Ball State Men’s Volleyball (7-3, 0-0 MIVA) took a three-set sweep of Daemen (3-5, 0-0 IVA) Saturday, but final results are not always indicative of how closely a match was played.
Ball State was able to control most of the first two sets, winning 25-18 in the first set and 25-20 in the second. The third set was a different story. Daemen jumped out to a 19-11 lead, forcing the Cardinals to call their final timeout.
“Game three, they kind of got hot,” head coach Joel Walton said. “They got their offense going, started to get good swings off of our blocks and find some kills.”
At that point, senior outside attacker Blake Reardon stepped out to serve. The Cardinals then began to chip away at the lead.
“Blake Reardon can, at times, be an inconsistent server,” Walton said. “He had to put a good serve in play there, and he did it to get us back to where we tied it up. He didn’t get us past that, but he tied it up.”
Reardon was able to tie the set at 24. The teams then took turns trading the lead. There were five lead changes in the third set before Ball State could get the final two-point lead required to win the third set 29-27. Ball State has now swept each of its last four matches, winning 12 straight sets.
“They weren’t closing a lot of blocks,” Reardon said. “We just had to take care of business. We had to take good control of the ball, but their defense was really good. I tipped a few times, and they picked it up right away.”
Reardon had 10 kills and was one of three with double-figure kills on the day. Sophomore outside attacker Kaleb Jenness added 11 kills and seven digs, and senior outside attacker Matt Szews led the team with 12 kills.
The next match for Ball State is Feb.13 at home against McKendree in what will be the first conference matchup of the year.
“We’re starting conference, and we’re playing at home,” Walton said. “It’s our advantage, and it needs to feel like that. It’s important that Muncie comes out and supports us next week.”