BG sweeps Kent, drops to Ohio

BG+Volleyball

BG Volleyball

Hampton Crawford and Hampton Crawford

The Bowling Green volleyball team came away 1-1 on the weekend, beating Kent State on Friday and losing to the defending Mid-American Conference champions Ohio University on Saturday.

The team moved to 4-14 overall on the season and 1-5 in MAC play.

With the 25-18, 25-19 and 25-16 win against Kent State, the Falcons got their first shutout win of the year in addition to their first conference win.

For the Falcons, this was a must win as the team continued to improve but it didn’t necessarily show in the win column until this past weekend.

“After last week, I told them they were getting better,” head coach Danijela Tomic said. “Every area of our game was getting better and it was just a matter of time. Finally, all of the hard work they are putting in is paying off.”

The Falcons from start to finish controlled the entire match, not allowing Kent State to garner 20 or more points in any set. In addition to hitting a season high .287 percent, they held Kent State to only .094 percent.

Also helping the Falcons was the continuous scoring sprees during the match as they had a game high seven straight points after being tied 18-18 late in the first.

The team also scored the first seven points out of eight to start the second set, continued the momentum through the rest of the set and into the third before winning the match.

The Falcons look to be maturing and figuring out what it takes to play collegiate volleyball Tomic said.

“We never let it get into our heads,” Tomic said. “We just kept playing, you can see that we are maturing slowly but surely, our freshman are getting the gist of what it takes to play division I volleyball.”

Sophomore Jelena Sunjic finished with 15 kills, four digs and blocks, while senior Kelsey Bates had 12 kills and three blocks. In addition, senior Erica Fullenkamp had 37 assists and sophomore Madeline Garda had 19 digs.

The Falcons then turned and played the Ohio Bobcats where they came up short losing in three sets 26-24, 25-16 and 25-21, a complete role reversal from last game.

Even with the loss, Tomic saw some positive things they did against an experienced volleyball team.

“We outdug a very good defensive team by 12,” Tomic said as the Falcons outdug them 63-51. “Unfortunately we couldn’t create enough swings and we couldn’t score enough to beat Ohio [as] they are solid at every position.”

The Falcons were neck and neck with the Bobcats at 15-15 to start, but Ohio was able to capitalize and win the match as the Falcons hit .198 percent of the day compared to Ohio’s .241 percent.

Bates had 11 kills while Sunjic had eight and freshman Nicole Slimko led the attack with 13 total kills.

Ending the weekend with a loss was not what the Falcons wanted, but Tomic said she believes that this team is growing up as they continue to advance further in the season.

“We have to continue improving, continue making baby steps,” Tomic said. “We already look like a different team [and] I am optimistic about how this team is developing and [I think] we will play good volleyball.”

The Falcons’ next contest will be back on the road as they head to Michigan to play the Chippewas of Central Michigan on Thursday at 7 p.m. and then staying in the state to play Eastern Michigan on Saturday at 7 p.m.