Ball State fell to BYU 3-1 (25-19, 16-25, 25-15, 25-20) on Friday evening, suffering its first loss of the 2018 season.
“The adjustment from last weekend into this one was something we were working on in practice this entire week,” Sophomore Matt Szews said. “Overall, there was definitely a big change this week from last week.”
The Cardinals had a rough start dropping the first set, 25-19. In the second set the Cardinals rallied taking it 25-16. The Cardinals more than doubled their digs in the second set alone. The third set saw BYU take over winning 25-15. The Cardinals would hold close in the fourth set, but the comeback came up just short as BYU took the set 25-20 and would win the match 3-1.
The group of Szews, freshman Ben Chinnici and seniors Matt Walsh and Mitch Weiler had a strong game collecting 43 kills, 21 digs and five blocks. Szews led with 17 kills, while Walsh and Chinnici tied in digs with seven. According to head coach Joel Walton, while Weiler didn’t have the highest stats, his adjustments throughout the game were huge.
“Weiler took advantage of BYU moving to other places on the court and that’s exactly what we want to happen,” Walton said. “When a team is trying to defend certain players it has to open up opportunities for other guys and it was good to see Mitch take advantage of that.”
While the Cardinals pushed the Cougars to four sets, errors are what led to the team’s downfall. The Cardinals collected 24 attacking errors to BYU’s 13.
“The guys need to look and see what our opposition is doing defensively against us,” Walton said. “As attackers, our guys need to have multiple shots they can go to. If you become too patterned, it’s easy for your opponents to see that and get their defenders in the right place."
With this being the Cardinals first top 15 opposition they have faced this season, they are looking to learn from this game and prepare for future competition. The Cardinals have ten top 15 match ups this season including three top five match ups against UC-Irvine and Ohio State twice.
“We made a lot of mistakes tonight and they made us pay for it,” Szews said. “That’s what a team of this caliber is going to do. We need to working on limiting the amount of forced errors. That will give us a better chance to compete and win.”
The Cardinals will have a quick turnaround as they take on Stanford tomorrow at 7:30 p.m.
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