MUNCIE, Ind. (NewsLink) — Coming off a long stretch of games during non-conference season, Ball State Women’s Volleyball got a brief respite this week as they prepare to take on Northern Illinois University Friday.

The team is coming off a crushing reverse sweep loss at Akron. The team led two sets to none, before dropping the last three. 

With a day off on Monday, the team is now a bit more rested and ready for NIU.  

According to Head Coach Kelli Miller Phillips, “recovery is super important. We have been, it feels like, just non-stop on the go since the season began. You know, now that we have ended non-conference season, it gets a little bit more consistent with the schedule, which is nice.”

The team's major issue, according to senior setter Amber Seaman, is focus.  

"I think the biggest thing that we can take away from this weekend is there were times when we were focusing on our side of the net and what we were doing well.  And then, there were times when we were kind of letting the opponents do what they wanted to do and not really taking charge of the situation,” said Seaman

The team is a young one. All three of the team’s leaders in kills are Allison Hamaker, Natalie Risi and Natalie Mitchem, all of which are freshmen.

For senior middle blocker Sydnee VanBeek, the leadership roll comes naturally when guiding her teammates.

"I definitely love being a leader for all these freshmen. They are very easy to get along with and they just want to learn and get out there and be the best they possibly can, so they have made being a leader pretty easy on me,” said VanBeek

Against NIU, the team will look to separate itself from the rest of the pack in the West Division, a pack that both VanBeek acknowledges is very competitive.  

“That’s what I love about the MAC. It’s always a dogfight,” said VanBeek.

The match will take place at 7 p.m. Friday in Worthen Arena.

For comments or concerns about this story, contact pechoroser@bsu.edu.