Leah Shaw and the Bowling Green Falcons are returning to the NCAA Volleyball Tournament for the first time in 21 years.
The Falcons punched their ticket by rallying from a two-set deficit to defeat Northern Illinois 20-25, 24-26, 26-24, 25-20, 15-4 in the Mid-American Conference Tournament finals Sunday afternoon in Geneva, Ohio.
The improbable comeback marked just the second time in MAC Tournament history that a team had come back from two sets down in the championship to win the match. The Falcons also overcame two match points to keep their season alive.
Shaw, a senior from Princeton, played in two sets in the title match, and 112 on the season for the Falcons (21-10). She is second in blocks (111) on the team and fourth in kills (181).
Bowling Green returns to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1991, which is also the last time the Falcons won the MAC Tournament. BGSU had lost in the MAC Championship on five other occasions. The defeat marked the third consecutive year that Northern Illinois lost in the MAC Championship
The Falcons will learn their tournament opponent during the NCAA Selection Show Nov. 25 at 4 p.m. on ESPNU. The first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament take place Nov. 29 - Dec. 1 at 16 campus sites (the top 16 seeds), while the NCAA Regionals will follow Dec. 7 - 8. The NCAA Semifinals take place Dec. 13 in Louisville and the championship is Dec. 15 at the same location.
• Erin Polte of Spring Valley and the Graceland University Yellowjackets reached the championship match of the Heart of America Athletic Conference Tournament, falling MidAmerica Nazarene University 3-1. The Senior setter ended her career with 508 assists and added 23 aces and 217 digs.
Junior punter Brik Wedekind of Princeton earned his third Midwest All-Conference football team honor with his selection to the first team defense. Wedekind continued to boom punts for the Scots, hitting 34 to average 38 yards per punt. He landed 12 inside the 10-yard line and had two of 50 yards or more, including a 64-yarder at Beloit in the second game of the season.
The exercise science major is the son of Kelley Fisher and Rodney Wedekind of Princeton. He was one of six Monmouth College players named to the MWC Team.
Hunter Mickow, a senior from Princeton, closed out his career for the University of Illinois by finishing the 10K NCAA Championship race in 46th place, just six places away from earning All-American honors. Mickow crossed the finish line with a time of 30:12 with the highest finish in program history in five years.
Mickow’s time of 30:12 is a career-best at the 10K distance for the senior who has led the Illini in three of the four meets he has competed in this year. The senior was also six places away from earning All-America status. A week ago, Mickow led the Illini at the NCAA Midwest Regional and finished sixth overall, with a time of 30:29 and qualifying for his first national championship race.
T.J. and Liz Mosbach of Ladd represented Mount Mercy University in Saturday’s NAIA finals in Vancouver, Wash. Liz, a freshmen, finished 145th in the rained-soaked 5K course with a time of 19:51. Her brother, was the top finisher for the Mount Mercy men with a time of 27:02 in the 8K.