Sophomore outside attacker Brendan Surane serves the ball during the game against Ohio State on Feb. 21 at Worthen Arena. DN PHOTO ALAINA JAYE HALSEY
Ball State men's volleyball defeats Sacred Heart despite injury
Worthen Arena fell silent Thursday night after a late second set injury to junior outside middle attacker Mike "Skip" Scannell.
Scannell collided with 6'11" sophomore middle attacker Matt Walsh. While everything seemed fine at the moment, Scannell remained on the ground. The 6’3 junior was carted off the court on a stretcher as teammates, opponents and fans looked on.
After the game, head coach Joel Walton said Scannell felt tingling run through his legs when he got hit.
Kills - 48
Aces - 6
Digs - 36
Team Blocks - 68
“I think it scared him and in that situation we just needed to be careful, we needed to make sure we had him checked out before any extra movement was done to his neck and the rest of the body,” Walton said.
The match was paused for nearly 30 minutes before action resumed. Senior setter Hiago Garchet knew the stoppage in play would effect the rest of the team.
“It’s a hard moment. I’ve been playing this for like 12 years and have never seen anything like that, and we really needed some kind of motivation,” Garchet said.
Walsh’s father was in attendance and accompanied Scannell to the hospital while in contact with Scannell’s parents.
“Its hard you know, but knowing that he’s well now and we were able to win tonight was huge,” Garchet said. “I honestly thought that it was going to be a hard match, and when that happened it kind of gave us an extra motivation to play harder.”
The Cardinals dropped the first set 25-22, but that would be the only loss the team would suffer on the night. The Cardinals went on to win three straight set wins by scores of 25-23, 25-21, 25-22.
From the beginning of the match, Walton had a new starting lineup take the court, replacing his usual senior outside attacker Marcin Niemczewski with senior Jack Lesure.
“I think those guys are going to play a lot for us this year,” Walton said. “We’ve got the ability to play both those guys. They attack the ball a little bit differently, and so it can be a one-two punch for us.”
Junior outside attacker Brendan Surane led the team with 13 total kills in the match. While the Pioneers out dug the Cardinals 42-36, Ball State finished the game with 14 total team blocks as opposed to Sacred Heart’s eight.
“I felt like the turning point in the match was when started playing better defense," Walton said. “We started putting some pressure on them with our serves, got some blocks going, got some digs up in transition and out of those digs for some kills.”
The Cardinals host the Harvard Crimson at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 in Worthen Arena. This will be the last home-match until Feb. 11 for the team.