Sophomore outside hitter Ellie Dunn jumps up to spike the ball at the game against IUPUI on Aug. 31 at John E. Worthen Arena. Kyle Crawford // DN
Cardinals women's volleyball travels to Bowling Green, Miami
When Ball State women’s volleyball plays Bowling Green State University and Miami (Ohio) this weekend, plenty of long rallies should be in store. The three teams top the Mid-American Conference in digs per set, with Bowling Green leading the conference (16.88), followed by Miami (16.31), and Ball State (16.18).
Coming off two losses at home, Cardinals head coach Kelli Miller said she hopes to see more out of her team this weekend.
“I expect us to bounce back with hopefully a little more fire," Miller said. "We came so close to winning this past weekend and ended coming up short. I expect us to have a little more fuel to our fire this weekend, but at the same time, we just need to keep doing what we’re doing. I don’t want us to go overboard and prepare too hard because we had a tough weekend.”
The Cardinals are 8-14 (4-4 MAC) but don't have a large home-road split. They're 4-6 at Worthen Arena and 3-3 in true road games (1-5 at neutral sites).
“I don’t mind playing on the road," Miller said. "I think it gives our girls an opportunity to get locked in and decrease your distractions because they don’t have to go to class that Friday when they have a match. I don’t think there’s that much of a difference preparation wise, except our practice gets cut short because we leave earlier in the week.”
Ball State's .191 attacking percentage is ninth (out of 12) in the MAC and its 1.84 blocks per set are seventh. To improve the team's play near the net, Miller said she would like to see more consistency from her middle hitters.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean they need to get double digit kills every night,” Miller said. “You can’t always have your middles get that many kills, but we want them to be a consistent threat. That would be important to help balance our offense.”
Three different players have recorded 20 or more kills this season, the latest being sophomore outside hitter Ellie Dunn. She set her career-high of 22 kills against Kent State on Friday.
“I hope Ellie Dunn can continue to have as much kill production as she did this last weekend," Miller said. "That was one of her best performances and kill percentages in a long time, and I hope that she is able to maintain that going into this weekend."
Dunn also finished the match with a team-high .295 attack percentage, along with four digs.
The road trip starts at Bowling Green (15-6, 5-3 MAC) at 5 p.m. on Oct. 21, followed by another 5 p.m. match Oct. 22 against Miami (16-4, 8-0 MAC) in Oxford, Ohio.