Senior Shane Witmer hits the ball over the net during the game against Penn State on Jan. 16 at Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO ALAINA JAYE HALSEY
Ball State 'plugging away' to remain undefeated
One of four remaining undefeated teams in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association, the Ball State men's volleyball team ran its record to 4-0 after an impressive stand at home this weekend.
Ball State defeated No. 10 Penn State on Friday in five sets, and followed that up with a 3-1 win over Saint Francis Saturday night.
Despite a competitive effort in the first two sets of Ball State's opening match, they trailed 2-0 and looked to be headed toward their first loss. Momentum then shifted the Cardinals' way, and they carried it for the rest of the weekend.
"It's nice that our guys kept plugging away," head coach Joel Walton said.
In the third set against Penn State, Ball State withstood 13 ties and two lead changes to win 26-24.
Behind setter Hiago Garchet, the team's attack percentage never fell below .300 for the rest of its comeback victory.
Garchet paced the Ball State offense with 97 assists and a .483 set percentage on the weekend.
Despite the upset win, Walton knew there was still work to be done.
"We have to celebrate this moment, feel really good about it, but we have to play another game tomorrow night," Walton said after Friday's victory. "St. Francis is a very good team. I'd like our guys to come out with a bit of a chip on their shoulder and something to prove."
After a competitive first set and a 1-0 deficit, Ball State responded by winning the next three sets and the match over Saint Francis.
Senior Shane Witmer posted 10 kills in the win over the Red Flash, finishing the weekend with 27. He also had 19 digs.
Despite the team's 4-0 record, Witmer said that the team is still looking to improve its standing.
"We got a short week, we're traveling out to the East Coast to face Harvard and Sacred Heart," Witmer said. "They're two really good teams so that's going to be tough. Then we get into conference schedule. We've just got to keep improving and get better every day."