Ball State Survives Scare From Quincy in MIVA Quarterfinals

4/19/2008

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Muncie, Ind. - After steamrolling through the first two games, the 10th-ranked Ball State men's volleyball team survived a scare from Quincy Saturday evening at Worthen Arena, topping the Hawks 3-1 (30-17, 30-17, 27-30, 30-27) in quarterfinal action of the 2008 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Tournament.

With the win, the second-seeded Cardinals (20-9) advance to face third-seeded Lewis (21-9) in Thursday's 5 p.m. MIVA Tournament quarterfinal match at St. John Arena, in Columbus, Ohio. The 15th-ranked Flyers advanced to the semifinals with a 3-0 (30-22, 30-22, 30-21) victory over Mercyhurst in quarterfinal action last night.

Quincy ends the season with an 18-25 record after suffering their third loss to Ball State this season.

Senior Patrick Durbin (Louisville, Ky./Trinity H.S.) and junior Matt McCarthy (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South) put on an offensive show in tonight's win over the Hawks, as Durbin smashed a match-high 25 kills and hit for a .500 (25-3-44) rate of success, while McCarthy added 14 kills on a .706 (14-2-17) attack percentage.

In addition, Durbin and McCarthy tied for match-high honors with four total blocks apiece.

Overall, the Cardinals finished the contest with a .363 (68-19-135) attacking mark, paced by a .700 (15-1-20) effort in the opening set.

"We tried a couple of different things tonight because we wanted to know what we would be able to do as we got into the later rounds of the MIVA Tournament," said Ball State head coach Joel Walton. "I think what we saw is Pat continues to get pretty comfortable on the right side."

Nine different BSU players recorded at least one kill in the contest, with junior Todd Chamberlain (Louisville, Ky./Trinity H.S.) joining Durbin and McCarthy in double figures with 12.

"We got some good play out of various players throughout the match," added Walton. "We need to continue to work on our serves. I thought our serves got a little bit soft in games three and four, which helped Quincy make a pretty good run at us."

BSU senior libero Ian Peckler (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills H.S.) continued his climb toward the top of the Ball State record books for career digs, scoring a match-high 13 in the victory. With the 13 digs, Peckler raises he career total to 1,036 and is now 12 digs shy of passing Chris Beerman's (1987-1990) career mark of 1,047 for first on BSU's all-time list.

Peter Coley paced the Quincy attack with 16 kills, including the game-three winner, while Ed Ryan added 12 kills. The Hawk's libero Collin Cooper tied Peckler for match-high honors with 13 digs, while Ivan Shirokov added 10 digs.

After Quincy scored the first point of the match, back-to-back kills from Durbin and a McCarthy marker help spark a 5-0 BSU run, which also included a Chamberlain service ace, as Ball State build a quick 5-1 advantage. The visiting Hawks managed to get within three points on three occasions, only to see BSU pull ahead by 10 points, at the 23-13 mark, on another Durbin kill.

Matt Sprague (Ballwin, Mo./Marquette H.S.) smashed another BSU kill on the next play, as the Cardinals went on to win the game 30-17 on back-to-back Quincy miscues.

The second stanza remained close early, as BSU pulled ahead 5-4, before a Durbin kill sparked an 8-1 run which gave Ball State a 13-5 edge. A block assists from McCarthy and Mark Termion (Winfield, Ill./Wheaton North H.S.) put the Cardinals ahead at 20-10.

With Ball State holding a 27-14 advantage, the Cardinals faithful gave perhaps their loudest ovation of the night, as fan-favorite Ben Irwin (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.) entered the match an promptly deposited a kill pushing the score to 28-14. After Durbin gave BSU game-point at 29-16, Irwin finished the set moments later with his second kill of the night at 30-17.

After the seven-minute intermission, the Hawks came out determined to take a set from the Cardinals, opening the third game with a 7-3 run capped by a Shirokov and Christopher Zeidler block assist. Ball State cut the gap to one point at 10-9 thanks to back-to-back kills from McCarthy, and remained behind by one at 11-10.

However, a 7-1 Quincy run, which began with a kill and solo block from Ryan, allowed the guests to build an 18-11 advantage. Ball State eventually drew within one point again at 26-25 thanks to a Chamberlain kill, but Ryan and Zeidler answered with back-to-back kills, pushing the score to 28-25.

The Hawks were responsible for the next four points, as two service errors and two kills from Coley gave the guests a 30-27 game-three victory.

Quincy continued to hold the momentum early in the fourth game, pulling ahead 6-2, thanks in part to a pair of Coley service aces. The 10th-ranked Cardinals regained their poise, however, scoring 10 of the next 13 points to build a 12-9 edge. Durbin added three kills in the run, while McCarthy collected two.

Ball State was not able to pull away, however, as the Hawks never trailed by more than four points the rest of the game. Ball State reached match point at 29-25 on a kill from Durbin, but Quincy made things interesting, as a Coley kill and a BSU attack error pushed the score to 29-27.

Ball State would not be denied a trip back to Columbus, however, as McCarthy came through with the match-winning kill on the next play.

Overall, the Cardinals out-hit the Hawks .363 to .177 (50-28-124). Quincy held a 45-to-39 advantage in digs and a 5-to-1 lead in service aces. Both teams scored 7.5 team blocks.

Article courtesy of Ball State athletics.

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