Volleyball looking to improve from weekend tournaments

The Ball State women's volleyball team hosted the Ankle Challenge this weekend. Visiting schools included North Dakota State, Northern Iowa and Indiana University. The Cardinals won one of the three matches they played.

After going 1-2 last weekend in the Active Ankle Challenge, Ball State Volleyball looks to Tuesday where they will take on IUPUI. The Jaguars come off a weekend in Athens, Ohio, for the Ohio University Tournament where they went 0-3.

Tuesday will be the first non-tournament match of the regular season for the Cardinals. Head coach Kelli Miller said finding what works for the team is the major benefit from playing in these pre-conference tournaments.

“Finding our optimal lineup and rotation is a main focus as we get closer to conference play,” Miller said. “These tournaments help us with that, as well as showing what play sets work for us and which ones may not.”

The Cardinals were able to take down the North Dakota State Bison this past weekend but suffered losses to Northern Iowa and Indiana. The match against the Hoosiers was a five-set nail-biter; the fifth ended with a score of 15-13. Senior outside hitter Ellie Dunn is happy with the way her team played and said the tournament games help to see where the team is at.

“The pre-conference tournament play is a good way to see what we need to work on,” Dunn said. “There’s always ways to improve, and playing multiple games over a weekend can really help to show where that improvement is needed.”

The Jaguars are 2-8 on the season with victories coming from matches against Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Purdue Fort Wayne. The Jaguars also won their season exhibition match against Notre Dame.

Last year the Cardinals were defeated by the Jaguars 3-2. As a junior, Meg Starling tallied 15 kills that match, while then-sophomore Kate Avila grabbed 18 digs. 

“We need to continue to focus on ourselves,” Miller said. “We have to come out and play each set well and let the outcome be what it is.”

Ball State and IUPUI will be in Worthen Arena Tuesday at 7 p.m.


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