With the women’s volleyball regular season coming to a close within the next few weeks, there have been numerous upsets and influential games that have shaped how the Mid-American Conference standings have shaped up.
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There wasn’t much of a freshman adjustment period for Kylee Baker. Now a senior, Ball State’s outside hitter was immediately thrown into the game when she was a freshman.
Kylee Baker didn’t mince words. “That loss never should have happened in the first place,” she said. Ball State’s senior outside hitter remembers what happened the first time Ball State played the University of Toledo.
Lauren Grant isn’t exactly like the rest of the seniors. Unlike Jacqui Seidel, Mindy Marx, Catie Fredrich, and Kylee Baker, Grant didn’t begin her volleyball career at Ball State. The outside hitter played her freshman season at the University of Cincinnati and barely saw the court.
Before the season began, Ball State women’s volleyball head coach Steve Shondell referred to senior Jacqui Seidel as the moral and emotional leader of the team. It’s an easy argument to make, seeing as she’s competed in 91 matches throughout her Ball State career, seeing time in 10 as a freshman. When Seidel entered Ball State, she sat behind Brittany McGinnis, who helped mentor her.
It had been 11 months since Jenna Spadafora lined up at outside hitter. The sophomore setter had her game plan turned upside down Friday when freshman Mackenzie Kitchel injured her left calf.
Maybe it’s in the genes. Ball State women’s volleyball outside hitter Alex Fuelling has carried her team’s offense this season, just one attack attempt shy of 700 and leads the team in kills with 285. For her, it isn’t just practice that’s brought her to where she is today.
Varied is one word that could be used to describe Ball State’s offense against Miami University. Another would be inconsistent. Four Cardinals finished with at least 12 kills against the RedHawks in a 3-1 win over the visitors. Lauren Grant and Mindy Marx led the way with 16 kills each, although none of them came easy as it took them 62 attack attempts to get there.
After freshman outside hitter Mackenzie Kitchel left the game early, both teams traded points until Ball State took a 14-12 lead, forcing a Bowling Green State University timeout.
With the Mid-American Conference portion of the schedule halfway done, the Ball State women’s volleyball team has built an identity. Head coach Steve Shondell said he wants to see passing with laser accuracy, and he’s gotten it for the most part.
With one swift swing of her arm, Mackenzie Kitchel ended Ohio University’s time at number one in the conference. Ball State’s five-set win at Ohio wasn’t just a road win for head coach Steve Shondell and his women’s volleyball team.
Ball State knocked off Ohio in five sets Saturday night, winning the first, third and fifth sets. The win puts the Cardinals in first place in the Mid-American Conference. The teams traded points in the first set, until Ball State opened up a 19-13 lead that brought an Ohio timeout.
There will be no lull in the schedule, no chance for Ball State to wander into a trap game. Facing off against two of the top teams in the Mid-American Conference West last weekend apparently wasn’t enough for the women’s volleyball team. A road trip east is in order for the team, who will travel to Kent State University Friday and then take on Ohio University Saturday. Ohio boasts a 15-3 record and leads the conference with a .833 winning percentage.
Kelly Hopkins looked at Jenna Spadafora and whispered. The two sophomores on the Ball State women’s volleyball team debated what place the team was predicted to finish in the preseason polls.
The lights turn off and the music turns on. A Ball State sign glows red in the darkness of the Worthen Arena locker room.
A kill was sent over the net, directly at Ball State’s Nikki Box.
After what could be described as an upset loss to the University of Toledo, 9-8, Ball State didn’t waste time putting the defeat behind them.
Doing everything they could to save a possible University at Buffalo point, Ball State’s Alex Fuelling and Kati Vasalakis crashed into each other late in the second set.
The Cardinals knocked off the Bulls in three sets Saturday night.
It shouldn’t matter whether Ball State’s match against Toledo takes place in Ohio or Indiana.