Cardinals defeat OSU in invite

Sarah Obras scores record high 16 kills, Keller has 25 digs.

In its third-consecutive weekend tournament of the year, the Ball State women's volleyball team once again competed against a few of the best college volleyball squads in the country. This time, the Cardinals finished 1-2 on the weekend, with loses to No. 13 Minnesota and No. 20 North Carolina and a win over Oregon State at the Minnesota Nike Invitational.

Ball State's tournament started Friday against the Tar Heels. The Cardinals controlled Game 1, as they never trailed winning 30-22.

In Game 2, Ball State opened with a 10-4 run. But the lead was short-lived as North Carolina fought back and tied the game at 13. Soon, the tables were turned on the Cardinals as the Tar Heels went up 26-21. Ball State refused to give in, though, and worked the game to a tie at 31. North Carolina was able to win the next two points though and closed out game two.

Game 3 saw the two teams trade the lead early on before North Carolina took over the game when they were up 16-11. Although the Cardinals went on a few small runs to keep the game close, the Tar Heels controlled the tempo and won 30-23.

The final game of the match was another tight affair most of the way through. Ball State climbed back from 19-15 to tie the game at 19. From there, North Carolina took control, winning the next seven points. The Tar Heels did not look back as they won the game 30-23 and the match 3-1.

Freshman outside attacker Sarah Obras recorded a match-high 16 kills and sophomore libero Stephanie Keller led all players with 25 digs.

In their first match on Saturday, the Cardinals faced the host Golden Gophers. No. 13 Minnesota dominated the match from the onset.

Game 1 had Minnesota jump out to an early 12-5 lead. Ball State never got closer than four points after that and the Gophers won easily, 30-17.

In Game 2, Ball State rallied from three points down early to lead at 8-7. That was the Cardinals last lead of the game, though. Minnesota took nine of the next 10 points and controlled the game from there, claiming a 30-20 win.

Game 3 was the closest of all the games in the match, but was still dominated by Minnesota. Ball State never led in the game and fell 30-25 in the final game of the match.

Obras again led the Cardinals' offense, this time with 13 kills. Senior outside attacker Katie Butts was the only other Cardinal to have double digit kills in the match - 10. Keller tied for match-high dig honors with 12.

Ball State refused to leave the Land of a Thousand Lakes without a victory though as it defeated Oregon State 3-2 in its final match of the tournament.

In an exciting match, the two teams traded games until it was tied at two games apiece. After falling behind 2-4 in the fifth and deciding game, the Cardinals stepped up and showed they were the better team as they went on a 9-1 run. After the Beavers tried to make a game of it at 14-7, Butts recorded a game-winning kill and Ball State won the match.

Keller posted a Ball State record 36 digs in the victory. Her 73 digs in the three matches were a tournament-high. Butts had a tournament-high 25 kills in the match against Oregon State. Obras, who had a tournament-high 51 kills in three matches, was named to her second all-tournament team in as many weeks

Ball State will next be in action on Wednesday, Sept. 25th when the team starts Mid-American Conference play against Northern Illinois.


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