BUFFALO - The Bowling Green State University volleyball team set a number of school records and posted 23.0 blocks as the Falcons improved to 4-0 in Mid-American Conference play with a 25-21, 25-13, 23-25, 25-22 victory over Buffalo Saturday night.
Bowling Green's 23.0 total blocks broke the school record of 21.0 in a four-set match, set against Virginia Tech in 1992. The total was just one shy of the overall school record of 24.0 set in a five-set match against Cincinnati in 1990.
As well, the Falcons had 40 block assists, shattering the school record of 36 set against Kansas in 1993. Leah Shaw, the defending MAC Defensive Player of the Week, led the way with 12 blocks. In fact, her 11 block assists tied the school record for most block assists in a four-set match. Shaw set a career-high with seven blocks a week ago and then upped that total Saturday night. She is averaging a remarkable 2.20 blocks per set over the past three matches and the 12 blocks are the most since Kendra Halm had 14 in 2008.
The win was the fourth in a row for the Falcons but the team actually dropped a set for the first time in conference play after winning the first two. BGSU, though, bounced back to close out the match in the fourth.
Bowling Green held Buffalo to an .044 attack percentage and outdug the Bulls 69-65. Three Falcons had at least 10 kills and Ashley Dunn posted a career-best 27 digs, just three shy of Chrissy Gothke's four-set school record of 30 set in 2003.
"Tonight was another great road win for us because it was a tough environment to play in and Buffalo played well and never gave up," BGSU Head Coach Danijela Tomic said. "This match was a reversal of last night's match because our defense was extremely good and our offense struggled. However, it is a sign of a mature team when we are not doing well in one aspect of the game that we can make up for it by doing well in another."
The Falcons battled back from a 4-0 deficit in the opening set to tie the score at 8-8. With the score still tied at 11-11, Bowling Green used a 7-1 run to take control. Buffalo chipped away at the lead and got within two at 22-20 but back-to-back attack errors helped the Falcons pull out a 25-21 win.
The second set was tied 9-9 but Bowling Green closed on a 16-4 run to win easily. The Falcons finally lost a set for the first time in two weeks as Buffalo closed the third by scoring five of the final seven points to earn the victory and push the match to a fourth frame.
Buffalo jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth, but the Falcons steadied themselves and scored five straight midway through the stanza to build a 17-14 lead. The Bulls answered with three straight points but Bowling Green never trailed again and got a Danielle Tonyan kill to close out the 25-22 win.
With the loss, Buffalo falls to 7-9 overall and 1-3 in MAC play. Bowling Green improves to 8-7 overall and remains the only undefeated team in the MAC at 4-0. The Falcons will be home to face 0-4 Miami Thursday night at 7 p.m. before hosting 3-1 Western Michigan Saturday at 7 p.m.