After Ball State women's volleyball's straight-set victory over the Evansville Purple Aces on Thursday night, one thing was the same no matter who you asked.
Head coach Kelli Miller, junior outside hitter Brooklyn Goodsel and redshirt junior middle hitter Meg Starling all agreed: Ball State's service pressure was key to its win over Evansville.
“I think our service pressure and our serve and pass were consistent throughout, there wasn’t any specific time when we had a huge low or run of points so I think those were two main keys,” Goodsel said.
The Cardinals controlled the pace of play on Thursday night, barely trailing in any of the game's three sets. Ball State servers racked up seven aces in the victory.
“We focused a ton on our serving in practice," Miller said. "That is one thing you’re in total control over, just like when you’re shooting a free throw. The ball is in your hands and you have complete control over that serve. No one else is in charge of you. So I think we put a huge emphasis on getting ourselves extra reps and taking more pride in our serves, not just about getting [the ball] over, but getting it over with pace, putting it where we want it, so that’s something that we put a huge emphasis on and I think we saw it pay off tonight.”
Starling was key to the Ball State attack, earning nine kills and adding two blocks in the win. Junior Ellie Dunn notched seven kills while Goodsel added six.
"We were all on the same page," Starling said. "We all knew we needed to come out and press this team and set the pace for the whole weekend; we have three games in three days."
The pressure from good serves paid off as the Cardinals forced 24 errors by the Purple Aces, and kept any Evansville players from reaching double digits in blocks.
“I think a big I wanted to impress upon our girls was to make sure that we were consistent regardless of what the score was, regardless of who we’re playing," Miller said. "We need to make sure that we’re maintaining our consistency on our side of the floor, and so I think that was a step in the right direction to show no matter if things were going well for them or not we maintained our consistency throughout the match and I was pretty pleased with that.”
The Cardinals return to the floor on Friday night at 7 p.m. at Worthen Arena against Duquesne.