WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Paige Penrod and Danielle Tonyan combined for 41 kills as the Bowling Green State University volleyball team improved to 2-0 at the Purdue Active Ankle Challenge with a 25-27, 25-10, 25-18, 26-24 win over Jacksonville State Saturday evening.
"We are very happy that we have won two matches in a row for the first time this season," BGSU Head Coach Danijela Tomic said. "However, we are not happy with our inconsistent play throughout this match. We have to learn how to close sets and matches. We made the same mental mistakes we did in our earlier match today. We are playing hard, but we also have to learn how to play smart. I believe our team will learn these valuable lessons as we continue to mature and develop."
Penrod had 21 kills and Tonyan added 20 as the Falcons overcame a slow start to cruise to victory. It marks the third time in the three-year careers of Penrod and Tonyan that each had at least 20 kills in a match.
Laura Avila continued her stellar play in the setter role. She averaged more than 12 assists per set for the third consecutive match, posting 50 in the contest. With 174 over the past three matches, she is just 29 away from becoming the 10th player in BGSU program history with 2,000 for her career.
As a team, Bowling Green outdug an opponent for the fifth straight match, holding a 60-55 lead, behind 15 from Avila and 10 from Ashley Dunn. The Falcons also had five aces and hit a season-high .297, moving to 4-0 when hitting .237 or better.
The Falcons got off to another slow start Saturday evening, something that has become a problem in the early stages of the season. Jacksonville State took advantage and battled back from a 24-21 deficit in the opening frame to close with a 6-1 run for the win, capped by a service ace on set point.
Bowling Green, though, did get things going in the second set and steamrolled the Gamecocks. Holding a 10-9 lead, the Falcons scored 13 consecutive points from Avila's service game to roll to the 25-10 win.
BGSU continued to play well in the third set, jumping out to a quick 8-3 lead and pushing that advantage to as many as nine points at 19-10.
In the fourth set, Jacksonville State overcame an early deficit to take the lead late. But with the Gamecocks clinging to a 24-23 lead, Penrod scored kills on three consecutive points to close out the match 26-24.
Besides Penrod's and Tonyan's big night, the Falcons got solid attacking performances from others as well. Leah Shaw and Lindsey Butterfield each had nine kills and Kari Galen added seven. Tonyan posted three blocks and Avila had a team-best two aces.
Jacksonville State falls to 6-7 with the loss and Bowling Green improves to 4-6. The Falcons will face No. 14 Purdue for the tournament championship Saturday night at 7 p.m.