The men's volleyball team won its third straight match Saturday as it defeated No. 11 Ohio State 30-15, 30-23, and 30-27. The win gave the Cardinals a two-game sweep of the season series.
Ohio State dropped to 14-9 overall, 7-4 MIVA.
Prior to the match, head coach Joel Walton had said he wanted the team to "come out and play like there is a sense of urgency."
Looking at the numbers, it would seem the team answered Walton's request.
In the first game, Ball State hit .571 and held Ohio State to .033 and continued to limit the efficiency of the sixth-best attack offense in the nation throughout the match, as Ohio State hit .156.
Walton said assistant coach Kevin Furnish and the team worked on blocking, and he was pleased with the results.
"We spent a good portion of the week focusing on how we wanted to block tonight," Walton said. "(Ohio State) threw at us tonight a different look than what we saw when we played at its place, but our guys picked up on that really well. (It was) the best we've blocked all season."
The Cards finished with 13 total blocks on the match. Ball State was led by Paul Fasshauer, whose contribution included 14 kills and 10 blocks. Matthew Denmark, who was injured in the last meeting between the two teams, added eight kills and no errors. Walton said he has been talking with setter Keith Schunzel to get the two middle attackers more involved in the offense.
"I've spent the last two weeks in (Keith) Schunzel's ear trying to convince him that we need to get more of our offense to those guys," Walton said. "I think tonight helps me win that argument."
Ball State has four regular-season games remaining on its schedule. Its next match will be on the road against No. 12 Loyola-Chicago, whom Walton considers a very tough team to play at home.
"Winning in their gym has been hard," Walton said. "We've already said our guys have to be prepared to go into Loyola's gym and just fight for every point and every serve. As soon as that match starts we've got to be ready to go because we are not going to get any breaks there."