The Ball State Cardinals (7-4) defeated the Evansville Purple Aces (6-4) with a straight set win against opening this weekend's Ball State and Butler tournament (25-15, 25-18, 25-14).

A solo block from junior outside hitter Ellie Dunn kept the momentum going by getting the Cardinals to set point, in set one which Ball State would eventually carry 25-15.

The Cardinals snagged a first set win with 11 assists from sophomore setter Amber Seaman, along with four kills from redshirt junior middle hitter Meg Starling. 

“We prepared really well, we knew what shots we were gonna hit. We executed our game plan really well and that put us in a really good position,” Starling said.

Starling finished the game leading with nine kills and two blocks. 

Ball State followed in the second set, taking another win against the Aces 25-18. 

Two kills from junior outside hitter Brooklyn Goodsel and junior middle hitter Emily Holland gave Ball State the lead halfway through the match, from there they kept pace to finish the set with a seven point lead.

Evansville started off strong in the third set with a seven point run, however Ball State kept their momentum and took the lead at 9-8 with two kills from Starling and junior outside hitter Ellie Dunn.

Goodsel commented on Evansville short lead saying, “It was all stuff that we could control... It was just that we made a lot of mistakes, and then once we started cleaning up our side everything went back to normal.”

Goodsel finished off the match with six kills and 10 digs, leading in kills for Evansville was Rachel Tam and Adeline Payne with eight kills each.

Head coach Kelli Miller contributed some of the Cardinals success to the serving pressure they were able to put on the Aces tonight, Ball State had a total of seven aces in the match.

“The ball is in your hands and you have free control over that serve, no one else is in charge of you. So I think we have put a huge emphasis on getting ourselves extra reps and taking more pride in the serve and not just about getting it over, but getting it over with taste, and putting it where we want it. I think that was something we put a huge emphasis on, and the payoff was nice.”

The Cardinals will return to Worthen Arena Friday evening at 7 pm to face Duquesne in the weekend tournament.