Andrew Mishler

If volleyball games were only played to two points, Ball State would have swept Ohio State.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, early success in each game on Friday night didn't translate into the same amount of success for the entire match.

Sixth ranked Ohio State swept Ball State 3-0 (25-16, 25-21, 28-26) at Worthen Arena in front of an announced crowd of 1,243.

The loss drops Ball State to a 6-5 overall record and a 1-2 record in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association.

"We just had to give a little bit more effort to play with them and possibly beat them," outside attacker Dominic Spadavecchio said. "We didn't, but I think we had the energy and the play to do it. We just couldn't finish at the end."

The Cardinals took an early 2-1 lead in each frame, but the Buckeyes quickly responded all three times to take control of the match.

But a 2-0 deficit didn't faze Ball State in the third frame. A combination of strong play from the Cardinals' outside attackers and middle blockers as well as a passionate crowd in Worthen Arena powered Ball State to a late 20-16 lead in the third game.

"Anytime we can get the crowd involved in a match like this helps us phenomenally," outside attacker Larry Wrather said. "No matter what happens, just to know that we have their support with us helps us drive that much more to want to win."

Even with the crowd enthusiastically behind Ball State every point of the game, Ohio State managed to climb its way back to eventually win and take the match.

Wrather came off the bench in the second game and made his presence known, scoring six kills in that set alone. He finished with a team-leading 11 kills and seven digs.

"It felt good just to be able to get out there and give some energy to the team," Wrather said. "Its always good to be out and there and have a positive influence."

Spadavecchio and Jamion Hartley also made solid contributions in the match. Spadavecchio finished with six kills, while Hartley had four kills and four digs in his one game of play.

"I thought Larry and Jamion gave us a huge lift in game three," coach Joel Walton said. "The fact that Larry led our team with seven digs, that's a great job by him."

Ball State must now move its focus to a match against Loyola tonight. Spadavecchio said the Cardinals will come out with something to prove following their loss.

"I definitely think it gives us a little chip on our shoulders," he said. "Seeing how close that game was, we know we can play with the best. I know Ohio State is one of the best teams in the nation. If we can play with them, I think we can play with anybody."