As Ball State women’s volleyball loaded onto the bus Nov. 16 outside of Worthen Arena, sophomore Brooklyn Goodsel had more to celebrate than leaving to compete in the Mid-American Conference tournament.

Goodsel, right side for the Cardinal roster, was named to the All-Mid-American Conference First Team after leading the Ball State offense with a 3.19 kills-per-set average in conference play.

Brooklyn Goodsel

  • 6 kill/dig double-doubles in MAC play
  • Double digit digs in nine conference matches
  • Career high of 19 digs versus Kent State (Oct. 14)
  • Tied for third on the team with 26 total blocks in MAC play
  • Tied for second on team with 9 aces in MAC play

“It’s really exciting and was definitely a goal that I set in the beginning of the season,” Goodsel said. “It’s nice that all the hard work this season paid off.”

Goodsel produced double-digit kills in 11 of Ball State’s 16 conference matches, including a career-high 21 kills at Toledo (Sept. 29) and 20 kills against Central Michigan (Sept. 23). She hit .250-or-better seven times in conference play, including a .409 (11-2-22) effort at Bowling Green (Oct. 21).

The Cardinals also had a pair of first-year players earn recognition of the MAC All-Freshman Team, which was announced by the league office earlier today.

Freshman libero Kate Avila and freshman middle Sydnee VanBeek were the two players honored, making that 14 different current Ball State players that have earned the MAC All-Freshman accolade.

With Goodel’s next match being the first match in the MAC tournament, she said she's looking forward to competing with and leading her team.

“Because I’m one of the players that doesn’t come off the court, usually there’s a natural leadership role that plays into it for me,” Goodsel said.

Head coach Kelli Miller would also like to see Goodsel continue to play the role for the team she has been playing all season.

“I don’t expect her to do anything differently going into the tournament than she has done all year,” Miller said. “I think it’s nice and something that is deserved for her. She has played a huge role for us this season and I anticipate that she will play a huge role for us this tournament. I just want her to keep doing what she’s doing.”

The Cardinals are traveling to Northern Illinois as the No. 5 seed to take on No. 8 seed Western Michigan in their first-round match of the MAC tournament Nov. 17. Losing the battle for the No. 4 seed bye, Miller said she is not letting their placement affect their motivation.

“As soon as the weekend ended, we approached it as that the regular season is over and whatever happened, happened,” Miller said. “We’re in a position to still win the MAC championship. Whether it’s starting on Thursday or starting on Friday, it is what it is. Now, we just have to look at it and take it one match at a time.”

In the Cardinals' last meeting with Western Michigan Nov. 11, the Cardinals defeated the Broncos 3-1. Miller thought her team played with strong defense in the match, and wants her team to carry that into tournament play.

“As you get later into the MAC season and playing teams two and three times, your preparation becomes so much more important,” Miller said. “With that, we do have to continue to play good defense. That’s been kind of the make or break with us all year. If we can continue to make plays defensively and block balls, then we’re going to be in ball games.”

Miller said she is entering the MAC tournament with one goal in mind: improvement. As she has emphasized all season, she wants to see her team improve and take something from each match.

“We’ve really been working on the sense of urgency and in the last couple of weeks, I feel like that has continued to improve. That’s going to be huge going into the tournament.”