Women’s volleyball finishes Wright State Invitational 2-1

Grant Crawford and Grant Crawford

The BG volleyball team played in the Wright State Invitational this weekend and mustered up a 2-1 record.

The Falcons beat CSU Bakersfield three sets to two, lost to IPFW three sets to zero and won their last match against Wright State three sets to two.

BG looked much more poised in this past weekends tournament compared to last weekend in the Hampton Inn Invitational, where they lost all three games.

BG started off the tournament playing CSU Bakersfield on Friday winning the match 25-23, 25-14, 25-27, 17-25, 15-7 in its first ever meeting against Bakersfield.

The team started off hitting well in the first two sets conjuring up a .370 hit percentage in the first set and .517 hit percentage in the second set which gave them a two game lead. BG struggled in the next two set giving them to Bakersfield, but BG was able to hold on to win the last set, giving them their first victory of the year.

For BG the CSU victory was a big confidence booster, as the team could not afford a fourth consecutive loss.

“It is huge for any team especially when you have a team full of freshmen and sophomores,” said head coach Danijela Tomic. “The fashion that we won the two matches winning them in five … its huge for the confidence, it shows that our young team has what it takes.”

In the game senior Kelsey Bates had a career high 14 kills and 10 blocks, along with multiple freshman showing offensive prowess in Nicole Slimko who finished with 15 kills and Paige O’Connor who finished with 14 kills. In addition redshirt freshman Desi Klaer had eight blocks, while sophomore Madeline Garda finished with 21 digs.

BG then moved on to face IPFW on Saturday, losing that game in three straight sets 19-25, 18-25, 18-25.

BG then transitioned on to the last game of the weekend facing off against host team Wright State were they won 25-18, 25-18, 21-25, 21-25, 15-9.

Slimko had a total of 31 kills of the day, while Bates added 13 kills and five blocks. Sophomore Alyssa Maloney had 12 kills and four blocks.

BG got a team hit percentage of .250 in the sets they won against Wright State and only .165 percent in the ones they lost.

Freshman Michaela Gabanic had six kills and a with a .500 hit percentage while Klaer added three kills and two blocks. Freshman Clara Martinez Rubio had two kills, three assists and a block. Classmate Katie Scholten got nine digs and got one ace and O’Connor finished with two kills, two digs and a block.

BG scored half of the first seven points to start the fourth continuing that momentum throughout the rest of the game leading 14-11 midway through the fourth set and then going a scoring tangent leaving Wright State behind winning the set.

BG then entered the fifth set neck and neck at 5-4 but they pulled away scoring five points which put them up 10-5 keeping Wright State under their thumb the rest of the way winning the final set and the match.

Despite that loss, BG finished the weekend with a much more positive outcome and more contributions as the team advanced to 2-4 in the season, something Tomic likes to see.

“Everybody is stepping up,” Tomic said. “I think we are final realizing that we need everybody to do their part of the job we cannot rely on one player so you need everybody to do their part instead of waiting for someone else … everybody has to do it and I think they are finally getting that concept together.”

Even with the two wins, BG looks to improve and build upon what they did this weekend at the Wright State Invitational and last week at the Hampton Inn Invitational to help them later down the road.

“Our serve receive in the two matches that we won was better it was right on target,” Tomic said. “Last night we pasted our goal which was .230 … We are just learning and being smarter when it comes to what we need to do and recognizing situations and when are hitters can be aggressive and when they can be more conservative … so now we just have to be more consistent.”

BG will continue their road trip as they will head to the Creighton Invitational this upcoming weekend in Omaha, Nebraska. BG will face off against Wichita State at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, followed by Creighton at 1 p.m. on Saturday and Pepperdine at 6:30 p.m.