Volleyball matches NCAA record

Cardinals equal NCAA scoring record, earn first MAC win.

The Ball State volleyball team not only defeated Northern Illinois in four sets in the teams' Mid-American Conference opener Wednesday night, but the Cardinals also tied an NCAA record in the process.

Ball State, who improved to 5-6 overall with its 33-31, 28-30, 30-24, 30-27 road win over the Huskies, matched the NCAA record of 121 points in a four-game match.

"To beat the defending (MAC) champs, when they have all but one starter back, this is a big-time win for us," said head coach Randy Litchfield. "It was a war, although it wasn't particularly well-played. Both teams were really gritty, and I'm very proud of our girls."

Litchfield added it was the first time the Cardinals have won at Northern Illinois in 13 years. In 1989 the team traveled to DeKalb and beat the Huskies in five sets.

"That's a long time (since 1989), especially for a program as good as ours," he said. "We had a lot of demons floating around here, and we exorcised a bunch of them tonight."

The Cardinals narrowly outhit NIU (7-5 overall) .239-.235 despite having just 64 kills to the Huskies' 73. In falling in the second set, BSU hit just .132, but it recovered for a .395 clip in the third set.

Freshman Sarah Obras pounded 17 kills to lead Ball State in that category, with seniors Katie Butts and Jenna Foster hitting for 15 and 14, respectively. Sophomore Stacie Baldwin totaled 45 assists and added 11 digs. Butts led the Cards with 20 digs and sophomore Stephanie Keller had 16.


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