Freshman outside hitter Natalie Risi continued to shine as she helped propel Ball State (11-8, 4-3, MAC) to sweep Ohio (12-8, 3-4 MAC) Friday. 

Risi had 11 kills and an ace to show for in the win for the Cardinals. In four of their last five games, Risi has had 10 or more kills. 

“Natalie plays a really large role for us,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “She has to do a little bit of everything, and we can count on her to be steady night in and night out and tonight was no different. I thought she hit very smart shots tonight, and she is somebody who will take advantage of any weakness on the defense.”

Her leadership, confidence and performance on the court has spread to the rest of the team as it stayed composed in three close sets. The Cardinals won the first set, 25-20, the second, 27-25, and the third, 26-24.  

“The girls played really composed and confident tonight,” Miller Phillips said. “We had some very close sets with them, and I thought the whole game we played our style of volleyball, and I am happy with the results.”

Freshman outside hitter Natalie Mitchem had a strong performance as she led the team in kills with 12. Miller Phillips said the Cardinals' defense played a major key into the team’s victory. 

“Our service pressure was certainly a big help for tonight," Miller Phillips said. “Amber Seaman had 40 assists, and we finished with six aces overall, but I thought our service pressure really set the tone for us.”

The Cardinals have won four of their last five matches and will look to keep it rolling in their match with Kent State Saturday. Ball State sits at 5-2 in the Mid-American Conference, which is second in the MAC West behind undefeated Central Michigan.

“We have a super young team, so we are still trying to piece together and develop that chemistry. So, I think we try to not look at any more than us trying to be better than the day before,” Miller Phillips said. “We just look at it as just enjoying the process, and I think we are steadily getting better.” 

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