Ball State Sweeps Quincy To Advance In MIVA Tournament


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MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State men's volleyball team rolled through the first two games and rallied from down six to win the third in a 3-0 (30-18, 30-13, 30-28) MIVA Tournament semifinal victory over Quincy Saturday evening at Worthen Arena.

With the win, the No. 3 seed Cardinals advance to Thursday's MIVA Tournament Semifinal to face No. 2 seed Lewis at Ohio State's St. John Arena at 5 p.m. The winner of that match will battle the winner of No. 1 Ohio State and No. 4 Loyola who play in the 7:30 p.m. semifinal match.

With Saturday's victory over the Hawks, BSU improved its overall record to 17-7 this season, while ending Quincy's season at 17-33.

In his final match at Worthen Arena, senior Todd Chamberlain (Louisville, Ky./Trinity H.S.) blasted a match-best 14 kills, while junior Matt Sprague (Ballwin, Mo./Marquette H.S.) added 10. Sprague also added a team-high seven digs and a pair of aces in the victory.

Overall, the Cardinals out-hit the Hawks .265 (44-17-102) to .022 (26-24-89) on the night, while recording nine total blocks and five service aces. Quincy logged 4.5 team blocks and four aces, while out-digging BSU 33 to 30.

Sophomore Andy Nelson (St. Croix Falls, Wis./St. Croix Falls H.S.) and junior Ethan Pheister (Shorewood, Wis./Shorewood H.S.) tied for match-high honors with four blocks each, while Nelson added six kills and Pheister dished out a match-best 34 assists. BSU libero Billy Ebel (Lenexa, Kan./Bishop Miege H.S.) added six digs.

Robbie Coughlin and Ryan Lehmann paced the Hawks offense with five kills apiece, while Tanner Wright added a match-best nine digs.

The Cardinals opened the match with kills from Sprague and Chamberlain, as they quickly built a 4-0 advantage. After leading by five at the 6-1 mark, the Hawks battled back within two points at 6-4 on a BSU attack error. The Ball State lead remained two at the 7-5 mark, before kills from Chamberlain and Dominic Spadavecchio (Palatine, Ill./William Fremd H.S.) pushed the edge back to four at 9-5.

From there, the Cardinals began to pull away, building a seven point advantage at 18-11 on a Pheister kill. The teams traded the next 12 points to push the score to 24-17. With BSU leading 25-18, a kill from Matt McCarthy (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South H.S.) sparked a final 5-0 push form the Cardinals as they went on to win the game 30-25. Sprague added back to back kills following McCarthy, while adding a game-winning solo block after a Chamberlain service ace.

Ball State carried over the momentum in the second game, scoring eight of the first nine points, while building a 10-point lead, at 14-4, on a McCarthy smash. From there, the Cardinals went on to win the game 30-13.

Quincy responded after the seven-minute break between games, earning their first lead of the night at 2-1 on a Coughlin kill and a Christopher Zeidler service ace. After the teams played to a 4-4 tie, the Hawks took control, building a six-point lead at the 17-11 mark after back-to-back Peter Coley service aces.

Ball State responded, however, battling back within one at 20-19 after a block from McCarthy and Sprague capped an 8-3 BSU rally. The Cardinals still trailed by two at the 24-22 mark, only to have a pair of Quincy miscues tie the score at 24. Chamberlain followed with back-to-back kills to give BSU its first lead since the 3-2 mark.

Quincy followed with a Lehmann kill following a timeout, making the score 26-25, but the damage was already done, as BSU reached match point at 29-26. A Coughlin kill and Joseph Ascher service ace gave the guests a moment of life, but Sprague followed with the match-winning kill off a Quincy defender.

Article courtesy of Ball State athletics.

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