WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: With big weekend looming, Ball State stays locked in to coach's philosophy
For three weeks coach Steve Shondell preached the importance of taking things one point at a time. The Ball State women's volleyball team has bought into this philosophy.
With the biggest homestand in recent history looming, Ball State made quick work of Bowling Green on Saturday night. The Cardinals swept the Falcons 25-21, 25-19, 25-12.
The win is Ball State's first against Bowling Green in six tries. It improves Ball State to 18-4, 8-2 and sets up a major MAC West showdown on Friday when Western Michigan visits Worthen Arena.
"Right now we're playing our best volleyball of season," Shondell said. "Going on road and beating two teams is a tribute to how well our team is playing. The coaching staff is extremely happy with the improvement from the start of the season."
Junior setter Brittany McGinnis agreed Ball State is playing its best volleyball right now. Back-to-back .367 and .308 hitting percentages over the weekend are a great indicator. So is the blocking game, which the Cardinals won 9-2 on Saturday.
"To play the way we are is exciting," McGinnis said. "It shows how much our team has grown. When we're playing great defense, we're able to have our offense clicking. With our experience in the front row, it helps a lot."
Freshman outside hitter Whitney Heeres overcame illness to pace the offense with 16 kills in each match. She is second on the team this season with 257 kills.
"At times we don't realize the difference from last year to this year," Heeres said. "We want so much more and are going to keep pushing. Our attitude is that we're happy for this, but we're not settling for this."
Heeres and McGinnis emphasized that they aren't looking ahead. They weren't even looking to Western Michigan after sweeping the weekend.
"We have to keep playing one point at a time. We don't think about the outcome," McGinnis said. "As long as we play our best volleyball at time and play in the moment, we'll get our share of wins."