Ball State (20-3, 10-1 MAC) earned its 10th consecutive victory Saturday afternoon by sweeping Western Michigan (14-8, 7-4 MAC) in three straight sets.
The Cardinals fell down 14-8 early in the first set, but came back and won 25-19.
“At the beginning, we struggled,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “Our defense got off to a slow start, but once we found our footing, we were able to succeed.”
In the second set, Ball State won 25-23. The Cardinals won the third and final set 25-17. Miller Phillips credited the seniors experience for their performance.
“We have great leadership throughout,” Miller Phillips said. “We have players who have great teamwork and good leadership. Our seniors have really helped this season.”
Junior outside hitter Natalie Mitchem led all Cardinals with 12 kills, while junior outside hitter Natalie Risi recorded 11. Junior defensive specialist Maggie Huber, junior defensive specialist Havyn Gates and freshman setter Megan Wielonski combined for 48 digs. Wielonski also led all players in assists with 39.
With the win, Ball State solidifies its spot at the top of the Mid-American Conference West Division. Even with 10 consecutive wins, Miller Phillips and the Cardinals understand the mindset they need to embrace moving forward.
"It’s great, but we have to forget about that,” Miller Phillips said. “Bowling Green is a tough team, but I know the girls are up to the task.”
Ball State returns to Worthen Arena Oct. 29 against Bowling Green. First set is 6:30 p.m.