WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Mid-game spark leads Ball State to victory
Whatever women's volleyball coach Steve Shondell said at intermission, it should be bottled and distributed to the rest of Ball State's teams.
Ball State (12-3, 2-1) came out of the locker room all business and dismantled Central Michigan (6-9, 0-3) after a dismal showing in the second set. A sharp offensive attack and strong blocking led Ball State to win 25-21, 18-25, 25-10, 25-17. The win is the Cardinals first-four set victory of the season.
"We knew they were going to come in like a hungry pack of piranhas. They were coming in 0-2 after losing two heartbreakers," Shondell said. "I felt we had to match their intensity."
Assistant coach Corey Carlin joked after the match about what was said between the second and third sets.
"That stays in house," he said. "I'm one infomercial away from making a lot of money if I knew how to bottle that and sell it."
Ball State used a pair of four- and five-point runs to end any Central Michigan threat in the third set. The Cardinals defense stifled the Chippewas offense, holding them to a .106 hitting percentage for the night.
The offense clicked on all cylinders for The Cardinals as they hit .240. Freshmen outside hitters Kylee Baker and Whitney Heeres led Ball State offensively with 13 kills each. Junior middle blocker Kelsey Brandl finished with nine.
Senior libero Alyssa Rio led all defenders with 26 digs following a rough start to the match. She had only two digs after the first set.
"The only balls they hit toward me were down the line in the first set. I didn't have much to do," Rio said. "Toward the end they hit more cross-court balls."
Central Michigan was led by Lauren Krupsky's 13 kills. Lisa Johnson paced the Central Michigan defense with 14 digs.
Ball State returns to the floor against Eastern Michigan tonight at 7 p.m. Eastern Michigan remained undefeated in MAC play with a 3-0 win over Kent State on Friday.
"It was pretty bad last year. We were slow and had no energy," Rio said. "It's something the returners remember, and with Eastern coming in undefeated in the MAC, we want to give them their first loss."