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Volleyball team looks to finish strong before Conference play

The BG volleyball team will look to close out the non-conference schedule on a good note as they head to Rochester, Michigan to compete in the Oakland Invitational this Friday and Saturday.

The team is looking to make up for last weekend when they went to the Creighton invitational where they finished 0-3 losing to Wichita State, Creighton and Pepperdine.

BG will be heading into this tournament 2-7 overall of the season, and while their record may look bad, the Falcons have been in similar situations in the past, as in the past two years each team has started off with a similar record. But when they enter conference play the team seems to turn up the intensity, for example in 2012 when they went 13-3 in conference and 10-6 in 2013.

This is something head Coach Danijela Tomic would like to see after gaining some much needed experience playing in these non-conference tournaments.

“I feel good about what this preseason has done for us,” Tomic said. “When you have a young team it is about gaining that experience and we have been pushed to the limit. I do think after four weeks of preseason we will be as ready as we could be.”

The Falcons have struggled mightily this season but have learned a lot early on about themselves and the direction of the team heading into the midway point of the season.

“I would say that we play really well as a team but our consistency is what is lacking right now,” said senior Kelsey Bates. “That is what we need to work on we need to come out confident each and every game … we just need to pull it together and become more consistent with our play.”

The Falcons this year have had four out of nine matches that have gone to five sets along with the longest set for BG against Wichita State where they lost 25-22, 25-23, 28-30, 33-35, 16-14. This is the longest set for BG since 2008 when NCAA Division I scoring changed to 25-point sets.

Even with the loss, the Falcons got some much needed knowledge about how to play when the game is coming down to the wire.

“I do think that to develop that resiliency, to develop that mentality of never giving up, you have to be pushed to the edge— there is no other way to learn,” Tomic said. “But sometimes I think you learn more valuable lessons from a tough loss than an easy win and I think we will get some payback for all the struggles that we have gone through.”

The Falcons need not only to be more consistent but keep their morale up as they look to end their losing streak.

“I think if we keep a positive attitude and just know that communicating is what we do best and how we play the best, I think that is what is going to help us succeed in this tournament.” Bates said.

The Falcons will be facing off against host team Oakland in their first match in the Athletics Center O’rena on Friday at 5 p.m followed by UC Irvine at 10 a.m Saturday morning and finishing out the weekend playing Robert Morris at 5pm that evening.

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