Women's volleyball hosts MAC rival Miami Wednesday night

After two weekends on the road, the Mid-American Conference leading Ball State women's volleyball team returns to Worthen Arena to face the RedHawks of Miami at 7 Wednesday night.

The Miami match will begin the final home stand of the season for Ball State, which plays its final four matches in Muncie. The Cardinals welcome the break from traveling, said head coach Randy Litchfield.

"It is so opposite what we've had the last three years where most of November was on the road and it really took its toll on us," Litchfield said. "It is much better to be at home when the pressure gets greater and academics get tougher. We sure hope to take advantage of it."

Ball State cannot rest too easily though. Miami was the last MAC school to defeat Ball State in Worthen Arena back in 1997 and is the only MAC team to have registered a victory over the Cards in Muncie in the last decade. In the two schools' previous meeting this year, the RedHawks took the Cardinals to the five-game limit before eventually folding.

"What we have to remember is we went over to Oxford and had all we wanted," Litchfield said. "We probably should have left there with a loss."

To avoid another difficult match, Ball State has to focus and reduce its errors.

"When we have struggled with teams, we have given away far too many points," Litchfield said. "That takes the pressure off of teams and allows them to play well against us."

Even though Miami does not have a very good record this season, at 8-17 overall and 3-10 in the MAC, and his team has not been practicing up to his standards, Litchfield is hopeful that his team will be able to get up for the match.

"I think it can be a little tough on the road, but I can't believe we'll have motivation problems here at home, especially with a potential championship in our grasps," Litchfield said.

The Cardinals will be led into the match by the reigning MAC West Division Player of the Week, Sarah Obras. The freshman outside attacker has now won the award three times this season, which is as many as any other player in the MAC this year. Litchfield feels his player's performance this past weekend makes her very deserving of the honor.

"When we needed Sarah the most this weekend, she played big," Litchfield said. "I believe that the recognition she is receiving is indicating that she is a first team All-MAC player and possibly even a Player of the Year candidate."

Obras currently ranks second in the MAC in overall kills with 405 in 100 games. She is third in kills in MAC-only matches with 229 in 56 games. Ball State senior outside attacker is first in that category with 236 kills in 56 games.


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