After getting their season pushed back to the fall, BGSU volleyball will start on Friday.
BGSU head coach Danijela Tomic, heading into her ninth year at the helm of the Falcons, is grateful that there will be a season to be played.
“It’s such an unbelievable accomplishment, I feel. We’re lucky to be in this position to play and to have a season,” Tomic said.
The team, especially senior Katie Kidwell, is eager to return to the court.
“We’re all ready to go and ready to fight for our wins,” Kidwell said.
This season, the team will only play conference opponents. They will play each team in consecutive days. For example, BGSU will play their first two games on Friday and Saturday. Then, they will play their next opponent on Jan. 28 and 29.
Tomic was involved in a work group that helped decide on the scheduling system for this season.
Some conferences have played out a similar schedule in the fall. Tomic did take notice to one major effect of the schedule.
“What we’ve seen in the fall in the conferences that played this system, it was very hard to beat the same team twice in a row,” Tomic said.
From Tomic’s point of view, this trend will stress mental preparation more than physical preparation during game days.
“That match is over. It’s in the past. Tomorrow is a new game and we have to approach it like what happened yesterday has no correlation with what is going to happen today. We have to be very disciplined with our mental preparation,” Tomic said.
The Falcons will look to return to the top of the MAC. They claimed a share of the regular season title in back-to-back seasons in 2017-18.
BGSU has not reached the NCAA tournament since 2012, Tomic’s first year as head coach.
Last season, BGSU finished the season 20-13 with a conference record of 11-5. The Falcons entered the MAC conference tournament as the third seed. They eventually made it to the championship game where they lost to fourth seeded Ball State.
While they missed the NCAA Tournament, the Falcons were able to win a postseason game as they were invited to the NIVC tournament where they defeated Purdue Fort Wayne.
The team will try to keep that momentum going heading into this season.
“I think this year everyone is ready to come back and push it even harder, we have it in us. The dimension in our team is so good. Everyone has their own role and they execute it very well. This year, we are excited about putting that into action,” Kidwell said.
Tomic expects this team to improve on their MAC championship appearance. The Falcons are poised to be an elite team in the MAC.
“I believe this team has the most depth out of any team I have coached since I have been at BGSU. I think we are the most talented. This is the most talented freshmen class that we have recruited. There are so many positives and our athletes are hungry,” Tomic said.
The praise does not end there. Tomic believes this team can take any challenge COVID presents them this season head on.
“I think it’s a special season. It’s a special year in so many ways. We do have a special team and if any team could go through this, I think it’s this team,” Tomic said.
The Falcons will start their journey towards a MAC championship with home games against Northern Illinois this coming Friday and Saturday. The Friday match is set to start at 6 p.m. while the Saturday match is set to start at 5 p.m. All BGSU volleyball matches this season will be televised on ESPN3 as well.