BOWLING GREEN – The Bowling Green State University volleyball team was picked to finish third in the Mid-American Conference East Division, as voted on by the league's 12 head coaches. The Falcons have five starters and 12 players back from last year's team, which also finished third in the East.
"It's good to see that we moved up two spots from last year's preseason poll," BGSU first-year head coach Danijela Tomic said. "However, we know that what really matters is where we finish. Our focus continues to be on the process and in getting better individually and as a team every day. If we successfully do that, we will be where we want to be at the end of the season."
Defending East Division champion Ohio was picked to finish first and earned 11 first-place votes. Miami earned the only other first place vote and was picked second. Buffalo, Kent State, and Akron rounded out the bottom of the East Division.
In the West, Western Michigan picked up 10 first-place votes to earn status as the favorite. Ball State and Central Michigan split the other two first place votes and were picked second and third, respectively. Defending MAC regular season champion Northern Illinois was selected fourth, followed by Eastern Michigan and Toledo. Western Michigan was selected as the most likely candidate for the regular season and tournament championship.
Tomic will guide the Falcons in her first season in Bowling Green after spending six years at Florida International. The three-time Sun Belt Conference Coach of the Year posted an impressive 158-61 career record with the Panthers. The Falcons return 11 juniors and seniors, led by right side hitter Danielle Tonyan, who was named first team All-MAC as a sophomore a year ago.
The Falcons open the season Friday and Saturday at the Marquette Challenge. Bowling Green will face Marquette Friday night at 7 pm (CST) and will face Northwestern Saturday at 4 pm (CST). BGSU will not be at home until hosting East Division favorite Ohio in each team's MAC opener Sept. 21 at 7 pm. Season tickets and single-game tickets are on sale now by visiting the BGSU Athletics Ticket Office or calling 877-BGSU TICKET.
MAC Preseason Poll
East Division Preseason Poll
1. Ohio (11)
2. Miami (1)
3. Bowling Green
5. Kent State
West Division Preseason Poll
1. Western Michigan (10)
2. Ball State (1)
3. Central Michigan (1)
4. Northern Illinois
5. Eastern Michigan
Regular Season Champion - Western Michigan
Tournament Champion - Western Michigan