Winter break in review: Ball State athletics
Winter break didn’t mean an extended trip home for Ball State athletes. They still had games to play.
Five sports — men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s swim and dive, women’s swim and dive and indoor track and field — continued their seasons over break. Two more — men’s volleyball and gymnastics — kicked off their seasons before classes began.
Ball State started off hot by winning its final three non-conference games against Longwood, Alabama State and North Florida, but dropped its first two Mid-American Conference games against Kent State and Bowling Green State.
Junior Jeremie Tyler also returned from a suspension and is playing 17.8 minutes and scoring 7.6 points per game. With the addition of Tyler, the Cardinals now have eight players averaging at least 7 points per game, led by sophomore guard Tayler Persons (15.4 points per game).
The Cardinals are now 9-6 (0-2 MAC) and last in the MAC West division, though. They host the Miami Redhawks (8-7, 1-1 MAC) at 7 p.m. Jan. 10.
Ball State’s women’s team almost flipped the record of the men, dropping its first two games over break before starting a four-game winning streak — including victories over its first three MAC opponents.
Senior guard Jill Morrison also became the 25th player in Ball State women’s basketball history to clear the 1,000 point benchmark Dec. 28 against Urbana. Morrison has scored 10.7 points per game this season and is third on the team behind junior Moriah Monaco (15.3 points per game) and senior Renee Bennett (15.9 points per game)
The Cardinals’ 3-0 conference record (10-5 overall), however, hasn’t separated them from the rest of the MAC West — they’re in a three-way tie for first place in the division.
Ball State plays next Jan. 11 at Central Michigan, which is also 3-0 in MAC play.
Indoor track and field
The Cardinals competed in their second meet of the season Jan. 7, losing to Western Michigan 81-58.
Although Ball State didn’t win, 12 Cardinals set personal-best times in their events.
They’ll be back in action Jan. 13 at the Kentucky Invitational, hosted by the University of Kentucky.
Men’s swim and dive
The Cardinals dropped a meet against Xavier and IUPUI in Indianapolis Jan. 6. Xavier won 151-76, and IUPUI won 191.5-50.5.
Freshman Ben Andrew's time of 21.76 was good for second place in the 50 freestyle, and senior Tanner Barton 's 52.26 finish in the 100 butterfly the best individual finish of the meet for a Ball State swimmer.
Their next meet is Jan. 14 at Eastern Michigan.
Women’s swim and dive
The women's team also swam at IUPUI Jan. 6 and came out with a 170-67 win over Xavier and a 149-94 win over IUPUI.
Ball State won seven individual events, including the 200-yard medley relay (Anne Vormohr, Amanda Kedzierski, Andrea Richter, Peighton Gilbert), 50 freestyle (Jessica Extine), 200 individual medley (Sophia Bader), 100 butterfly (Richter), 100 freestyle (Gilbert), 100 backstroke (Vormohr), and 100 breaststroke (Kedzierski).
The Cardinals' next meet is Jan. 20 against Indiana State and Eastern Illinois in Terre Haute.
The 15th-ranked Cardinals opened up their season with a road trip to Honolulu Jan. 5 to 7.
They won their first two games against Princeton and Erskine, but dropped the finale against host No. 7 Hawaii.
Freshman outside hitter Matt Szews led the Cardinals with 38 kills and senior setter Connor Gross led with 108 assists.
Ball State hosts St. Francis in its home opener at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 12, followed by a match against No. 13 Penn State Jan. 13.
The Cardinals also opened their season Jan. 7 before classes with a dual meet against Missouri and Illinois in Columbia, Missouri.
Ball State finished third with 193.625 behind Missouri (196.225 points) and Illinois (194.200). Freshman Bri Slonim and senior Sarah Ebeyer tied for second place on vault with scores of 9.775, and Jordyn Penny took second on the bars with a 9.875.
The Cardinals host MAC opponent Northern Illinois in its first home meet Jan. 15.