Tied for MAC East lead, BG travels to Miami, NIU

Laura+Avila+sets+up+a+spike+for+Senior+Leah+Shaw+against+Akron.

Laura Avila sets up a spike for Senior Leah Shaw against Akron.

Reporter and Reporter

The Falcon volleyball team, now tied for the MAC lead, must continue to build off their recent performances.

BG has won three of its last four matches, and with Ohio losing this past weekend to Central Michigan, they are now poised to win a share of the MAC crown.

“The matches we won this past weekend were definitely wins we needed to get us back on track. I feel that our confidence is continuing to rise and this coming weekend is even bigger for us to stay focused and come out with two more wins,” said outside hitter Paige Penrod.

BG’s path to a MAC Championship will continue on the road this weekend, as they will visit Miami on Thursday and Northern Illinois on Saturday. The Falcons beat the Redhawks in a three-set sweep earlier this year; in the match BG as a team had a .348 hitting percentage.

The Falcons, however, should be more worried about their second opponent, Northern Illinois, who they have yet to face. The Huskies come into the match at 18-12 overall and rank second in the MAC West, with a 9-5 conference record.

Northern Illinois is a squad that should not be taken lightly, as they are a serious threat in the MAC. The Huskies come in riding a three-game high where they have done a good job at shutting down opponents.

As a team, the Huskies are currently third in the MAC in opponents attack percentage, allowing opponents to hit at a .187 average.

Another factor which might help Northern Illinois could be that this is a must-win game for them. Right now they hold the fourth position in the tournament, but need to win in order to guarantee themselves a spot.

The Falcons also need to win, but for another reason. If the season ended today, BG would hold the top spot and would match up against the eight seed, Ball State. That is why it is imperative for the Falcons to stay focused.

“We are just taking one day at a time and preparing for our upcoming matches,” Penrod said. “We can only control what we do, and not focusing on outside factors will benefit us the most.”