Ball State women's volleyball fought back from a 2-0 deficit to pull off a five set win against Duquesne in the Ball State and Butler Tournament on Friday night. (20-25, 21-25, 25-22, 25-19, 15-11).
Ball State and Duquesne kicked off the first set in a teeter-totter race for points, tying a total of 15 times, with seven lead changes.
Redshirt junior middle hitter Meg Starling had the first kill of the match, and led the first set with a total of five. Duquesne's Maria Mosbacher led with four.
The Dukes pulled through with a first set win at 25-20.
The second set started off strong for the Cardinals, junior middle hitter Emily Holland and Starling came up with a block to give Ball State the lead 13-10, forcing the Dukes to call a timeout.
Duquesne took back the lead in a five set run, and ultimately snagged the second set win, 25-21.
Ball State took the lead in the first few minutes of the third set with a five point run, however the Dukes follow suit and remain only a few points behind for much of the third.
Vying for the third win, sophomore defensive specialist Kate Avila takes the serve at set point and finishes the set with an ace, 25-22.
Avila led the team with four aces, followed by Starling with two. Head coach Kelli Miller has been putting a lot of emphasis on serving pressure for this weekends tournament, and the improvement can be seen, as the Cardinals kept consistent serving pressure on the Dukes throughout the match.
Highlights by Rachel Rusnak, Newslink Indiana
“Kate has always been a very steady server for us, she is able to mix that short zone it just at the right time. I thought our serving presence definitely made a huge difference of just keeping the pressure on them. We had to reverse when they were serving tough at us, and when you have that consistent tough server on you it makes a huge difference. I was pleased that we could continue with that from the weekend.” Miller said.
The Cardinals were all in, bringing the heat in the fourth set with a 7-4 point run with the help of three kills by junior outside hitter Ellie Dunn and three more from Holland.
Ball State takes the fourth set win 25-19 finishing off with a double block from Dunn and sophomore middle hitter Sydnee Vanbeek.
Fending for the win, both teams battled it out in the fifth set, with Ball State gaining a two point lead 10-8 thanks to back to back blocks by Starling and freshman outside hitter Kia Holder. A kill from Vanbeek takes Ball State to set point, leading to the match win from another kill from Holland.
Senior setter Kennedy McCallen led the team with 31 assists, followed by sophomore setter Amber Seaman with 25.
“Starting on set three it was a different team. We were down two sets and we were like, we gotta get going. And it's hard to come back after two sets, but I think the offense started going and then that brought our defense up and then serving and everything clicked.” McCallen said.
The Cardinals will finish off this weekend's tournament Saturday evening at 7pm in Indianapolis against Butler University.