Ball State Women’s Volleyball (7-7, 1-1 MAC) split its two-game Ohio road trip as it fell to Akron (9-4, 2-0 MAC). The Cardinals started the game up two sets to none, but the Zips stormed back to sweep the remaining three, 3-2. 

Ball State’s defense played a major key in tonight's match putting on pressure on its serves and controlling the game on both ends. However, Akron matched the Cardinal's energy on its end of the court. 

“We came out strong,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “I thought out service pressure was spot on which I thought was definitely to our advantage in set one and two. In set three and four is when I thought the tides turned. Their service pressure really picked up and it was just a tight ball game back and forth in set five.” 

The Cardinals were led by freshman outside hitter Natalie Risi on offense as she provided them with 14 kills. Senior setter Amber Seaman also gave a strong helping hand as she picked up 39 assists in the game. 

“Natalie Risi was pretty solid,” Phillips said. “She did a nice job front row of scoring some points, moving the ball around, she played some pretty good defense, and served well,”

Defensively, freshman defensive specialist Maggie Huber led the team with 18 digs followed by senior defensive specialist Kate Avila’s 17. 

While the Zips comeback left the Cardinals stunned, Ball State is looking to learn from this matchup and move on. The Cardinals return home to host Northern Illinois and Western Michigan next weekend and are still hunting for their first conference win. 

“Whether you win a match or lose a match, you still have to come back, reset, watch the film, learn from it, and get better,” Phillips said. “Today is no different and we have to continue to keep getting better and make progress and just take it one game at a time. Whether it is a win or a loss, you have to approach it the same way.”

Contact Ian Hansen with any comments at imhansen@bsu.edu or on Twitter @ianh_2.