of what they’ve witnessed from the Falcons.

Resiliency, relentless positivity, continued growth.

All of that? It came to fruition on senior day Saturday night at the Stroh Center during BGSU’s straight set win over Buffalo.

I’m really proud of our seniors. I love that Hannah Best got the last kill and it was nice to honor them, but the mindset going into it wasn’t about it being senior night; it was about us being a really good team.

— Alex DelPiombo

DelPiombo, in case you have not learned yet, was filling in as acting head coach for Danijela Tomic, who had to make an emergency flight home to Catici of Bosnia and Herzegovina, due to the passing of her father.

This recent chapter of the 2023 book for BGSU Volleyball is another example of adversity that has, for whatever reason, afflicted this team consistently throughout the year.

And yet, the team just continues to find another way to inspire themselves, and in result, inspire the community that watches them.

“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.”

Glad you mentioned it Lauryn; let’s talk about the wins.

In BG’s weekend sweep of the Bulls, the Falcons held the advantage in hitting percentage (26% to UB’s 16.8%), kills (99-75), points (127-101), assists (95-69), amongst other categories.

Long story short- BG was just the better team overall this weekend.

“We’ve been emphasizing our team defense and our unity throughout the whole week and leading into this weekend,” said Alex Laboy after Saturday’s win. “It was just a very well executed match.”

Hearing the phrase “well executed match” is starting to become a repetitive theme for this Falcon team, as BG has won nine of their last ten, and are playing at their best when they need to.

Why have they been able to have success? It starts with Hovey, who in these ten matches has registered at least 15 kills in seven of those matches, including three 20+ kill matches and her career high of 32 in the lone loss during that stretch (Central Michigan).

Then we have Jaden Walz, who while directing the offense in the 5-1, has put together five of her nine overall double-doubles this season during this stretch, including putting up a combined 86 assists in the two matches against Buffalo this past weekend.

“One thing that we focus on every day is just being better for ourselves and for our teammates,” said Walz following Friday’s win. “It’s really important to stay together and it’s fun to play out there.”

So you are seeing the same theme I am right?

“Together”, “team”, “we”.

There is absolutely no selfishness in this team’s play right now, and that is what makes them dangerous as they head into the 2023 MAC Tournament.

Oh, I didn’t mention that before? My bad.

The win on Saturday, along with Central Michigan’s loss to Ohio, clinched a spot for BG in the conference tournament.

In fact, the tournament field is now set in stone in terms of WHO will be there, as with the CMU loss, Toledo also clinched a spot in the dance as well.

Western Michigan will be hosting the tourney, as they claimed the top overall record. Following them into the semifinals automatically will be either Ohio or Buffalo, as after this weekend, the Bobcats are tied for first in the MAC East with the Bulls.

In the quarterfinals, one of the two top MAC East squads will join Ball State, Toledo and BG.

So while the seedings can change at this current junction and what the matchups may be, the Falcons?

They are only focused on the next day.

“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,” said associate head coach Alison Cooke following Saturday’s win.

Sure, the Falcons are only looking to the next game, but in the grand scheme of things, this team is heating up and playing their peak volleyball.

And that should scare the MAC, because while everyone is focused on the records and top teams, a sneaky veteran squad is coming to Kalamazoo ready to shake up the conference.

Ahh the postseason, the best time of the year.

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

 

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