Bowling Green State University volleyball picked up their sixth straight win at the Stroh Center, sweeping Miami in three sets on Wednesday.
The Falcons jumped out to a strong lead in the first set to win 25-15 and followed up with a 7-0 start in the second set to win 25-18, propelling BGSU to a quick 2-0 match lead.
The RedHawks took a lead in the third set, but the Falcons were able to battle back and force extra points before ultimately winning the set 29-27 to secure the 3-0 match win.
It was not until after BGSU called a timeout that the Falcons were able to regroup and finish off the final set, fending off two set points favoring the RedHawks.
“Before this game we talked about living in the moment, being in the present. When coach called the timeout, she reminded us to be in the present,” said BGSU 6-foot freshman Lauryn Hovey.“We might go to a fourth set, but let’s do so playing our game. Then we came out in the court just in the moment and wanting to show that we are good enough to come back and play our game.”
BGSU coach Danijela Tomic added, “I thought we stepped up defensively. To start a little bit slow in the first set and then the third set there was a place where we saved two set points and were in a hole.
“I am very proud of the composure that we had and we talked about being here and now, focusing on one point (at a time) and it was a great opportunity to practice that,” Tomic said. “We got it to 22-19, and then 24-22, and then going point for point it was great to see the resiliency that our team has.”
Hovey led the Falcons with another double-double, her sixth of the season, with 21 assists and 13 kills. Hovey was just three digs shy of registering her second triple-double of the season, ending with seven.
Hovey, who is listed as an outside hitter, has switched over to the setter position when called upon.
“At first it was really scary,” Hovey said. “I was super nervous and I didn’t know if I would be able to contribute to the team as a setter, but I like the challenge and I’m grateful that it’s pushed me to work on mulitple different aspects of my game.”
Katelyn Meyer (Eastwood), a 5-10 senior outside hitter was atop the stat sheet for BGSU in kills with 13 while contributing a .385 hitting percentage to a season-best mark of .349 for the team.
“I thought our efficiency all three sets, and the first set was exceptional, we just had one hitting error, and over 30% in the next two sets. Those are things that are part of our championship standards,” Tomic said.
BGSU junior setter Jaden Walz had a team high 23 assists, senior libero Yelianiz Torres led the Falcons with 14 digs, and Walz and senior outside hitter Petra Indrova had two aces apiece.
“A lot of good stuff,” Tomic said. “I thought our serving game was strong. We take pride in being a good serving team.”
Hovey, 6-4 freshman middle blocker Jessica Andrews and 6-1 junior middle blocker Alexis Mettille had three blocks apiece.
Andrews, Mettille and Kat Mandly (Perrysburg) all logged season-bests for attack percentage. Andrews tallied three kills on four attacks for a mark of .750. Mettille also had a mark of .750 with six kills on eight attacks.
Mandly, a 6-0 sophomore, finished with a percentage of .316 with nine kills. Tomic says Mandly, among others, is contributing at a high level.
“We have 16 amazing players,” Tomic said. “Our depth is very good. Everybody on the team works really hard when nobody is watching right here in the Stroh, and it is just us going hard and practicing our skills.
“They compete hard against each other. We see things that all of our players can do. Those who are not playing, we call them gamechangers. They go in and they change the game for us.
“Kat Mandly and (sophomore defensive specialist) Lindsey Lapinta, both of them the last two weeks are doing really well in practice and we wanted to give them this opportunity.
“Kat has more experience playing in the matches, and Lindsey, a sophomore, a little less, but they also have to learn to perform and people are watching.”
The win moves the Falcons to 13-7 on the season while being 8-1 within the Mid-American Conference. Bowling Green has now won three straight matches by a 3-0 score.
The Falcons will return to the road this weekend for a pair of matches in Ypsilanti, Michigan, against Eastern Michigan.
Friday will start the weekend series with a 6 p.m. first serve. The weekend matchup will conclude on Saturday with a 4 p.m. start.