It was a tough night for Ball State (19-7, 10-3 MAC) as it lost to Central Michigan (6-19, 3-10 MAC) 3-0, snapping another Cardinal three-game win streak.
An unfavorable .162 hitting percentage and 20 attack errors were detrimental for the Cardinals while the Chippewas hit .242 courtesy of Lyza Myers and Savannah Thompson, who each put 12 kills on the board. The Chippewas compiled 45 kills on the night along with seven blocks to stymie the Cardinal offense.
“It was a tough night all around for us,” head coach Kelli Miller said. “CMU came into the match on a hot streak and took advantage of our inconsistent effort and performance.”
The Cardinals struggled from the start in Mount Pleasant as they tallied 9 attack errors in the first set, resulting in a .051 hitting percentage. Myers and Thompson contributed to the Chippewa offense with four kills each. Junior Amber Seaman grabbed three consecutive aces early in the set, but it wasn’t enough to put off the Chippewas, as they would take down the Cardinals, 25-22.
Set two remained tight through its entirety with the two teams trading the lead throughout. The Cardinals upped their errors to 15 while senior Ellie Dunn led the team with eight kills. The Chippewas took an early 3-2 lead and finished with a 25-22 victory.
The Cardinals came out swinging and took a 19-17 lead in the third set before the Chippewas gained control 23-21. The Cardinals made a late run to tie the set at 23 after a Dunn kill and a Chippewa error, but consecutive errors by the Cardinals propelled the Chippewas to a 25-23 match victory. Leading the Cardinals in kills was Dunn with 13. Junior Sydnee VanBeek held a .444 hitting percentage and compiled 10 kills. Senior Meg Starling finished the match with five total blocks, two of them solo.
“The MAC is a tough league, and we have seen that numerous times this season,” Miller said. “You can’t have an off night. You have to give it your all every time you step on the court.”
The Cardinals are back in action Saturday in Ypsilanti, Michigan, to take on Eastern Michigan.