Falcons sweep Golden Flashes in seven sets

KENT, Ohio – The Bowling Green State University volleyball team needed just seven sets to defeat Kent State twice in both teams’ Mid-American Conference openers Friday and Saturday.

On Friday, the Falcons downed the Golden Flashes 25-8, 25-21, 24-26, 28-26. On Saturday, it was a clean sweep for BGSU, taking the match in straight sets, 26-24, 25-15, 25-21.

The wins mark six straight for the Falcons against the Golden Flashes and eight straight on the road in Kent.

The wins push the Falcons to 7-6 on the season while being 2-0 within the Mid-American Conference. Kent State is 9-4 and 0-2.

“We are proud of our team for earning our first MAC win of the season, but more importantly for how we did it,” BGSU coach Danijela Tomic said. “This was a gritty win against a tough KSU team. I thought both teams played relentless defense that created many long rallies which forced us to be disciplined and patient.”

On Friday, the Falcons began with an electric first set, holding the Golden Flashes to just eight points while hitting over .400 as a team.

The eight points allowed in the first set by the Falcons were the fewest points allowed in a 25-point set for the team thus far. The previous low this season was 14 against both Northern Kentucky and American.

The Falcons claimed the second set before Kent State forced a fourth set on extra points in the third.

“The first two sets showed at what high level we can play and how efficient our offense can be,” Tomic said. “We showed toughness, resilience, and composure when it mattered the most, and that’s what championship-level teams do.”

The fourth set went to extra points as well, but the Falcons closed out the set, and the match, with a 4-1 run to claim the victory.

On the court, double-doubles by 6-foot senior outside hitter Petra Indrova (16 kills, 13 digs), 6-0 freshman outside hitter Lauryn Hovey (11 kills, 21 assists) and 5-7 junior setter Jaden Walz (25 assists, 10 digs) paved the way.

Hovey’s tally for assists also sets a new career-high, surpassing her 15 against Mississippi State last week. Hovey also registered a new career-high for attack attempts in a match with 33.

Indrova also had her most efficient match of the season, hitting .341 for the match.

BGSU 5-7 senior defensive specialist Yeliantz Torres was atop the digs stat column with 23 while landing a team-high three aces.

The first win over Kent State had another special meaning for the Falcons.

“We are dedicating tonight’s win to legendary Kerm Stroh, who means so much to BGSU, BGSU Athletics and our program. He left a lasting legacy, and we will miss him deeply,” Tomic said.

In 2008, Stroh and his family announced an $8 million gift to the university to support the construction of the convocation center, now known as the Stroh Center, as well as funds for intercollegiate athletics. Stroh passed away Thursday.

Saturday sweep

On Saturday, the Falcons began strong with a 6-0 run and closed out the first set with a 5-0 run. The momentum carried through a dominant second set, winning 25-15, before claiming the third set and the win.

Hovey led the way for the Falcons with another double-double, logging 15 kills and 16 assists to go with six digs, three aces and three block assists.

In addition, Walz had 22 assists and three aces, Torres had 13 digs, and 6-1 junior middle blocker Alexis Mettille had three blocks.

Next up for the Falcons will be the first MAC matches of the season at the Stroh Center. First serve is Friday at 6 p.m.; the weekend series concludes on Saturday with a 4 p.m. start.

“We are excited and look forward to playing at home again next week after three weeks on the road,” Tomic said. “We need our Falcon fans to show up in big numbers and help us create the best atmosphere and home-court advantage in the MAC.”

Friday will be Dollar Night, featuring dollar tickets and concessions, while Saturday will be Title IX Night.