BOLWING GREEN - The Bowling Green State University volleyball team had its nine-match winning streak snapped and lost for the first time in conference play, as Ball State pulled out a 25-19, 23-25, 25-18, 25-23 victory Friday night in the Stroh Center.
With the loss, BGSU falls into a tie with Ohio atop the MAC standings at 8-1. It was also the Falcons' first loss at home this year.
Bowling Green outslugged the Cardinals, posting 60 kills, 10 more than Ball State. But the Cardinals kept the Falcons from hitting for a high percentage by coming up with 21 blocks on the night. The Falcons hit just .172 because of 31 attack errors, 14 more than Ball State.
The Falcons jumped out quickly in the first set, building an early 7-3 lead. But Ball State battled back to tie the score at 10-10 and took over with a four-point spurt midway through the frame to get the 25-19 win.
The second set was similar to the first with Bowling Green scoring the first four points of the set. Ball State, though, battled back again and eventually took a brief 23-22 lead. Lindsey Butterfield, though, had a kill, which was followed by a Cardinals' attack error. Ashley Dunn closed out the frame with a service ace to tie the match up.
After the break, Ball State came out strong in the third set, taking an 11-4 lead and rolling to the 25-18 victory. The fourth set, however, came down to the wire.
Bowling Green led by as many as four points in the early-going but Ball State tied the score at 17-17. With the score still tied at 20-20, the Cardinals got back-to-back kills and held on for a 24-22 lead. A Butterfield kill got the Falcons back within one, but Ball State closed out the match with Lauren Grant's attack attempt was blocked but fell just out of bounds.
Danielle Tonyan had a match-high 18 kills, while Butterfield followed with 16 and Penrod had 14. Tonyan now has 986 career kills and should soon join Penrod as the second Falcon this year to reach 1,000 career kills. Laura Avila handed out 48 assists and added 13 digs, while Penrod had a career-high 27 digs. Dunn finished with 19 digs as the Falcons held a 79-72 edge in that category.