Freshman outside attacker Blake Reardon usually leads the Ball State men's volleyball bench in celebration.
But Saturday night, Reardon led his team on the court in the No. 12 Cardinals' 3-1 (19-25, 25-16, 25-21, 25-18) win over Lindenwood with five kills in the fourth and final set. He totaled a career-high 10 kills.
"When it gets toward the end you definitely just want to nip it in the bud and finish this off," Reardon said. "We knew that if we tried really hard right here and finished it we would be able to go home and go to bed."
After tying the match 1-1, the Cardinals started off red hot in the third set with freshman outside attacker Matt Szews going on a 9-0 serving run that included an ace. After the run, the Cardinals wouldn't trail again in the match.
"Overall, I felt that we didn't serve great but we did have a few guys serve very well in specific moments," Ball State head coach Joel Walton said. "If you're able to get a nine-point serving run, that's really significant — that's a back breaker."
Walton said he was happy with the team's defensive performance, as the Cardinals out-blocked the Lions 13-8, with junior middle attacker Matt Walsh leading the team with seven total blocks.
"In the first game they were able to find some seams in our blocks, but in games two through four we did a good job defensively," Walton said. "I thought that our blocks really started to have an effect on them."
Senior outside attacker Edgardo Cartagena led the Cardinals with a season-high 11 kills. Cartagena said Ball State's depth makes the team difficult to defend.
"These games show that we have a bunch of guys who are capable of going in and doing the job," Cartagena said. "It's all just a matter of being able to prove it out on the court."
Ball State wraps up its regular season schedule at home next weekend with matches against No. 10 Loyola-Chicago and No. 7 Lewis next Thursday and Saturday. Both matches are scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.