Bowling Green volleyball dropped their first game of the season Tuesday night, losing in five to their rival Toledo at home. The win streak stops at 18 as the Falcons fall to 18-1 on the season.
The Falcons could not close the door on the Rockets after leading 2-1 in the match. They struggled to get any momentum in the last two sets.
“Toledo out played us in every aspect of the game. From kills to hitting percentage, digs, blocks, everything. They were better today,” BGSU head coach Danijela Tomic said.
Toledo had the better offense in the game. They had 70 kills compared to the 58 by BGSU.
Toledo freshman Taylor Alt led all players with 28 kills. Alt also led in kills in the previous match between these teams.
The Rockets also had an edge in blocks. They recorded 15 total blocks as the Falcons had nine.
Junior Katelyn Meyer and senior Jacqueline Askin both led the team in kills with 18.
Sophomore Petra Indrova recorded a double-double in the game. She had 14 kills and 13 digs.
The first set started off close. Toledo struck first in the set. Heading into the media timeout, the Rockets were on a 5-1 run to lead by five.
BGSU could not get the ball to bounce their way. They were leading the attacking errors category. The Falcons could not keep the ball inbounds on their block attempts.
The Rockets offense had success in the set. Toledo recorded 18 kills on 30% hitting. The Falcons could not slow down the Rockets.
BGSU would have an inefficient set. They had 10 kills and seven attacking errors. They could not catch up to the Rockets.
Toledo won 25-19 to claim an early match lead.
The Rockets looked like they picked up from where they left off. Toledo took an early lead to start off the set.
This time, the Falcons found a rhythm and took command of the set. BGSU went on a 6-0 run to take a 9-6 lead. During that run, Meyer had three kills.
Meyer ended the set with five kills. She tied Indrova for the team lead in the set. As a team, BGSU had 17 kills.
After a Rockets’ timeout down 13-19, Toledo started to show some life. They got back into the set. BGSU would call a timeout up 23-20 to curb the Rockets’ momentum.
The Falcons would close the set out after the timeout, 25-20. Each team entered the third set looking for a crucial 2-1 match lead.
It would take awhile before a team could separate themselves in the third set.
Leading into the media timeout, BGSU was on a 4-0 run to take the 15-13 lead.
The run would turn into a 7-1 run as Toledo took a timeout. The Falcons held strong and Toledo took another timeout, down 17-21.
After that timeout, three kills by sophomore Oliva Vance got the Rockets within one of the Falcons.
BGSU was able to string together some points to hold off the Rockets.
Ultimately, the service errors got to the Rockets. Toledo had five service errors in the set.
Both teams did not have a great offense. BGSU hit for 19.2% with 10 kills. Toledo hit for 15% with 16 kills.
BGSU won the set 25-22 and had the match lead heading into the fourth set.
The Falcons struggled with the sideout game to begin the set. They had two serving errors and gave up three service aces.
Despite their strugglings, they were only down 5-8 when Tomic called a timeout.
Toledo would continue to hold a steady lead on BGSU. The Rockets would not give up their lead after the timeout.
The Falcons hit for 21.4% while the Rockets hit for 28.2%. With the offense a step behind, BGSU could not find a way to take full control of the set.
Along with the serving advantage, Toledo had three total blocks. The Falcons could not get a block.
The Rockets forced a fifth set with a 25-18 win.
Tomic would change her libero for the fifth set. She brought in junior Julia Walz for the set. Walz was the team’s starting libero at the start of the season.
The fifth set started off a little rough for BGSU. Toledo would find more success on the serve with two early service aces.
The Falcons would respond with a 5-1 run to take a 7-5 lead.
After a Toledo timeout, the Rockets were able to stop the BGSU run. Eventually, Toledo took a 10-9 lead. The Falcons would take a timeout.
The net defense could not contain Toledo. As a team, the Rockets had 10 kills in the set. They also hit for 27.3%.
The Falcons could not get anything going on in the last half of the set. They hit for 18.2% with seven kills.
“They just fought harder than us. Instead of using what they were doing to our advantage and fighting back, there were some moments where we were stepping back like, ‘I don’t know what to do’,” Askin said.
The Rockets would finish off the set 15-11 and win the match.
BGSU will look to rebound before the MAC tournament with a weekend series at Buffalo.
“I am confident our team will learn from this. This is like a reset going into the last two matches and preparing for the MAC tournament,” Tomic said.
The first game will be on Friday at 6 p.m. EST. Both games will be streamed on ESPN +.