Junior Sydnee VanBeek spikes the ball at the Ball State Women's Volleyball match against Akron Nov.10, 2018, at John E. Worthen Arena. VanBeek scored the winning point of the fifth set to give the Cardinals the match win. Tailiyah Johnson,DN
Cardinals to enter first match of MAC Tournament Friday
After 29 matches, Ball State Women’s Volleyball has cranked up its preparation for the Mid-American Conference Tournament this week, awaiting the winner of Northern Illinois and Ohio.
“If we continue to do what we do, I think we will do well,” head coach Kelli Miller said. “Playing low-error volleyball, getting good serves and quality passes and giving it our all will be the key this weekend.”
Coming off of consecutive wins over Toledo and Akron, the morale is high, and the team is ready to bring its A-game. While the Cardinals beat Ohio earlier in the season, the Bobcats took them to four sets. In the season series against Northern Illinois, the Cardinals split with the Huskies, 1-1. Regardless of Thursday’s outcome, the Cardinals know they have to come out ready to battle.
“Every year, I have learned and gained something from the MAC Tournament,” Miller said. “Each year changes with having different teams, but the biggest thing I think I’ve learned is that you have to relax and just enjoy it.”
The Bobcats ended the regular season with three consecutive losses, only winning one set out of the three matches. The team’s overall hitting percentage sits at a .169, while the Cardinals have maintained a .237. The Bobcats are led by senior Jamie Kosiorek, who has registered 316 kills on the season.
The Huskies ended their regular season with a record of 11-20, but they did come out on top in their first match against the Cardinals this season. Led by senior Meg Wolowicz, the Huskies have achieved a 9-7 conference record.
“[We have] become really gritty, especially at the end of the regular season with these five-set matches,” senior Lauren Schreiner said. “We’ve learned how to face that adversity and come out with a win and fight as a team.”
Ball State enters the MAC Tournament with an overall record of 21-8 and a conference record of 12-4. The Cardinals will play their first match Friday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in Oxford, Ohio.