Ball State senior Matt Walsh jumps to spike the ball to score a point during the fourth period against Sacred Heart on Jan. 19. The Cardinals won 3-2. Carlee Ellison, DN
Matt Walsh earns pair of awards after solid weekend
Ball State men’s volleyball’s Matt Walsh was named both Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association Offensive Player of the Week and the Sports Imports/AVCA Player of the Week Tuesday for his efficient performances in the team’s wins against Sacred Heart and Harvard.
These selections gave Walsh his first MIVA Player of the Week award of the season and his first career AVCA Player of the Week award.
The senior middle attacker started his weekend on a high note against Sacred Heart, finishing with a season-high 15 kills and a match-high .636 hitting percentage. Walsh also added six blocks and a pair of service aces.
He followed that performance up by adding a dozen more kills against Harvard and a .611 hitting percentage in the victory. The 6-foot-11 senior also made life hard for the Crimson by recording 10 total blocks and one service ace in a solid all-around performance.
Head coach Joel Walton was pleased to see Walsh return to form over the weekend.
“Walsh struggled a little bit last weekend, so it was good to see him get back on track this weekend,” Walton said after the team’s win over Sacred Heart. “He’s a key part of how our team is going to run offense this year. Whether he’s generating kills for us or pulling the block in his direction, there are just a lot of things that he does that open up offensive options for our team. He’s very important.”
After his performances this weekend, Walsh now sits in second place in school history (rally scoring era) with 402 total career blocks. The Chicago native is currently second in the nation in blocks per set with 1.409, tied for second in total blocks with 31 and ninth in hitting percentage at .433.
Walsh and the No. 14 Cardinals will be back in action Jan. 27 at 7 p.m. They will face No. 12 Pepperdine in their first of two matches in the Uvaldo Acosta Invitational in Fairfax, Virginia.
The second match of the invitational will be played against George Mason Jan. 28 at 5 p.m.