It was d+â-¬j+â-á vu for No. 9 Ball State in a pair of rematches over the weekend.
Participating in Rutgers-Newark's annual Golden Dome Classic, Ball State finished the classic with a 1-1 record in games that ended in similar fashions to the team's previous matchups against the opponents. The two matches were also the team's first two road games.
The men handed Concordia (2-2) yet another sweep on Friday to hand the team its second loss of the season. The two schools first met in the season opener for both squads, with Ball State winning the match in a sweep as well. Friday's defeat was the first road game for Ball State this season.
"We played extremely well against Concordia," head coach Joel Walton said. "Our offense was on track and our blocking was very good."
Leading the Cardinals to victory was Kyle Weindel with 11 kills as Keith Schunzel finished with 42 assists. Defensively, Matt Denmark led the Cardinals with 11 blocks and Josh Hall dug a season-high 14 balls. The Cards won 30-19, 30-14, 30-23.
Their next opponent, host Rutgers-Newark, posed a different set of obstacles as the team pushed the match to the limit Saturday and overwhelmed the Cardinals to hand them a 29-31, 30-27, 30-19, 27-30, 8-15 loss. The first meeting between the two also went the limit, with Ball State pulling out the victory in similar fashion, 28-30, 31-29, 30-22, 23-30, 18-16.
"(Rutgers-Newark's) middle attackers were very good," Walton said, whose team is now 5-1. "They kept attacking hard which made it hard for us to dig. They came into their own gym and came out aggressively. They were a bit too tough for us in the last two games, and we just fell short."
Tom Tegethoff led the Cardinals with 15 kills to finish with 24 for the tournament. Paul Fasshauer, who added 13 kills of his own, shared a team-high three blocks along with Denmark and Schunzel, who concluded the match with 59 assists. Josh Hall had nine digs.
Fasshauer and Schunzel were named to the 2002 Golden Dome All-Classic Team.
Ball State hopes to better last year's 12-4 conference record as it returns home this Friday to face Findlay (4-2 , 0-1) in its first conference match of the year.