The team celebrates after getting another point in the second set against Buffalo on Oct. 5 at Worthen Arena. Ball State will face Kent State on the road Oct. 18. DN FILE PHOTO BREANNA DAUGHERTY
WOMEN’S VOLLEYBALL: Road trip tests volleyball team
There will be no lull in the schedule, no chance for Ball State to wander into a trap game.
Facing off against two of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference West last weekend apparently wasn’t enough for the women’s volleyball team.
A road trip east is in order for the team, who will travel to Kent State University Friday and then take on Ohio University Saturday.
Ohio boasts a 15-3 record and leads the conference with a .833 winning percentage. They’re also tied with Ball State in conference play at 5-1.
The only MAC loss Ohio suffered was at the hands of Kent State.
Despite the resume the two opponents have put together, Ball State head coach Steve Shondell hasn’t circled the games on his schedule with red pen.
“One game is never more important than another,” he said. “Every conference game only counts as one so I can’t value them differently.”
The Golden Flashes have won their last three matches, but still lack the offensive punch needed to make noise in the conference.
The team ranks just 11th out of 12 in hitting percentage at .185 and are sixth in kills. Shondell said when he looks at box scores, he considers anything above .300
It’s a matchup Ball State will look to take advantage of considering the strong defense it has played all season. Ball State ranks second in the MAC in opponent’s hitting percentage, just .001 percent behind the University at Buffalo.
Even without imposing numbers, Kent State has still managed to win, but Shondell doesn’t want to over hype the game.
“We still have to play 16 matches,” Shondell said. “Kent State and Ohio are just two out of the 16.”
That may be tough for him to sell to his players. The last time Ball State played Ohio, Shondell’s team was shut out 3-0 in the first round of the MAC Tournament, its title hopes crushed.
Even with the memories of the loss fresh on its mind, Ball State will still have its hands full in Athens, Ohio.
The Bobcats have lost just once at home, a 3-2 game against No. 24 University of North Carolina.
Definitely not a trap game for Ball State.