Riding a four-match winning streak, Ball State travelled north on I-69 to the Gates Sports Center, getting another win over a quality opponent 3-1 (19-25, 25-22, 25-19, 25-22).

After dropping the first set to the No. 16 team in the country, Ball State rattled off three straight to spoil legendary IPFW coach Arnie Ball’s night of recognition for his induction into the American Volleyball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

The match was a mirror opposite of the team’s last meeting, which IPFW won 3-1. This time Ball State came out with a different lineup that it debuted two weeks ago against Sacred Heart.

The change saw Ball State hit .303 to IPFW’s .264 and outblock the Mastodons 13.5 to 10.  

The Cardinals were lead by senior outside hitters Jamion Hartley and Greg Herceg who had 17 and 13 kills, respectively. The duo’s offensive success over the last five games has been instrumental to Ball State’s hot play.

Even though the Cardinals started the year 8-0, this may be the best they have played this year. With a win over then-No.10 Penn State two weeks ago, and now against another nationally recognized opponent the Cardinals are on the cusp of their first national ranking in two years.

The implications of the match for the Cardinals are not only important at a national level, but also at the conference level. Coach Joel Walton said earlier this year that many coaches see Ball State on the same level as IPFW, and with this win it goes a game up in the standings.

Ball State will face another tough test tomorrow when No. 8 Ohio State travels to Worthen Arena tomorrow. The match is important for the same reasons the IPFW match was.

An added incentive for Ball State is the impromptu fan night being put on by two students. The duo wants to break the home attendance record of 3,729.