Stories courtesy of MAC Sports Information Departments
Bowling Green 3, Kent State 2
Kent, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University volleyball team clinched a bid to the Mid-American Conference Tournament and remained at the top of the MAC regular season standings by defeating Kent State 25-16, 24-26, 25-22, 20-25, 15-9 Friday night on the road.
With the win, Bowling Green improves to 10-1 in MAC play this year, guaranteeing a top eight finish in the league standings and remaining tied with Ohio for the best record in the conference. Those two teams will square off Saturday evening at 7 p.m. with the winner taking over sole possession of first.
Danielle Tonyan needed three kills to become the second Falcon this season to reach 1,000 for her career and she tied for match-high honors with 18. She joins fellow junior Paige Penrod with that milestone.
The Falcons played their fifth five-set match in the last seven outings, winning all five of those contests and improving to 5-1 on the year in matches that go the distance. Bowling Green got the win by posting 27 more digs than Kent State and having five players with at least 12 digs. Ashley Dunn led the way with 20, followed by Paige Penrod with 18, Danielle Tonyan and Laura Avila with 14 each, and Libby Dachenhaus with 12.
Bowling Green controlled the fifth set, never trailing, behind the strong play of Kaitlyn Skinner. The junior middle got a kill on the first point of the frame and added four blocks, including three on the final four BGSU points. The Falcons pulled away from a slim 7-6 lead by outscoring Kent 8-3 down the stretch.
Skinner’s four blocks in that fifth set gave her a match-high nine and she added six kills. Tonyan had five blocks as well.
With the strong defensive game both digging and blocking, Bowling Green held Kent State to just a .148 attack percentage and dominated the fifth set by holding the Golden Flashes to -.111 in the final stanza.
While the defense was strong, Bowling Green hit just .187 for the match and was unable to close out the match until the fifth set against a team it swept in three sets earlier in the year.
“This was another night where we struggled throughout almost the whole match,” BGSU head coach Danijela Tomic said. “We are very fortunate to get a win against a much-improved Kent State team that played with a lot of heart and determination. Our serve receive was well below our season average and, when that happens, our offense struggles.”
After dropping just one set in the team’s first five conference matches, the Falcons have not had a sweep since and have been pushed to five sets four times to go with a five-setter in a non-conference match with Oakland.
“This match was another warning sign that if all of our players don’t do what they are capable of doing and don’t do what they are supposed to do, we will struggle as a team,” Tomic said. “We need to regroup and refocus if we want to have a chance of beating an excellent Ohio team Saturday night.”
After winning the opening set in easy fashion, BGSU fell behind by as many as five points in the second set before rallying. Trailing 21-16, the Falcons went on a 7-2 run to tie the score, but Kent State got back-to-back kills to even the match up.
Bowling Green answered back in the third after falling behind 10-6. The Falcons went on a 7-1 run, capped off by a Lindsey Butterfield kill to take a 13-11 lead. With the score tied at 20-20, Danielle Tonyan took part in two blocks during a three-point run that gave the Falcons the cushion it needed for the 25-22 win.
Kent State answered back with its best offensive set of the night, hitting .282 in the fourth and holding the Falcons to .111 for the 25-20 win. That set up the fifth and deciding set.
Along with Tonyan’s 18 kills, Butterfield finished with 18 kills as well and hit .385 for the match. Penrod added 12 kills.
With the loss, Kent State falls to 6-17 overall and 3-8 in MAC play. Bowling Green improves to 15-8 overall and 10-1 in conference play. The Falcons will face Ohio, also 15-8 and 10-1, Saturday night at 7 p.m. for sole possession of the MAC lead.
Ohio 3, Miami 1
ATHENS, Ohio - Ohio Volleyball clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament and remained in first place of the league with a 3-1 win over rival Miami this evening, 25-21, 15-25, 25-15, 25-22. The Bobcats have now won seven in a row against the RedHawks and 10 in a row overall.
"Miami defended us well early until our offense turned a corner coming out of the break," Head Coach Ryan Theis said. "Faith was solid all night and we finally got our left-side hitters going in the third and fourth sets. That got the offense really rolling."
Three players scored in double figures with Chelsea Bilger (18 kills), Kelly Lamberti (16 kills) and Faith Robins (13 kills) pacing the 'Cat attack. The senior hit an astounding .429 and also notched six blocks. Ohio was led by Serena Warner's eight blocks as the team collected 14.0, its most in a four-set match during MAC play.
Abby Gilleland had 42 assists for the second-consecutive match and her 19 digs gave her a third double-double on the season. In fact, two of the performances have come against Miami. Meredith Ashy notched 25 digs, her second-highest total in a match this year and Lamberti had 14 digs for a third-straight double-double.
"I was just happy to be an offensive option tonight," Robins added. "We wanted to come out strong and play with a lot of confidence. We did that early, then hit a bump in the second set. Luckily, we were able to turn things around and get a win tonight."
Ohio hosts Bowling Green tomorrow at 7 p.m. with Senior Night festivities scheduled for after the match. The two teams are tied for the top spot in the MAC and BG handed the Bobcats their last loss back on Sept. 21.
Western Michigan 3, Central Michigan 0
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Using a shocking second-set comeback to take a commanding lead, the Western Michigan volleyball team started its weekend with a 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-15) sweep of the Central Michigan Chippewas on Friday. With the win, the Broncos improve to 15-9 overall, 8-3 in the Mid-American Conference.
Lena Oliver led a stout defensive effort for the Broncos, recording 23 digs in just three sets and helping the Broncos to a 53-39 edge in the category. The Broncos held the Chips to just a .106 hitting percentage, winning the battle at the net with 12.0 total team blocks; both Terin Norris and Jessica Brown tied for the match-high with six blocks apiece, and Ali Gossen had five stops.
Brown paced the Broncos offensively with 12 kills on 21 swings for a .476 hitting percentage, and the Broncos hit .279 as a team. Norris notched 37 assists, and Gossen finished second on the team with 10 kills.
The Broncos seized the momentum for good in the second set of the match, stunning the Chippewas with a comeback to take the set. WMU trailed 23-19 in the set, but things started to turn when CMU committed a service error. Oliver would record a service ace on the next point to make it 23-21, Gillian Asque would fire one down line for a kill to cut the lead to one, and Brown notched a kill of her own on the next point to tie the score.
WMU kept at it after a Central Michigan timeout, with Brown and Gossen teaming up for a block to take the 24-23 set lead. CMU tied the score on the next point, but Gossen would launch a kill to again give the Broncos set point. This time, the defense made the one-point lead stand, with Gossen and Brown notching another block to seal the 26-24 set win and give the Broncos a 2-0 match lead.
The second set win did not just give the Broncos an important lead, but also appeared to suck the wind from the sails of the Chippewas. The Broncos leapt out to a quick start in the third set, with Norris recording a solo block to take the 3-2 lead; the Broncos would open the set on an 11-3 run that was capped by Carlee Berland's kill, and CMU would never again pull closer than six points. CMU burned its second timeout after a bad set gave the Broncos a 16-8 lead, and the Broncos reached their 20th point of the set when Gossen recorded a kill on a set from Oliver. Stephenee Yancy scored her eighth and ninth kills of the match to give the Broncos match point, and Gossen would record a solo block of CMU's Val Deweerd to close the set and the match.
The Broncos came out in the first set determined to avenge their loss earlier this year to CMU, and an early 5-2 run would set the tone for the rest of the match. The Broncos took a 3-2 lead on a kill from Gossen, and the lead would reach five points when Brown recorded a kill of her own. Central Michigan would pull close and eventually tie the score at 15 when Lindsey Dulude notched a kill, but Berland broke the stalemate with a kill and the Broncos never trailed again. The Chippewas pulled to within 18-17 late in the set, but the Broncos scored seven straight to close out the set.
Eastern Michigan 3, Northern Illinois 1
DEKALB, Ill. (EMUEagles.com) – The Eastern Michigan University volleyball team took its second-straight match by topping the Northern Illinois University Huskies. After dropping the first set the Eagles were able to take the match in four sets (18-25, 25-23, 27-25, 25-15).
The Green and White moved to 15-12, and 5-6 in the Mid-American Conference. NIU is now 15-12 and 6-5 in MAC tilts.
EMU was led by Rachel Iaquaniello (Plymouth, Mich.-Dearborn Divine Child) who posted 18 kills in the match, while the Paige Roback (Maumee, Ohio-Notre Dame Academy) notched nine kills and Megan Crawshaw (Mattawan, Mich.-Mattawan) picked up eight. Kim Hildreth (Novi, Mich.-Novi) and Alyssa Davis (Kalamazoo, Mich.-Plainwell) split the setting duties with 17 and 27 assists, respectively. Sierra Reed (Parker City, Ind.-Wapahani) posted 14 digs, while Iaquaniello added 15 for a double-double.
After hitting .233 (10-3-30) in the opening set, the Eagles dropped the set, 25-18. Iaquaniello paced the offense with five kills, but the Huskies hit .500 (19-2-34) to take a 1-0 lead.
The Green and White took the second set, 25-23. Iaquaniello notched six kills, posting a .312 attack percentage (6-1-16). Roback posted a .400 hitting percentage (4-0-10) and Davis had nine assists. The Huskies were able to post a .275 hitting percentage (20-6-51) in the frame.
The third set needed extra points, 27-25, with Crawshaw leading the offense, posting a perfect five-for-five in attacks for the first set. Kristen Baker (Mentor, Ohio-Mentor) and Iaquaniello each posted three kills to help EMU to a 2-1 victory.
The Eagles held Northern to a .026 hitting percentage (11-10-39) to earn a fourth set victory, 25-15. Iaquaniello added four more kills, while Erin Short (Orrville, Ohio-Orrville) notched a pair and Baker, Crawshaw and Roback added a kill apiece.
Eastern finishes the road portion of the 2012 schedule Saturday, Oct. 27, when it travels to Kalamazoo, Mich. The Eagles and Western Michigan University square off at 7 p.m.