Ball State knew exactly how important it was to beat Ohio. It would take an all out effort from everybody on the team to break a losing streak that dates back to 2003.
But the Cardinals looked to the freshman to step up to help defeat the Bobcats. The freshmen came ready to play, as did the rest of the Cardinals as they defeated the Bobcats in five sets.
Prior to the match, juniors Brittany McGinnis, setter and defensive specialist Alyssa Rio spoke about the match and the importance of them winning. McGinnis had told Rio that the freshmen were needed to step up to ensure the best chance of victory.
"We rely on them [freshman] a lot on the outside, but late in the game when they build our confidence and get kills," McGinnis said. "They are playing like sophomores and juniors and that's what really helps us, when they are playing well."
Freshman outside hitter Kylee Baker is grateful to beat Ohio in her first year at Ball State.
"It all started with everybody saying that we haven't won against these guys in so long," Baker said. "So it was a chance for the freshman to be the first class to beat them and hopefully carry on the tradition for years."
Freshmen outside hitter Whitney Heeres and Baker both recorded 15 kills for the Cardinals. However, Baker was not completely satisfied with her performance.
"I feel like a do a lot better job of putting the ball away," Baker said. "I just got to mix up my shots and create better shots for myself."
In the fifth set, freshman middle blocker Mindy Marx, who recorded seven kills, came up with three straight kills to help put away the bobcats.
"Mindy's had a coming-out party tonight, especially in game five," coach Steve Shondell "But it's great to see those girls competing in this kind of competition."