Senior outside attacker Matt Sutherland serves the ball during the game against Quincy on Jan. 30 at Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO ALAINA JAYE HALSEY
Cardinals defeat Lions to complete weekend sweep
The Ball State men's volleyball team improved to 2-0 in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Conference play with its second win of the weekend, a 3-0 sweep over Lindenwood at Worthen Arena on Saturday.
The Lions came in with a 2-2 overall record, while the Cardinals were 6-1 entering the match.
Despite Lindenwood's record, Ball State expected nothing less than competition from Lindenwood.
"We actually expected them to be really good, we struggled to play them in the preseason," senior outside attacker Matt Sutherland said. "We came in really focused, and showed that tonight."
The Cardinals started off the first set with 6 consecutive points. Lindenwood responded and brought the set within a single point, but Ball State prevailed, winning 25-17.
The second set was even more competitive than the first, back and forth until Ball State held a 24-22 advantage, forcing Lindenwood to call a timeout. The Cardinals won the second set 25-22.
One aspect of the Cardinals game which fell short through the first two sets was attack efficiency. A .241 attack percentage fell below their season average of .327.
"Our offense wasn't as strong tonight as its been. We weren't able to hit over .300, which is the bench mark we're kind of going for," head coach Joel Walton said.
In the third set, Lindenwood came out firing on all cylinders. It held a significant advantage through part of the third set, but Ball State was able to cap off the match sweep with a 25-23 victory.
While junior Marcin Niemczewski struggled to get anything going offensively, Sutherland picked up the slack en route to an impressive performance.
Sutherland finished with nine kills, a .562 attack percentage, one assist and six digs.
Senior libero David Ryan Vander Meer once again led the Cardinals' defense with only one reception error on 17 attempts and led the team with seven digs.
Freshman Matt Walsh played a significant role in the Cardinals offense all night. He finished the match with 6 kills, a .750 attack percentage and two aces,
Looking forward to next week, Ball State will remain at home to face a ranked IPFW team, as well as George Mason.
"We come out of tonight and face IPFW next Thursday, then we play George Mason, a non-conference match on Saturday," Walton said. "The good news is that we get IPFW and Lewis at home before we need to travel to Loyola."