Junior Marcin Niemczewski serves the ball during the game against Penn State on Jan. 16 at Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO ALAINA JAYE HALSEY
Offense guides Cardinals to 5-1 record
Season offensive statisticsThe Ball State men's volleyball team has jumped out to a 5-1 record so far this season, and the team's offense has been the key to becoming the No. 14 team in the nation.
On the season the Cardinals hold an impressive attack percentage of .321, which outmatches their opponents' average of .129.
Ball State is currently tied for second in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association in attack percentage.
Season offensive statistics
Kills - 255
Errors - 76
Total attacks - 558
Attack percentage - .321
Kills per set - 11.6
The Cardinals' lone defeat of the season came Friday at Harvard, as the team was swept 3-0 while hitting just .122 in the match. However, the team bounced back, attacking at a .303 percentage in a 3-0 win over Sacred Heart on Saturday.
“It was nice to see the guys perform at this level tonight after how they struggled last night. It will make a long bus trip home a little bit better," head coach Joel Walton said in a statement after the win over Sacred Heart.
For Ball State this season, its offense goes as junior outside attacker Marcin Niemczewski goes.
Niemczewski posted a mere two kills against Harvard with four attack errors to give him a -.167 attack percentage on the night. He responded against the Pioneers however, blasting 10 kills on 24 attempts.
When Niemczewski has an attack percentage of .290 or above, the Cardinals have earned three of their five wins. Niemczewski leads the team in kills with 60 on the season to go along with a .288 attack percentage.
When the Cardinals are leading in attack percentage, they win - it's that simple. The only match in which Ball State trailed in attack percentage was its only loss of the year this weekend.
In a 3-1 win over Saint Francis (PA) on Jan. 17, Ball State hit just .175 in the first set compared to .351 for Saint Francis. The Cardinals lost the first set, but won the final three while dominating attack percentage for the rest of the match.
"Going into that game we knew the thing that was going to win us that match was effort," senior Shane Witmer said.
The Cardinals will look to continue their hot offensive start to the season and continue to rise in the national polls as they begin play in the MIVA.