The Eagles are moving on in the Mid-American Conference volleyball tournament.
The No. 5-seeded Eastern Michigan University team swept No. 12 Bowling Green State University 3-0 (25-20, 25-15, 28-26) in the first round Tuesday at the Convocation Center. The Eagles advance to the quarterfinal round.
EMU moves on to a MAC tournament quarterfinal match at 11 a.m, Friday at the SeaGate Centre in Toledo. The Eagles will face off with the No. 4 Northern Illinois Huskies.
“It’s the big picture that we’ve been looking at all year long,” sophomore outside hitter Rachel Iaquaniello said. “This season is not over.”
For freshman outside hitter Erin Short it is “a fantasy that needs to come true.”
The third set was the closest between the teams, exchanging the lead 15 times and finding themselves tied four times. Bowling Green took a 3-1 lead, but the Eagles responded and an Iaquaniello kill tied the score at five.
The lead continued to be tossed back and forth, leading to a 25-25 tie. EMU gained a 26-25 lead, but the Falcons responded with a kill from Paige Penrod. Another kill from Iaquaniello and an attack error by BGSU closed the game out.
Freshman outside hitter Paige Roback was the only Eagle to turn in a double-double with 13 kills and 15 digs. The Ealges were led in kills by Iaquaniello (14).Junior setter Ashley Mason also pitched in with 40 assists to help the Eagles pull away from the Falcons. Roback led EMU defensively, while junior libero Haley Stein followed behind her with nine digs. Iaquaniello added eight digs.
Eastern came out strong in the first set, taking a 3-0 lead after kills by Iaquaniello and middle blocker Kristen Baker.
The Falcons responded with a kill from Penrod, but the Eagles put up another three unanswered points to expand their lead to 6-1. BGSU managed to pull within four points of EMU. However, the Eagles held onto their lead until a kill by Iaquaniello closed out the set and they pulled away with a 25-20 victory.
The Eagles dominated the second set and soared to an early 13-3 lead after four consecutive points from serves made by Mason. Bowling Green was not able to bounce back from the 10-point deficit as Eastern took a 25-20 win on the set.
The Falcons were led offensively by Penrod with 18 kills. Lindsey Butterfield followed behind her, turning in 11 kills. Leading Bowling Green’s defensive efforts was Ashley Dunn with 12 digs and Ashley Herzberg added eight digs for the Falcons.