Ball State women’s volleyball dropped its first home opener since 2008 after falling to in-state rival IUPUI 3-1 (25-23, 15-25, 25-21, 25-16). 

The Cardinals (0-4) struggled to find defensive consistency against the Jaguars (2-2), said head coach Kelli Miller.

“I thought we took too many points off," Miller said. "We’re picking and choosing when we want to work hard and when we don’t, and that’s not going to win us many ball games."

Home sweet home?

  • Cardinals have not lost a home opener since Sep. 5, 2008 to Southern Illinois
  • 242-71 record (.773) all-time playing record at Worthern Arena
  • Leads IUPUI all-time 14-5
  • Cardinals hold a 9-2 home game advantage against the Jaguars

After dropping the first set 25-23, the Cardinals took an 8-5 lead to start the second set. A few points later, IUPUI called a timeout when junior outside hitter Sabrina Mangapora scored on an overpass kill to put the Cardinals ahead, 12-7. But Ball State kept its foot on the pedal, scoring three more points after the timeout, including a pair of blocks from sophomores Avery Devoe and Brooklyn Goodsel, to extend the lead to 15-7.

Ball State failed to keep the momentum going after a solid start in the third set. After jumping ahead in the third set, the Cardinals' lead shrunk to 17-16, forcing Miller to call a timeout. IUPUI, however, kept the pressure on to win the set, 25-21.

Miller said her players are learning from their mistakes — albeit the hard way.

“We’re really starting to slowly understand how hard we have to work to win ball games," she said.

Miller and the Cardinals will look to get their first win of the season next week when they travel to Nebraska to compete in the Omaha Classic on Sept. 2.

“[Omaha] is going to be a big factor for us as we get more experience," Miller said. "Also, our upperclassmen are going to have to step up and lead us to get kills, when we need kills. We’ve been in positions to win a lot of games and let them slip away."