University Park, Pa. – The Bowling Green State University volleyball team saw its 2012 season come to a close Saturday night in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, losing to Penn State 25-15, 25-12, 25-15.
The Falcons finished the season with a record of 22-11 overall, placing second in the Mid-American Conference with a mark of 13-3. The team won the MAC Tournament in five sets and then posted its first NCAA Tournament victory in program history with a five-set defeat of Yale Friday night in the first round. But Saturday, Bowling Green ran into the No. 1 team in the country on its home floor and Penn State proved why it is the favorite to win the National Championship.
Danielle Tonyan had 11 kills but Penn State took away the Falcons’ offense, holding the team to 18 kills and a .000 attack percentage. The Nittany Lions, on the other hand, hit .329 and served 10 aces, keeping Bowling Green from getting its passing game going.
Bowling Green did have some extended portions of the match in which it stood toe-to-toe with Penn State. After falling behind 13-6 in the first set, the Falcons went on a 5-1 run and hung close, trailing by just three at 17-14. The Nittany Lions, though, closed on an 8-1 run to win the first set.
In the third set, Bowling Green jumped out to a 2-0 lead on a service error and an Ashley Dunn ace. The Falcons then tied the score at 10-10 behind a Kari Galen kill and a Penn State ball-handling error. Penn State followed that up by scoring nine of the next 10 points to build a big enough cushion to cruise to victory.
Along with Tonyan’s 11 kills, Paige Penrod had fivekills and six digs. Laura Avila had 13 assists and a team-best eight digs. Kaitlyn Skinner led defensively at the net with three blocks.
Penn State improves to 31-2 and moves on to the NCAA Tournament Third Round. The Falcons’ season comes to an end, concluding the careers of four seniors – Kari Galen, Leah Shaw, Cassie Berning and Lauren Mizgalski.