Ball State Women’s Volleyball (7-0, 0-0 MAC) went undefeated in tournament play for the second straight weekend, defeating DePaul (3-2, 0-0 BIG EAST) and Marshall (2-2, 0-0 C-USA) to remain perfect on the season and win the TRU by Hilton Dayton Beavercreek Invitational.
“Super proud of our whole team and our depth," head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. "We had to use a little bit of everybody again today and I think that’s been a strength of our team from the very beginning and it’s continuing to show proof that everybody’s ready at any time when their number is called. We had to have some people step up in some tough moments today and they did. Just really proud of the team as a whole."
Ball State swept DePaul in its morning match, winning by scores of 25-22, 25-17, and 25-20.
“I feel like our team battled so hard today through every single set, and we needed that to get through [and] to be 7-0. I think we’ve worked really hard to be where we’re at now,” junior middle blocker Marie Plitt said.
Plitt had a team-high three blocks while graduate outside hitter Jaclyn Buhmahn scored a team-high 12 kills. Sophomore defensive specialist Kate Vinson led the Cardinals in digs with 16 and freshman setter Megan Wielonski earned a match-high 23 assists.
“I think that our blockers really helped our back row,” Vinson said. “That helped us be in the right position to dig. And then just our grit back there, I think we just went after it and we didn’t let any balls hit."
In their evening match, Ball State went back-and-forth with Marshall, needing five sets to defeat the Bison. Scores of 25-18, 17-25, 25-22, 22-25, and 15-11 moved the Cardinals to 7-0 on the season.
“I think a big piece was Emily Hollowell came in at the end of set four and just really got a lot of kills for us and was on fire," Phillips said. "I feel like her presence really was a shift of the momentum and she continued that into set five. I think secondly, we just gritted it out. It was a hard-fought game. I think Marshall made a ton of defensive plays and extended rallies, and we had to work really really hard to earn points. It was a huge turnaround in set four and to finish it in [set] five."
Hollowell, a graduate student outside hitter came off the bench late in the fourth set against Marshall and contributed nine kills and two blocks to help the Cardinals finish the match.
“We definitely had a deep team today," Plitt said. "Everyone came and performed at their best level. I think that helped in every single aspect, especially in the fourth and fifth [sets] when we’d been playing already, this was the second day, last game. It was awesome that everyone was able to come out and perform off the bench, whether they were in or not."
Junior outside hitter/opposite Natalie Mitchem scored the most kills on the team with 14, Vinson led in digs with 29 and Wielonski earned the most assists on the team for the seventh match straight with 58..
The Cardinals will take the court again against Iowa State Friday, Sept. 10 at noon.