Freshman outside hitter Kylee Baker got what she wanted. Baker wanted to beat Kent State, a school that recruited her for three years prior to her decision to play for Ball State. She also wanted to show she made the right decision.
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One night after toppling Ohio, Ball State seemed like as easy pick to be the victim of an upset in a letdown match. But the opposite happened as Ball State rolled by Kent State in four sets Saturday.
Ball State snapped the seven year, 11-match losing streak with in its sixth five-set match of the season. The Cardinals topped the Bobcats 25-14, 22-25, 25-21, 15-9 in front of 1,131 fans.
Ball State's victory against Ohio on Friday night provided coach Steve Shondell with a signature win for the women's volleyball program.
Tonight's match with Ohio may be the biggest conference game in five years for Ball State, but it's the following match that has a particular importance to freshman outside hitter Kylee Baker.
Ball State looked to its freshman to step up to help defeat Ohio.
An unsettling feeling washed over the Ball State women's volleyball team last November as it walked off the floor in Toledo.
Ball State lost to Buffalo on the road Sunday 28-26, 20-25, 25-19, 19-25, 15-13. It was the first time the Bulls beat the Cardinals in 15 tries.
Ball State lost a heartbreaker Saturday evening at Buffalo. After forcing a fifth set for the fourth time in 2010, the women's volleyball team was upended by Buffalo 26-28, 25-20, 19-25, 25-19, 13-15.
If Ball State was given all it could handle Thursday night at Toledo, Buffalo could up the ante.
Ball State defeated Toledo 3-2 Thursday night.
Ball State didn't just post two wins in Mid-American Conference play this weekend, libero Allyssa Rio won MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week for the second straight week.
Ball State was just looking to defend its home floor during the weekend. Instead the Cardinals turned the weekend into a statement.
Ball State (12-3, 2-1) came out of the locker room all business and dismantled Central Michigan (6-9, 0-3) after a dismal showing in the second set.
Last season, the Cardinals went 1-5 against the three Michigan-based Mid-American Conference schools.
Growing a program can be difficult. Some nights a team looks brilliant. Other nights, a team will show its flaws. Ball State experienced both in the opening weekend of Mid-American Conference action.
Mid-American Conference action begins today when the Ball State women's volleyball team (10-2) travels to Northern Illinois (13-1).
The present and the future have collided, and the result has been nothing but beneficial for the Ball State women's volleyball team.
It may not have been the signature win coach Steve Shondell was looking for, but a hard-fought and impressive 22-25, 12-25, 25-17, 25-22, 15-9 victory over Appalachian State will do.
The win clinched a second-place finish in the Tar Heel Classic, behind host North Carolina.