Falcons defeat ranked Tennessee in four sets

The Bowling Green State University volleyball team (1-2) topped Tennessee in four sets on Saturday to tally the Falcons’ first win of the 2022 season.

The Falcons and Volunteers, who entered the weekend receiving votes in the national rankings, needed extra points to settle the first set before BGSU took the second set to go up 2-0.

A close and hard fought third set went to the Volunteers after more extra points were needed, but the Falcons closed the door in the fourth set for the 3-1 victory, 26-24, 25-16, 26-28, 25-22.

“We are so proud of our team’s performance today and the BG Warrior mindset that was on display today,” BGSU coach Danijela Tomic said.

“We showed how relentless and tough we are when we play in the present moment, one point at a time,” she said. “We showed that we learned from yesterday’s setbacks and are a hard team to beat when we play together, and with joy and enthusiasm.”

On the attack, the Falcons were led by Katelyn Meyer and Petra Indrova who landed 17 and 16 kills, respectively. Kat Mandly had 12 kills.

As a team, BGSU swatted down a total of 12 blocks. Indrova and Jaden Walz chipped in double-doubles in the effort as well. Tomic said the Falcons’ serving played a major role.

“Our aggressive serving helped us play better defense, and the improvement was especially visible in blocking,” Tomic said. “Our setters did a great job running offense after our defense and serve receive created opportunities for us. I loved our attack mentality which combined with efficiency gave us the outcome we wanted.”

The fourth set began with two-point runs. The Falcons tallied the first two, followed by two from the Lady Vols before five points for BGSU put the Falcons up 7-2.

The Falcons were able to hold the lead before adding on a 4-0 run that included another pair of back-to-back aces from Walz. Tennessee answered with a timeout, seeing the score at 14-8.

Tennessee started to work their way back, but a 3-0 run pushed the score back to 18-11 in favor of BGSU.

A 4-0 run for the Lady Volunteers drew the score close at 21-17 with the Falcons calling timeout

The Falcons pulled out to a 24-18 lead, but four straight points for Tennessee closed the lead to 24-22 and forced another BGSU timeout. The timeout proved useful as a service error on the next point gave the Falcons the victory.

Walz tallied a team-high 29 assists along with 10 digs for one of two BGSU double-doubles in the match. The double-double marks the third of Walz’s career, having one each season as a Falcon thus far.

Walz was also able to land a team-high four aces for the Falcons. Walz not only broke her single-match-high with the four aces but matched her career-high for aces in a season, having four in all of 2021.

Indrova logged a double-double for BGSU as well, landing 16 kills in addition to 10 digs. Indrova had 14 double-doubles during the 2021 campaign for BGSU.

Freshman Lauryn Hovey was dominant at the net for Bowling Green, tallying six block assists for the Falcons.

Alexis Mettille tallied one solo block and five block assists for the Falcons as well, setting a new single-match career-high. Mettille also had four kills on seven attack attempts for a hitting percentage of .571.

The Falcons will return to the Stroh Center for their next set of matches, hosting the Falcon Invitational presented by Hampton Inn Thursday-Saturday, facing Northern Kentucky, Western Kentucky and DePaul over the three days.