Ball State sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Brandl was named the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Week on Monday afternoon. This marks the second time this season that Brandl has been recognized for excellence on the court.
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It took five sets to settle it, but Ball State won the battle Saturday night in Akron, defeating the University of Akron 3-2. As fate would have it however, it's not over by a long shot. In defeating the Zips, the Cardinals earned the eight seed in the Mid-American Conference Tournament. Securing the eight seed sets up a showdown between the Cardinals and Zips at 7 p.m. tonight at Worthen Arena.
With two games left in the season, destiny was on Ball State University's (14-15, 7-9) side. Win both matches and the Cardinals earn the right to host a Mid-American Conference Tournament game Tuesday night. Lose one of the two matches and things could get messy.
In the first set, the Cardinals faced an early hole when they found themselves down 17-12. But Ball State was eventually able to even the score at 22 and win the set 25-23, finishing the game on a 13-6 run. Sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Brandl recorded seven kills in the first set, setting the tone for the Cardinals (13-15, 6-9 Mid-American Conference).
The Cardinals (13-15, 6-9 MAC) were led on offense by sophomore Kelsey Brandl's match-high 14 kills. Junior outside hitter Hannah Sullivan had 13 kills, while senior Alisha Green added 12 kills in her final regular season home match.Defensively for Ball State, junior libero Alyssa Rio had a match-best 23 digs.
Ball State utilized a balanced offensive attack that saw increased success as the match went on. The Cardinals had a .184 attack percentage in the first set, a .227 percentage in the second set and a .317 rate in the third.
Emotions will be high with it being the final regular season, and potentially the final home match, for seniors Alisha Green, Julie Breivogel and Elania Kakatolis, which could make for high-error volleyball, which is not something the Cardinals can afford to let happen.
Ball State University men's volleyball starter Billy Ebel watched as the Southwood High School girl's volleyball team scored to tie Burris Laboratory School in a state championship match Saturday. With the score at 12 in the third set, Ebel got up quickly from his seat among the Burris assistant coaches and walked quickly to the sidelines to yell defensive instructions to the girls, who risked blowing their two-game lead in their biggest match of the season.
Junior libero Alyssa Rio was named the Mid-American Conference Defensive Player of the Week Monday afternoon. She is the first Cardinal player to earn the defensive award this season. Rio's combined performance over the weekend against Eastern Michigan University and Central Michigan University earned her the honor. Against Eastern Michigan Friday, Rio posted a season-high 34 digs. She followed that performance up with a 19 dig effort Sunday in helping the Cardinals to a 3-0 sweep of Central Michigan while holding the Chippewas to a -.412 hitting percentage in the third set, the lowest output by a Ball State opponent in rally scoring.
For the last year and a half the state of Michigan has been running advertisements supporting tourism in the state. One slogan during this time period was "Lose yourself in Pure Michigan." That's something the Ball State University women's volleyball team (11-14, 4-8) has done all year.
Sometimes unlikely combinations can be the best thing.Ball State University middle blocker Kelsey Brandl is the epitome of an unlikely combination. Best known for her blasting kills on the court, the 6-foot-4-inch Brandl has more than meets the eye.
What a difference a month makes. A month ago the Ball State University women's volleyball team (10-13, 3-7) was starting the Mid-American Conference slate with confidence and holding very high expectations.It had no reason to even think that by Halloween it would be fifth in the MAC West, five games behind division leading Western Michigan University (16-9, 8-2), whom Ball State faces Friday night.
Ball State University sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Brandl has been rewarded for her strong performance over the weekend.Monday afternoon, the Mid-American Conference named Brandl as the MAC West Division Offensive Player of the Week.
There were plenty of highlights over the course of the weekend for the Ball State University women's volleyball team (10-13, 3-7). Kelsey Brandl posted 34 kills, numerous blocks and five service aces. Kaylee Schembra had a remarkable diving, one-handed pancake dig to keep a play alive. Brandl also recorded two digs in the back row, contributing to a critical point in a set win. Charde' Phillips blasted a kill off the face of a defender.
Hate is a strong word, but after how things went down last season, the mere mention of Bowling Green State University (8-15, 1-7) gets Ball State University (10-11, 3-5) women's volleyball players Brittany McGinnis and Elaina Kakatolis' blood boiling.
The Ball State University women's volleyball team walked into the Convocation Center with the deck stacked against them. Ohio University was ranked No. 24 in the RPI and had only dropped two sets in Mid-American Conference action all season. On top of that, it was Homecoming Weekend in Athens.
The first half of the Mid-American Conference schedule comes to a close Friday and Saturday evening for the Ball State University women's volleyball team (10-9, 3-3). The schedule comes to a close with perhaps the biggest challenge the Cardinals will face all season in the form of Ohio University (14-4, 6-0) who is 24th nationally in the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI).
Playing against Quincy University has become a preferable match for outside attacker Matt Sprague. For the second time in less than a year, Sprague had a career high in kills in the No. 13 Ball State University men's volleyball team's win against the conference opponent.