The Ball State University women's volleyball team completed the season sweep of the University of Toledo with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-18) win on Thursday night.
But those on the team feel the key to their victory over the Rockets was their ability to close out the first two sets when both team were battling into the 20s.
In the first set, the Cardinals faced an early hole when they found themselves down 17-12. But Ball State was eventually able to even the score at 22 and win the set 25-23, finishing the game on a 13-6 run. Sophomore middle blocker Kelsey Brandl recorded seven kills in the first set, setting the tone for the Cardinals (13-15, 6-9 Mid-American Conference).
The second set was similar to the first with the Cardinals and Rockets going back and forth to record eight tied scores and four lead changes. Ball State found themselves down again, this time 17-16, before finishing the set on a 9-6 run to again win 25-23. This time, Toledo was able to tie the score at 22 apiece before the Cardinals pulled away.
"We haven't been known for doing that, but I think we're starting to get better [at finishing sets] and not get as nervous as we used to when it gets close," junior libero Alyssa Rio said. "I think staying confident helped us out in those two sets."
In the third set, the Cardinals again found themselves down early at 12-9, but used a 16-6 run to win what would be their easiest set of the game at 25-18.
Even though the team completed the sweep Thursday night and showed poise in the first two sets, senior outside attacker Alisha Green thinks the team could be playing even better.
"What we are doing is not letting our mistakes build up, and we're not taking things for granted," Green said. "When we're playing our best, the score would probably be something like 25-9."
Ball State swept two Mid-American Conference opponents in consecutive games for the first time all season after beating Toledo on Thursday and shutting out Central Michigan University on Sunday.
If Green thinks her team can play better even after sweeping two straight MAC opponents, the Cardinals should feel confident heading into the conference tournament, which begins Nov. 17.