The No. 12 Ball State men’s volleyball team will play host to the National Collegiate Athletic Association reigning champions as well as the runner-up at Worthen Arena Feb. 17 and 18.

No. 8 Loyola University (8-3) will travel to Ball State Feb. 17. Last season, the Ramblers went 28-2 and swept the Cardinals in Chicago en route to their second consecutive national title.

Loyola has been without former left side All-Americans Cody Caldwell and Thomas Jaeschke and have struggled this season.

MIVA Rankings

1 - Ball State (9-3, 3-0 MIVA)

2 - Ohio State (10-3, 5-1 MIVA)

3 - Loyola (Ill.) (8-3, 3-1 MIVA)

4 - Lewis (9-5, 4-2 MIVA)

Coach Joel Walton said for the last few years, the Cardinals have had trouble managing the Ramblers’ serves, which will be an area of focus for the Cardinals. 

“They’re typically a tough serving team, so we have to manage their serve and our offense has to keep up with their offense,” Walton said.

No. 14 Lewis University (9-5) will be welcomed to Worthen Arena Feb. 18.

Last season, the Flyers came to Muncie and swept the Cardinals in three sets. Lewis University senior middle/back Bobby Walsh is the older brother of Ball State’s sophomore middle attacker, Matt Walsh.

Bobby leads the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association conference in hitting percentage at .545 percent. This will be the third time the Walsh brothers will square off against each other in college.

“We’ve got to make sure that we look at the people that are on the court over there, we put together a game plan and our guys show up ready to play,” Walton said.

The Cardinals still lead the MIVA Conference with a 3-0 record, Loyola is 3-1 and Lewis is 4-2 in conference play.