The Ball State women’s volleyball team continued play in the 2016 Active Ankle Challenge Friday night at Worthern Arena. The Cardinals (4-9) defeated Valparaiso (6-6) to make the team 2-0 after the first day of the tournament.

“We had people that stepped up in the right moments today and got big swings when we needed them,” head coach Kelli Miller said.

Upcoming home matches

Sept. 16 Ball State v.s. Ohio State 6:00 PM 

Sept. 23 Ball State v.s. Central Michigan 7:00 PM 

Sept. 24 Ball State v.s. Eastern Michigan 7:00 PM 

Sept. 29 Ball State v.s. Toledo  7:00 PM

In a four set battle the Cardinals defeated the Crusaders with a 3-1 (25-23, 25-9, 21-25, 25-17) victory, putting them on a four-game win streak.

Keeping the momentum going from their win earlier today against UNC-Greensboro, head coach Kelli Miller is pleased with the mechanical improvements her team has shown in the tournament.

“The best thing about this match today was our passing. We passed and served a lot better tonight, so we were able to run our offense. This gave us more opportunities to score,” Miller said.

After a close first set, the Cardinals carried their momentum over into the second set taking an early 3-1 lead. Expanding their lead 16-4, Ball State finished out the set beating the Crusaders 25-9.

Although they let the third set slip (25-21), the Cardinals rallied to win the fourth set 25-17, to win the match.

Miller said it seemed that freshman libero Kate Avilia was everywhere on the court.

"She really sparked us because we had a lot of long rallies and we just kept digging,” Miller said.

Avila's defensive performance contributed to the Cardinal’s victory tonight. Avila led all players with 32 digs, just four shy of her career high.

“I thought we just really remained very steady and levelheaded throughout all long points, which was a huge improvement from the past," Miller said. "Our defense is what lead us tonight.”

The Cardinals also turned in a strong performance offensively. Junior outside hitter Sabrina Mangapora stayed consistent, leading all players with 20 total kills for the third time this season.

Sophomore outside hitter Brooklyn Goodsel accompanied Mangapora, recording 16 kills, to put them at a combined 36 for the night. The duo led the offense to a .250 attacking percentage for the night.

Hoping to stay consistent after a strong all-around performance tonight, Ball State closes out the tournament tomorrow when they battle Ohio State at 6 p.m. in Worthern Arena.

“Tonight was a huge step in the right direction just from a maturity standpoint as part of our process. I was pleased with how we did,” Miller said.