Playing in the Miami (Ohio) regional of the National Invitational Volleyball Championship, Ball State Women’s Volleyball (22-10, 12-4 MAC) fell 3-1 to Valparaiso (26-10, 11-7 MVC).
The first set was dominated by the Crusaders after they jumped out 17-8 after an attack error by Freshman Reece Kral and a service ace from Senior Katherine Carlson. Ball State would score one more point the rest of the set. The Crusaders cruised to a 25-9 first set victory.
The second set was all Cardinals as they went up double figures after three straight Crusaders mistakes, service error from Sophomore Rylee Cookerly, an attack error from Senior Lizzie Zaleski and a ball handling error by redshirt Senior Allison Ketcham resulted in a 23-10 lead. Cardinals would conclude the set with a 25-13 score to tie the match 1-1.
After two one-sided sets the third set was a back and forth battle between the teams. The Crusaders went up by three with a kill from sophomore Jaclyn Bulmahn to put them up 22-18. The Cardinals closed the gap after a kill by Junior, Sydnee Vanbeek, attack error by Bulmahn, and a service ace from senior Lauren Schreiner put the score at 22-21. The Crusaders won the set 25-23
The Crusaders headed entered final set with a 2-1 match lead and carried that momentum with three straight points. Ball State would go on to score five unanswered points. The Cardinals got a kill from redshirt senior Avery Devoe and two attack errors from Carlson put the score at 24-18. Crusaders would end the final set with a 25-18 win and overall match victory 3-1.
“I was really proud of how my team competed even with a disappointing loss like that," head coach Kelli Miller said. "You always want to end the season on a high note but, I’m still proud of the girls and what they accomplished throughout the season."