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Falcons to face must-win games this weekend

The Falcon volleyball team will square off against Ohio and Kent State this weekend hoping to punch a ticket to the conference tournament.

After losing a pair of games to Miami and Northern Illinois this past weekend, the Falcons are in the hot seat as they need to win these last two games in order to make it to the Mid-American Conference tournament.

The Falcons are 7-19 overall with a 4-10 conference record. With two wins, the team would claim the eighth and final spot of the tournament. However, if Central Michigan, who is 10-16 overall with a 5-9 MAC record, wins out they would have a overall better conference record which would give the Chippewas the final spot.

Even with this scenario, nothing is going to change for the Falcons as they will play every match like they have the entire season.

“We play every match like it is a championship match,” said head coach Danijela Tomic. “The players know they will have to play their best matches of the year … So we know it is going to take a little bit more.”

But the Falcons are not the same team from the first time they faced off against both Ohio and Kent State. The team has improved vastly over the course of the season with the little things not necessarily in the win column.

“We have improved a lot,” sophomore Madeline Garda said. “Every week we are getting better, every practice we are getting better and it shows in the game.”

At the start of the season, this young team struggled heavily trying to grasp the concept of collegiate volleyball, but now they have grown up and have become a more focused and persistent group.

“We are resilient,” Garda said. “We don’t give up and I think that is our biggest change … There was a time were I felt like if we lost a point it would really effect us. Now if we lose a point we just shake it off and we move on to the next play.”

The Falcons will first have to take down top ranked MAC team the Ohio Bobcats who are 21-4 overall with a 14-0 record in conference play on Friday in the Convocation Center.

The Falcons will face off against Kent State, who is 15-12 overall with a 7-7 MAC record, Saturday in the MAC Center.

Both Ohio and Kent State have qualified to be in the Mid-American Conference tournament. As for the Falcons all they can do is compete and hope for the best.

“We need to compete, we need to give 100 percent on every play and we have to fight and do what we do well,” Tomic said. “They know what is on the line, it was just a matter of maturation for this team.”

Both games will be played at 7 p.m.

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