Ball State falls to Syracuse in 3 sets

Freshman middle blocker Lauren Gilliland blocks the ball Feb. 12, 2021, in John E. Worthen Arena. The Cardinals lost to the Falcons 0-3. Madelyn Guinn, DN
Freshman middle blocker Lauren Gilliland blocks the ball Feb. 12, 2021, in John E. Worthen Arena. The Cardinals lost to the Falcons 0-3. Madelyn Guinn, DN

Ball State women’s volleyball(8-2, 0-0 MAC) was swept by Syracuse (8-1, 0-0 ACC) in three sets in their final match of the Cy-Hawk Series Tournament. The Cardinals dropped the first set 25-16 and could not recover, going on to lose sets two and three by scores of 25-18 and 25-13 respectively. 

“We stayed the course, and I thought we fought hard, but we just couldn’t match up versus them,” Head Coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. 

Graduate outside hitter Emily Hollowell gave her perspective on the loss and what the Cardinals learned from it.

“I think it may have been a little bit of tough luck, graduate student outside hitter Emily Hollowell said. “Our defense learned a lot about how to defend bigger hitters like what they had on Syracuse, and from a blocking standpoint, it taught us to be more relaxed and get to their pin hitters quicker." 

Hollowell led Ball State with eight kills, followed by junior middle blocker Marie Plitt with seven. Sophomore defensive specialist Kate Vinson had the most digs for the Cardinals with nine and freshman setter Megan Wielonski led the way with 27 assists. 

“I think it was such a great opportunity to see so many different attackers, so many different serves and defenders," sophomore middle blocker Lauren Gilliland said. "I think it’s just a great opportunity for us going into MAC play later this season, it opens our eyes to see what we need to work on and what we need to get better at."

Gilliland had five kills and two blocks in the defeat. Miller Phillips said she is ready to come back to Worthen Arena and play in front of their supporters.

“Certainly we so excited to be able to play at home in front of fans again," Miller Phillips said. "We just have great fans, a great environment, and I think we are really really excited and looking forward to competing at home again. Northern Kentucky is a very competitive team and I think it’s going to be a battle, two big battles [next] weekend.” 

The Cardinals will play Northern Kentucky next at Worthen Arena on Friday, Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m.

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

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