At the Oct. 3 home volleyball game against Eastern Michigan, senior middle hitter Hayley Benson stands prepared to block the ball. DN PHOTO SAMANTHA BRAMMER
WOMEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Cardinals lose to Eagles in five sets
The Ball State women's volleyball team dropped a five-set thriller to Eastern Michigan on the road Saturday.
The Cardinals won the first set 25-14, but lost three of the next four sets, including a 15-10 loss in set five.
Redshirt junior Hayley Benson tied for match-high honors with 18 kills in another solid performance. Benson hit .457 in the match with only two errors on 35 attacks.
Ball State tallied 63 kills as a team and hit just .171 overall.
Redshirt freshman Sabrina Mangapora added 16 kills and middle hitter Kelly Hopkins was the only other Cardinal in double digits with 12.
Junior Jenna Spadafora put up 54 assists on 64 total sets for an .844 percentage.
On serve, redshirt junior Alex Fuelling had three of the Cardinals' five aces.
Defensively, Ball State limited Eastern Michigan to just a .128 attack percentage with 54 kills.
Megan Crenshaw tied Benson with 18 kills. She hit .341 with 41 attacks.
The Cardinals had eight total blocks as a team. Spadafora had two solo blocks, while Benson had one solo block and two assists. Redshirt junior Amanda Raker added two assists.
Junior Kati Vasalakis led the team with 33 digs. Sophomore Nikki Box had 16 digs, and Fuelling registered 11.
With the loss, the race for fourth place in the upcoming Mid-American Conference Tournament got closer, as Ball State is now 9-5 in MAC play. Eastern Michigan is just a game behind.
The Cardinals return to the court at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 as they travel to Toledo to take on the Rockets.