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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 21, 2023

Volleyball starts new season with intersquad scrimmage


Paige Penrod bumps a ball during the scrimmage this past Saturday. The Falcons start their season Friday with a home match against Marquette.

The Falcon volleyball players met their own teammates across the net during the Orange vs. White scrimmage on Saturday.

The White team headed by right-side Danielle Tonyan and left-side Lindsey Butterfield swept the orange team.

“We are still working on the tempo of our offense and I can see that we still need to keep working on that, but I saw a lot of great things today, too,” Tomic said.

The Orange and White teams keep the score close throughout all three sets. The white team by two points in the first and second set and by six in the final set.

“I think we did well at being scrappy, running down balls and keeping the ball in play,” said Kaitlyn Skinner, who played middle on the orange team.

Left-side Paige Penrod said she struggled today with passing and hitting because she was having trouble focusing on more than one thing.

“I felt like when coach [Jessica Hohl] pushed me up, it went a lot smoother for me,” said Penrod. “That shouldn’t be the case, but when it was my only job to do I was able to focus only on hitting.”

Tomic pointed out freshman Alyssa Maloney and how well she played in the front row for all three sets because freshman Desi Klaer sprained her ankle during warm-ups.

‘Believe BiG’ was the motto for the Falcon volleyball team this past season when the team won the Mid-American Conference championship and a bid into the NCAA tournament.

Head Coach Danijela Tomic knows this to be the only way to success.

“We focus on these things: hard work, perseverance and that grit will make a lot happen,” she said. “If you don’t do these things, you have a slim chance of making big things happen.”

Tomic said it is important for her team to get behind this motto.

“In athletics, that’s the way it has to be,” Tomic said. “Nobody wants to come into a team and think ‘OK, we are going to be an average team, somewhere in the middle of the pack,’ I don’t want my players to have that attitude.”

Despite finishing victorious for the first time in 21 years at the MAC tournament, Tomic said she and the team are not focused on the past.

“I am now finishing preseason, I am not even thinking about last year, that is over,” she said. “This is a new season; a new team and we just have to start again.”

The team began the off-season by teaching the incoming freshmen to buy into the team’s culture and its competitiveness.

“Teaching our freshmen about our team has been a lot easier than I expected,” said left-side hitter Lindsey Butterfield. “They are more than willing to learn and adapt, I think they are going to be a great addition.”

The first regular season game for the Falcons is against Marquette, who finished 27-7 on the season and beat BG this past year.

“Marquette is a good team, they are a top 30 team; they play fast offense, they are well coached, they are very good,” Tomic said. “Out of all three teams [BG, BYU and Marquette] we have the worst [ranking]. I want us to play hard, play disciplined, be a great team and be aggressive; if we do all of those things, if we beat Marquette, great, and if we don’t, we will come back next week and work harder.”

Butterfield said she thinks about things this past year’s team did well when it came to being a winning team.

“As long as we mold together, trust each other and have respect for each other I think the result will take care of itself,” she said.

Tomic said the preseason has gone well and the team will be working on technical training this week.

“I think we are where we need to be at this time and it is hard to gauge where we are until we line-up against somebody else,” she said.

The team is returning with seven seniors, three of which were named to the First-Team All-MAC is past year. Paige Penrod, a left-side hitter was named the MVP of the MAC Championship, right-side hitter Danielle Tonyan and Lindsey Butterfield are players Tomic expects big seasons out of. Sprinkled with freshmen expected to get some playing time, the 18-player roster has “more depth in every position,” Tomic said.

Tomic and the players know it will not be easy to lower another MAC Championship banner, but they believe they can do it.

“It’s like a GPS, go straight, go right, take a detour, all things happen during the regular season, there is no one way to reach your destination,” Tomic said.

BG will be hosting a tournament at the Stroh Center this weekend. Participants include BG, Marquette University, Creighton University and Brigham Young University.

BG will start with a match against Marquette Friday at 7 p.m.

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