Andrew Mishler

Extending himself horizontally for loose balls. Jumping high into the air to furiously slam a kill into the opponent's court. Falling to the floor, pumping his fists and screaming in excitement.

Larry Wrather's energy on the court can be contagious.

The sophomore outside attacker for the Ball State men's volleyball team started the season as a role player off the bench. Three months later, he is gradually becoming the Cardinals' most consistent player at his position.

Wrather started the last six matches for Ball State and has thrived in that span, specifically last weekend.

He led the surge against Lewis Friday with 15 kills and a .407 attack percentage.

Following the match, coach Joel Walton said he was impressed with Wrather's play above the net.

"I was really pleased with the job Larry did with hitting shots," he said. "There were some situations where they had two or three blockers up in front of him and he wasn't in an advantage, but he put the ball in great places.

"I recall a tip that he hit down the line that they had no digger within five to six feet of him. He caught them so off-guard with that shot."

Wrather followed up his performance on Friday with an even better one on Saturday against King College, scoring 16 kills and a .279 attack percentage.

He has also proven to play up to the level of his opponents this season. His best matches have come against nationally ranked teams such as Ohio State, Loyola, UCLA and Lewis, finishing with double-digit kills in each match.

Wrather leads the Cardinals in kills-per-set with a 2.64 average, but also leads them in attack errors with 90.

Walton said he is starting to see more consistency out of the young player as the Cardinals enter the last month of the season.

"I'm just pleased with the diversity that Larry's been hitting," he said. "He seems to have better vision for what's going on, and he's not just looking to bury the ball in the middle of the court. He's maturing a little bit and realizing that a soft kill is the same on the stat sheet as a hard kill."