Women's volleyball to host pair of matches this weekend

Football is not the only Ball State sport that will be on display in Muncie this weekend.

The Mid-American Conference West Division-leading Ball State women's volleyball team will host a pair of matches Friday and Saturday against Bowling Green and Eastern Michigan respectively.

Bowling Green entered this week at 5-14 overall and winless in the MAC at 0-7. The Falcons' attack is led by Kristin Gamby, who paces the team in kills with 267 and kills per game at 3.71.

Despite a less than outstanding record, Ball State head coach Randy Litchfield is not ready to look past the Falcons.

"I think it would be hard to overlook a team that was a semifinalist for a MAC championship a year ago," Litchfield said. "They are off to a rough start, but they are an outstanding program."

Litchfield expects an off-speed style of match from Bowling Green.

"They probably use soft shots more than anyone we play," Litchfield said. "We want to make sure the match is played to our tempo and not theirs."

The following night, the Cardinals will welcome the Eagles of Eastern Michigan to Worthen Arena.

EMU started this week at 16-3 overall and 5-2 in the MAC. Jennifer Nighswander leads the Eagles in attacks (672), kills (223), kills per game (3.43), digs (290) and digs per game (4.46). EMU setter Camilo Olaio, who averages .84 aces per game, is one of the nation's best servers.

EMU brings a very different type of play than BGSU, according to Litchfield.

"They are very emotional and they are very aggressive," Litchfield said. "They have as good of an offensive balance as anyone in the conference."

It is that balance that is a cause of concern for the Ball State team entering Saturday's match.

"We like to key on certain players," Litchfield said. "I think with them you have to play them a little more honestly."

On Saturday night against the Eagles, Ball State is offering a "Volleyball Free-for-All" in appreciation for all the support the Muncie community has given the women's volleyball team so far this season.

"I could not think of any better way to thank our fans than offering a free admission night," Litchfield said. "I have a family and I know how expensive it can be to take them all out to do anything. I know coming to volleyball matches is not cheap, but our fans keep coming."

Litchfield thinks that the crowd on Saturday may be large enough to break the Ball State home attendance record.

"Everything is in place for it," Litchfield said. "We are not dealing with a holiday weekend. So many people come to campus for homecoming."

The current Ball State record for the largest crowd was set earlier this season against Pittsburgh on Sept. 2 with 1,711 people in attendance. <<2+â-ê5?opj'g-ú!-¦{;k--`+â-Ü_c+â-«j+â-ó+â-Ü+â-Öj-+D9L+â-Ä?-º?f"-¼^B+â-å+â-ª=Ya\+â-Ör-M+â-¬'-?+â-ú\jQ"--S3^+â-»-ú+â-Ñ+â-ü-+â-ñO+â-¢+â-Ü"+â-ñ-+=+â-ì-¼+â-ä+â-»+â-å=+â-ƒ+â-ƒ+â-Ü-¦-¼*k-;~ -¦+-¦]+â-»p-Ñ?y+â-Ä)i+â-ÜU+â-öOP0v*FZ+â-á?+â-ƒ+â-¬-ú-á-»UMs+âc'?


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