Hunter McKee

Ball State is 8-0 in home matches after defeating Kent State 3-1 Saturday.

Playing at home has given the Cardinals a bit of motivation for their games, allowing them to be successful not only at their home games, but also for away matches.

"Seeing the crowd at home games gives us more confidence so now we can prove ourselves on the road," junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl said. "If we don't win at home, then it's hard to play with confidence on the road because we are in a different environment."

In Ball State's previous match Friday against Ohio, the Cardinals pulled in 1,131 people to watch them capture one of the biggest wins of the year. Brandl believes that the large amount of fans coming out is in large part due to the success coach Steve Shondell has had in the Muncie community.

"This year we have a lot of community support, Steve Shondell brings in a lot of people just because of who he is," Brandl said. "He kind of brings his own fan club."

In addition to the large amount of fans coming out to support the team, Brandl believes that Worthen Arena's dimensions are a bit intimidating to opponents.

"Opponents hate playing in here because it is so big and open, you have a lot of room to communicate and play," she said. "It definitely creates a confidence issue."

On Halloween weekend the Cardinals will look to extend their home record to 10-0 against two tough Mid-American Confernce West teams in Western Michigan and Northern Illinois, which leads the division with only one conference loss.

With Ball State competing for the top spot in the MAC West, Shondell points out that winning home matches is important for opportunities at a MAC championship.

"You have to at least pick up one win on the road a week and you have to be able to win all of your matches at home to have a chance to compete for a title." Shondell said.