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February 22, 2024

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Tomic gets 200th victory with team’s win against Akron, Falcons win on Senior Night

BG volleyball came away with two key victories this weekend to keep them in the hunt for a Mid-American Conference tournament berth.

With the pair of wins, BG moves to 7-17 overall with a 4-8 MAC record moving them into fifth place in the east division and one spot closer to the tournament.

“We need to get at least four wins,” said head coach Danijela Tomic. “[Akron] is one of those four and we have six more matches left so if we get four out of six I think we are in good position to get into the MAC championship.”

BG began the weekend against Akron on Halloween with a 3-0 sweep against the Zips, giving Tomic her 200th win.

“I am very happy with this performance,” Tomic said. “I will always remember my 200th win and the way we

performed tonight.”

BG took a 15-8 lead against Akron and never looked back. BG went on several runs, going up 18-13, 23-15 and then finishing the set with two points winning 25-17.

The second and third sets were more of the same as BG started on the right foot. In the second set, BG came out with an 8-3 run and then breezed by Akron with a 10-1 run going up 18-4 at one point. Akron could not recover and ended up losing the set 25-15.

In the third set, BG went up 10-4. Although Akron did get it down to five at 13-8 that could not overcome BG and lost the third and final set 25-18.

BG won seven out of the eight statistical categories Friday, garnering a .297 hit percentage and 43 team kills, which was not a surprise to coach Tomic.

“We have been practicing really well,” Tomic said. “I am just glad they are seeing the fruits of their labor … and this is what happens when you focus on things and doing it the right way.”

BG came into to the matchup knowing that it could win, but had goals to set to make sure it won with its game plan.

“Every game we have three key things that we have to do and it should provide an outcome for winning the game,” said freshman Nicole Slimko.” “One was we had to score, be efficient while we did and do well in transition. I think we did a really good job of that.”

BG then transitioned to Saturday where they had another game of runs as the team faced off against Buffalo, winning the match in a nail biter that went to five sets. Saturday also served as the Falcons’ Senior Night for seniors Erica Fullenkamp and Kelsey Bates.

BG started with a 12-6 lead before Buffalo went on a 7-3 run to pull within two points at 15-13. Then late in the set, Buffalo tied the set at 18 and went on a 7-1 run to win the first

set 25-19.

BG then won sets two and three at scores of 25-23 and 25-17. Buffalo bounced back in the fourth set and won it 25-20 after it was tied again at 20-20. Buffalo then went on a 5-0 run to win, sending the match to a fifth and final set.

In the fifth set, BG took over with a 12-6 run after it was tied 3-3, ending the match 15-9.

Friday and Saturday’s wins were the Falcons’ first back-to-back wins this season.

“It feels great because we are a step closer to making it to the MAC tournament,” said senior Kelsey Bates.” “We really focused on defense this week … and on the court it has paid off and we are just playing very well as a team. It is the perfect point in the season to play particularly like this, so it is really exciting.”

“For a young team that we are and where we started in the beginning of the season … and to play the way we are playing right now I am just very proud of this group,” Tomic said. “It is awesome to finish with two wins in our last

home week.”

BG will now head back out on the road for the rest of the season looking to continue their momentum and potentially get a spot in the MAC tournament.

BG will play Miami Thursday at 7 p.m. in Millett Hall and then play Northern Illinois on Saturday at 7 p.m. in the Convocation Center.

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