MUNCIE, Ind. — The Bowling Green State University volleyball team pulled into a first-place tie with Ball State, as they defeated the Cardinals on the road in four sets Friday night. The win by the Falcons was BSU's first loss at home in 2013. The Orange and Brown are over .500 for the first time this season, as they improved to 11-10 and 7-2 in the MAC with the win. The Falcons will travel to arch-rival Toledo tomorrow, as they look to keep pace atop the Mid-American Conference standings.
Jelena Sunjic finished the night with 18 kills, one off her career-high of 19. She hit .382 in the match to pace the Falcon offense. Paige Penrod posted a double-double, with 15 kills and 14 digs. Laura Avila, playing in her home state, posted 38 assists on the night.
Defensively the Falcons stymied the Ball State attack all night, as the Orange and Brown posted 15.5 blocks in the match. Kaitlyn Skinner, the MAC's leader in blocks per set, posted eight block assists to lead the way. Ashley Dunn and Libby Dachenhaus led the Falcons with 16 digs apiece.
In the first set, the Falcons trailed 17-12, but seven straight BG points forced Ball State into a timeout with the Falcons leading 19-17. The Falcons found themselves on top 23-20, but two straight by the Cardinals would force the Falcons' Danijela Tomic into using her second timeout of the set. Bowling Green would hold off the Cardinals, winning the first set 25-23.
Ball State jumped out to a fast start in the second set, leading 10-5 early on. But, the Falcons would once again find their groove, going on an 11-4 run to take a 16-14 lead over BSU. The Falcons wouldn't trail the rest of the way, as the second set played out to an identical finish as the first. BGSU would take a timeout leading 23-22 in the set, and would go on to post a 25-23 win.
Ball State dominated the third set out of halftime, as the Cardinals handled Bowling Green, 25-14.
Leading 2-1, the Falcons would come out strong in the fourth set, jumping out to an 8-1 lead. The Falcons also led 10-2 and 17-7 in the set, and would hold on for the 25-19 win to knock off Ball State.
The Falcons will travel up I-75 to take on University of Toledo tomorrow night. First serve is at 5:00 p.m. at Savage Hall. Bowling Green Radio Sports Organization will have the live call, and links to follow can be found on the volleyball page at BGSUFalcons.com