Cardinals remain undefeated after taking down Wright State in 4 sets

Cardinals sophomore outside hitter Natalie Mitchem goes up for a spike against Central Michigan University March 19, 2021, at John E. Worthen Arena. The Cardinals beat the Chippewas 3-2. Jacob Musselman, DN
Cardinals sophomore outside hitter Natalie Mitchem goes up for a spike against Central Michigan University March 19, 2021, at John E. Worthen Arena. The Cardinals beat the Chippewas 3-2. Jacob Musselman, DN

Ball State Women’s Volleyball (5-0, 0-0 MAC) extended its undefeated streak Friday evening against Wright State (2-2, 0-0 Horizion). The Cardinals defeated the Raiders in four sets, by scores of 25-21, 20-25, 26-24 and 25-20, respectively. 

“Tonight’s win is a big one, Wright State is a really, really good team," said head coach Kelli Miller Phillips. "They’ve been to the NCAA Tournament the last two years. They are so low air and very, very experienced, so that’s a really good win for our team. I feel like we’re learning and getting better each match out, and hopefully, that is something we can continue to build on.” 

The Cardinals split their first two sets with Wright State. Each team went back and forth in the third set, resulting in extra points needed to decide the outcome.

“We just had everybody battling,” Miller Phillips said. "Point after point, just knowing we were going to have to play hard. Wright State makes you have to earn points, they make you make plays on defense, they are so scrappy and so smart. We just stayed the course, tried to remain confident, played the long game, and stayed patient until we got the swing that we wanted.”

Ball State won the third set, before finishing the game with a fourth set victory.

Sophomore outside hitter Natalie Risi goes for the ball during a game against the Bowling Green Falcons Feb. 11, 2021, at John E. Worthen Arena. The Cardinals lost to the Bowling Green Falcons 2-0. Grace Walton, DN

Junior outside hitter Natalie Mitchem led the Cardinals' hitters with 16 kills. In additon, junior outside hitter Natalie Risi and graduate student outside hitter Jaclyn Bulmahn each recorded 15 kills. Sophomore middle blocker Lauren Gilliland contributed 12 kills.

“It was just kind of in sync," Mitchem said. "I think that’s a big tribute to our freshman setter Megan [Wielonski]. She really knows how to read the other side, and knows how to give us more opportunities to get kills. So if she sees that I have a block on me, she will send it to the outside, or vice versa. She’s the big reason why we were all so spread out.”

Wielonski racked up 51 assists, which was a team and court high. 

“She is doing a phenomenal job as a freshman,” Miller Phillips said. “Her confidence in running the show is a huge, huge piece of what we’re doing. 51 (assists) means we are earning a lot of points, and it’s coming out of her hand.” 

The Cardinals are back in action Sept. 4 against DePaul. The match begins at 10 a.m.

Contact Daniel Kehn with comments at daniel.kehn@bsu.edu or on Twitter @kehn_daniel

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