Junior outside hitter David Siebum and red shirted sophomore middle attacker Lem Turner pushes a kill back over the net against a Emmanuel Lions attacker, Jan. 6, at John E. Worthen Arena. Ball State swept the Lions, in three straight sets, 16-25, 15-25, 12-25. Grace Hollars, DN
Sloppy play capitalizes disappointing weekend for Ball State men's volleyball
Ball State men’s volleyball surely doesn’t lack in the block department. With a wall of attackers including Matt Walsh and Anthony Lebryk, the Cardinals tallied 11 total team blocks — three more than Stanford.
But outside hitter Jaylen Jasper and the Stanford Cardinal (1-4) were able to maneuver around that wall in dominating fashion to sweep Ball State in three sets (23-25, 13-25, 20-25).
Head coach Joel Walton said winning one in one statistic isn’t going to make him happy.
“That’s one stat, and I don’t take a whole lot of consolation in winning that stat,” Walton said.
It was the play of Jasper — a freshman who Walton coached this summer at the Youth World Championships — led the Cardinal to its first victory of the season.
“He [Jasper] may have had his best match of the year against us tonight,” Walton said. “What he does is physical, but what he does isn’t unpredictable. We knew some things that we needed to do to make him uncomfortable we just did not execute those things tonight.”
Jasper finished with 17 kills and three aces — both team leaders.
Walton’s team opened the match strong trading points with one of the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation strongest teams. But the match .245 kill percentage of the Cardinal proved too much for the Cardinals.
Set two proved uncharacteristic for Ball State (2-2) allowing Stanford to jump out to an early 9-18 lead.
Senior middle attacker Anthony Lebryk said the team had god energy coming into the match after a disappointing four-set loss to Brigham Young last night, but it was an all-around off night.
"Just comes down to who wants it the most and this weekend was not our weekend,” Lebryk said.
Sophomore outside attacker Blake Reardon led the Cardinals in kills with 14. Senior outside attacker Mitch Weiler followed with five. Stanford dominated Ball State in kills tallying 40 to Ball State’s 27.
Walton is disappointed his team didn’t have a better showing against a team still searching for its first win.
“We were not aggressive enough, and to allow them to find some confidence, and then it seemed like their will to win their first match overtook what our guys had to offer tonight,” Walton said.
After an opening weekend of not dropping a set, the Cardinals dropped three in two matches. Walton said changes are coming after the let down.
“Very disappointing weekend for us,” Walton said. “I feel like our team is much better than our team performed this weekend.”
Personnel changes are not out of the question fro starters and back ups Walton said.
“I’m looking for guys that come into the gym and want to compete,” he said. “Who’s going to show me on a daily basis that there’s a fire in their belly and they’re not going to accept what’s going on right now.”
Next weekend will prove how the Cardinals bounce back after a disappointing weekend as they host Sacred Heart and Harvard.