MEN'S VOLLEYBALL: Cardinals continue to push after splitting weekend

BSU wants improvement after sweep of Princeton

Losses to Ohio State are becoming common each year for the Ball State men's volleyball team, but it hasn't discouraged the Cardinals yet from their goals.

Ball State was defeated Friday by Ohio State 3-1 in Columbus, Ohio. The loss increased the Cardinals' losing streak to the Buckeyes to 10 straight games.

The team followed its disappointing loss with a dominating 3-0 sweep on the road over Princeton on Saturday.

Ball State's play in each match couldn't be any more different.

Ohio State forced 32 attack errors on Friday night, which was Ball State's highest total of the season.

Against the Tigers, the Cardinals' attacking was rejuvenated, as they tied for its fifth-highest attack percentage in the rally scoring era at a collective .477.

Coach Joel Walton said while his team performed well at the net against Princeton, it still needs to continue working on its attacking.

"We just have to do a better job choosing the shot in each situation and trying to trim down the number of errors were committing," he said.

While Ball State's offense has struggled, its defense has excelled. As of matches played through March 6, the Cardinals lead the nation at blocks per set with 3.07.

"Our team does a very nice job blocking," Walton said. "I think the anchors of J.D. Gasparovic and Anders Nelson in the middle, and our outside attackers and setters are contributing to our team having more blocks per game than any other team in country."

With the even 1-1 record over the weekend, the Cardinals now stand at an overall record of 11-7 and a conference record in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association of 3-4.

Ball State travels this weekend to play in two matches in Pennsylvania, first taking on Penn State on Friday before moving on Saint Francis for Saturday's match.