Volleyball drops 2 matches to Miami and Western Michigan

The BG volleyball team continues its struggling ways as it dropped to both Miami, Ohio and Western Michigan this past weekend.

With the losses, BG is now 0-4 in the Mid-American Conference and 3-13 overall of the season.

BG continues to lack the consistency needed to have success on the court and head coach Danijela Tomic is looking to change that.

“It’s youth,” said Tomic. “We are young and we are not able to maintain a high level of play and when we play well we are very good … we have to win one match to get that monkey off of our back and [need] to believe that we deserve to win.”

BG started off the week with a Thursday game facing off against the Miami Redhawks where they took an early lead winning the first set 25-18 and leading 15-11 midway through the second set.

The Redhawks proved to be too much for BG as they came from behind to win the next three sets and won the match 18-25, 25-18, 25-17 and 25-20.

BG ended the match beating the Redhawks in digs with a 73-61 advantage. BG also had 49 kills, four more than Miami was able to muster up. Individually, sophomore Jelena Sunjic, back from injury, had 13 kills while senior Erica Fullenkamp earned a 42 assists and 12 digs. Freshman Nicole Slimko had 18 kills and seven digs, whereas senior Kelsey Bates garnered eight kills, three digs and four blocks.

Even with the loss, Tomic sees much improvement from the team, something that a fan might not be able to just pick out by watching them play.

“Our defense definitely improved,” Tomic said. “We were receiving above our target 2.3, so we were doing well. Serve receive has improved [too]. We also did better offensively with eliminating mistakes. There are many areas that we are getting better in. Unfortunately the result is not there, but it is going to come and it will be a big load lifted off our players shoulders and give them a boost of confidence.”

BG then played its last match on Saturday where it went toe to toe with Western Michigan, winning every other set. The game ended with the Broncos getting the last laugh, winning the fifth set and the match 20-25, 25-20, 19-25, 25-15 and 15-5.

Although BG suffered another loss, several positives came out of the volleyball contest for the Falcons, as they posted 80 digs which a key defensive stat for the team.

BG also improved upon its attack errors as in the Miami game they had a total of 33. Against Western Michigan, the team dropped its errors by eight to only 25 errors.

BG finished the game with Slimko getting 20 kills and sophomore Madeline Garda getting 29 digs, in addition to Bates finishing with seven kills and blocks. Fullenkamp got 50 assists and 17 digs and freshman Michaela Gabanic posted three blocks and eight kills.

The season is not going the way the team wants it to, but Tomic said she feels that it is only a matter of time before this team gets back into the win column.

“We need all six players to do their roles,” Tomic said “We set some goals for this match or three musts that we have to do … we need them to play together at the same time and I’m an optimist, I think it is going to happen. We are getting closer; it is just a matter of time that our team is going to get a [win] and feel a little better.”

BG will have their next contest this weekend at home as they host Kent State at 5 p.m. on Friday and Ohio at 5 p.m. on Saturday at the Stroh Center.

Both opposing teams have a combined record of 21-11 and 6-2 in the Mid-American Conference.