No. 7 Ball State Soars Past Quincy, 3-0


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Muncie, Ind. - The seventh-ranked Ball State men's volleyball team captured its 11th-straight victory Saturday evening by sweeping visiting Quincy 3-0 (30-18, 30-15, 30-26) at Worthen Arena.

With the win, the Cardinals move into sole possession of first place in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association with a 16-6 (9-1 MIVA) record, half a game ahead of No. 10 Ohio State (12-6, 8-1 MIVA). Quincy drops to 16-19 (0-8 MIVA) with the loss.

In all, 15 different Cardinals saw action in the contest, with freshmen J.D. Gasparovic (St. Louis, Mo./Oakville H.S.) and Lee Meyer (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller H.S.) each tying for team-high honors with six kills, with each player seeing action in just two games.

For the match, the Ball State defense limited the Hawks to a -.038 (30-34-104) rate of success, a season-low for a BSU opponent. The Cardinals also racked up 13 team blocks, including a match and career-high five block assists from sophomore Ben Irwin (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove H.S.), who also logged four kills on five swings.

Freshman James Emming (West Chester, Ohio/Moeller H.S.) made the most of his BSU debut, smashing three kills, while adding a dig and a block assists.

The first game opened with the teams playing to a 9-9 tie, before back-to-back Quincy errors and a Matt McCarthy (Wheaton, Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South H.S.) service ace helped spark an 8-1 BSU run. From there, the Cardinals won the game 30-18 on a Gasparovic kill.

Ball State opened the second game with a 7-2 run, only to see the Hawks rally back and tie the set at 8-8 off some strong serving from Kyle Volstad. However, kills from Gasparovic and Irwin swung the momentum back to the Cardinals, as they went on to win the game 30-15.

While the finals score of game three was the closest of the night, the Cardinals only trailed after an attack error on the first point. BSU went on to score the next four points, including a Meyer kill, before pulling ahead by five at 7-2.

The Cardinals held a six-point lead at 21-15, only to see a kill and then some strong serving from Qunicy's Tanner Wright - - including an ace - - bring the guests within one at 21-20.

Ball State's Justin Orr (Gladstone, Mo./Winnetonka H.S.) swung the momentum back to BSU's side with perhaps the hardest kill of the night, as the Cardinals reclaimed a five-point edge at 27-22. Matt Sprague (Ballwin, Mo./Marquette H.S.) eventually added the game and match-winning kill at 30-26.

Overall, the Ball State offense finished the night with a .233 (38-18-86) attacking average, as Ethan Pheister (Shorewood, Wis./Shorewood H.S.) and Jeff Schmitz (Fenton, Mo./St. John Vianney H.S.) handed out 20 and 13 assists, respectively.

Ian Peckler (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills H.S.) added a team-high seven digs for the Cardinals, while Quincy's Collin Cooper recorded a match-high eight digs.

The Ball State men's volleyball team will have perhaps its toughest test of the season next Saturday, when it returns to action with a 7 p.m. match at No. 1 Penn State.

Article courtesy of Ball State athletis.

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