Ball State ends regular season with most wins in country

Junior outside hitter Natalie Mitchem (13) hits the ball at Toledo at Worthen Arena Oct. 19. Mitchem had a season high of 21 kills against the Rockets. Jacy Bradley, DN
Junior outside hitter Natalie Mitchem (13) hits the ball at Toledo at Worthen Arena Oct. 19. Mitchem had a season high of 21 kills against the Rockets. Jacy Bradley, DN

On Sept. 24th, the Ball State Women’s Volleyball lost to Kent State, 3-2. They have not lost a game since.

Tonight, the Cardinals (27-3, 17-1 MAC) swept Toledo (19-11, 10-8 MAC) in three sets to clinch sole possession of the regular season Mid-American Conference championship.

The Rockets jumped out to an 8-4 lead early in the first set thanks to kills from Taylor Alt, Sinaluauli’i Uluave and Rachel Pierce.

“Toledo came out hot," head coach Kelli Miller Philips said. "They were playing very well with a ton of intensity right out of the get-go. They had a great fan base there tonight. I feel like it took us about half a second to get into a rhythm, but then after we did, we just played our style of volleyball.”

After the regular season concluded with an NCAA-best 27 wins, freshman setter Megan Wielonski looked back on the season with great pride, especially the Cardinals’ Oct. 29 victory over Bowling Green (20-8, 15-2 MAC).

“Beating Bowling Green in three was a statement for this team and just kinda proved our ability as a team and how tough we can really play,” Wielonski said.

Now Ball State shifts its focus to next week’s MAC Tournament.

The Cardinals have a bye in the first round of the tournament and will play the winner of Toledo and Western Michigan next Wednesday at Worthen Arena. 

Junior outside hitter Natalie Mitchem, who provided three spikes and eight kills for Ball State tonight, believes time with the team is vital for preparation.

“Definitely going to take some time together throughout these next few days just to be together and keep that team chemistry going and get focused on what our goal is, to win,” Mitchem said.

Contact Corbin Hubert with comments at cchubert@bsu.edu or on Twitter @corbin_hubert_

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