Ball State Men’s Volleyball (16-2, 8-1 MIVA) extended its win streak to seven by sweeping Quincy University (4-13, 0-9 MIVA) March 25. The Cardinals won by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 27-25 respectively.
Ball State led for the majority of the first two sets and fended off a late push from Quincy in the second set. The Hawks made it a close affair in the third frame as well, leading for most of the set before Ball State secured a win with a late comeback. Head coach Donan Cruz attributed several key substitutions to the Cardinals' third set resurgence.
“It was in our game plan that we would maybe create some opportunities to bring in some fresh sets of legs and we prepped that way,” Cruz said. “Quincy just so happened to play a little bit better during that set and we were able to still close it out and mission accomplished, but some good learning pieces for us in tonight's win.”
Graduate student Angelos Mandilaris and senior outside attacker Kaleb Jenness paced Ball State smashing 10 kills apiece while graduate student setter Quinn Isaacson dished out a team-high 19 assists and graduate student libero Colin Ensalaco finished with seven digs.
Against the Hawks, sophomore outside attacker Trevor Phillips made his second appearance of the season but racked up eight kills, two blocks, two digs and two aces.
“He's been kind of hungry for an opportunity and he's been working hard in practice,” Cruz said. “That's really what we use as our measuring sticks for preparing our players and Trevor has been doing really well with coming in and being a lot more focused and a very physical player. We thought this would be a good matchup for him to step in and we're impressed by his ability.”
Junior setter David Flores also rotated in for a set and tallied 13 assists and one dig – it was Flores’ sixth appearance of the season and Cruz said his performance showed promise for the future.
“We think Dave just does a good job overall, not only when he gets his opportunities to play, but what he brings to the team dynamic overall,” Cruz said. “Being able to see him come in [and] get some good productivity out of him in set three is definitely a good indication of what the future holds.”
The Cardinals had 18 service errors and allowed Quincy 18 points as a consequence. Cruz said a number that high is not ideal, and the Cardinals hope to reduce that stat by at least five.
“For us it's definitely higher than the benchmark we want to remain under and that's kind of a combination of a few things,” Cruz said. “We had some really unfortunate footfalls on the service line and then we stayed pretty aggressive. I thought we made critical serves when we needed [to] so some of the errors that were made from the service line I thought were at least errors when we could have afforded.”
Ball State remains on the road for its next matchup, taking on Lindenwood (7-8, 3-5 MIVA) March 26 at 7 p.m.