Starting the season at 2-1, Ball State Women’s Volleyball (2-1, 0-0 MAC) prepares to travel to Springfield, Missouri to compete in the Mary Jo Wynn tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Last weekend’s Dayton Invitational saw the Cardinals taking down South Alabama and Marshall, but suffering a four-set loss against host Dayton. According to head coach Kelli Miller, serving and passing were the culprit of their struggles.
“We definitely had ups and downs offensively,” Miller said. “Serve-receive passing is going to be a major focus for us moving forward. When you do those things well, your offense does well and vice versa.”
Senior Ellie Dunn, recently named All-MAC West Division, currently leads the team with 46 kills and 49.5 points scored in just three matches. With a .336 hitting percentage, Dunn is a force to be reckoned with at the net, scoring a .571 attack percentage in just one match last weekend.
“I feel as though I’ve grown in terms of the mental side of the game as well as in-game play,” Dunn said. “You definitely develop and mature through this game and I think that has given me an upper hand now that I’m a senior.”
Last season, Dunn finished with a .189 hitting percentage, scoring 367 points for the Cardinals and contributing 42 blocks. The senior also achieved her first career double-double in the first match of the Dayton Invitational against South Alabama, tallying 17 kills and 10 digs.
“Being a leader on and off the court is a responsibility you have to take on as a senior,” said Dunn. “We do a number of things off the court that require just as much attention to detail as what goes on during the games, as well.”
Dunn was also named to the All-Tournament Team for the Dayton Invitational, along with junior setter Amber Seaman. With kills in the double-digits for all three matches and a .336 attack percentage on the weekend, Dunn was a shoe-in for the accolade.
“My main focus for this season is to not take anything for granted,” Dunn said “It’s easy to lose sight of just how close the end is, and realizing that this is my last season makes me really appreciate every moment that I am out on the court.”
Looking toward this weekend in Missouri, the Cardinals will face Grambling State (0-3, 0-0 SWAC), Oral Roberts (1-2, 0-0 Summit) and Missouri State (0-3, 0-0 MVC). Grambling State recently fell to another MAC squad in Kent State, 0-3, at the North Texas Tournament last weekend.
“Missouri State has been at the top of their league for a long time and they always play well at home,” Miller said. “They will definitely bring energy, and we’ll have to match that. Oral Roberts and Grambling are athletic. We can’t get overly concerned with each team we’re playing, but rather focus on what we’re doing on our side of the net.”
The Cardinals’ first match of the weekend will be against Grambling State at 5:30 p.m. on Friday.