Sibling rivalry headlines Cardinals’ loss to RedHawks

<p>Senior setter Amber Seaman (11), serves the ball during the third match against Austin Peay on September 20, 2019, at Worthen Arena. Ball State went on to win 3-0. <strong>Jaden Whiteman, DN</strong></p>

Senior setter Amber Seaman (11), serves the ball during the third match against Austin Peay on September 20, 2019, at Worthen Arena. Ball State went on to win 3-0. Jaden Whiteman, DN

Friday was more than just another game for senior setter Amber Seaman. This was a game against her sister, Morgan Seaman, a setter for Miami (Ohio) — a sibling rivalry Amber said has been present for eight years now.

Unfortunately for Amber and the Cardinals (11-10, 5-4 MAC), they came out on the losing end against the RedHawks (12-8, 7-2 MAC), but that did not stop Amber from soaking up the excitement of playing against her sister. 

“I love it because my family gets to come, but it is definitely a game that I want to win every year,” Amber said. “I have not done that in my four years here, but it is one of those games I look at it and have to not get too caught up in the fact it is my sister.”

While they are enemies on the court, this does not stop them from enjoying each other’s success when they are not opponents. 

“It is really fun because we are in the same conference, and we always cheer each other on even though we are enemies, but it is always good to know someone has your back,” Amber said. 

Head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said the team’s game against Miami (Ohio) on any given year is always a difficult one for her setter.

“That is always a tough one for Amber,” Miller Phillips said. “It is always a unique situation playing against your sister, and I know they have always had that battle. I think tonight you couldn’t tell on the court, but I think that is something that was in the back of her mind.”

As a team, the Cardinals dropped their second straight match, losing to the Redhawks in three sets.

Seaman led the team with 31 assists, and Reece Kral had a team-leading 10 kills, but it was not enough to stop the service pressure of Miami (Ohio).

“We really need to improve on everything,” Miller Phillips said. “I just feel like we did not get into a rhythm at all tonight, and everyone seemed as if they were a step behind. Set three, we did put a little pressure on Miami, and we started to at least make it a ballgame.”

While the night was one to forget for the Cardinals, they showed signs of momentum in the third set but just came up short in the end, losing it, 26-24. 

“MyKel Ivy came in, and I thought she gave us a bit of an energy boost,” Miller Phillips said. “Reece Kral came in and brought energy on both defense and offense, so I think those were two bright spots for us. I think our service pressure toward the end of set three caused them some problems, so those are some things we can build off.”

Friday was the Cardinals’ first match at home in nearly three weeks as well as the first of four in a row in Worthen Arena.

“We are happy to be home,” Miller Phillips said. “Now getting to reset back at home is going to be great because we have such great crowds, and I think we just did not represent ourselves that well in front of this awesome crowd. We just have to take a breath and reset going into tomorrow.”

Ball State hosts Bowling Green (12-9, 6-3 MAC) at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.

Contact Ian Hansen with comments at or on Twitter @ianh_2.


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