After three consecutive wins at the University of South Florida (USF) Tournament, Ball State Women’s Volleyball (3-0, 0-0) has started 3-0 for the third straight year.
“It’s been really important this year to build upon the tradition and we have had great tradition in the past so we want to keep going with that and carry the momentum into the season,” senior outside hitter Natalie Risi said.
The Cardinals started out their run in the tournament with a 3-1 (21-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-23) win over South Alabama (1-1, 0-0).
Senior Maire Plitt and graduate transfer Addie Halverson led Ball State in kills in their opening match with 13 and 12 respectively.
“She [Halverson] has done exactly what I’ve seen her do in practice,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “She is a high-flying player that scores a lot of points for us and she has a quick arm and she is somebody that can score for us on the front row.”
Junior Lauren Gilland added nine kills and four blocks for the Cardinals on defense early Friday afternoon.
Ball State held the Jaguars to a .201 hitting percentage across the match, lower than their average hitting percentage last year.
Friday evening saw the Cardinals take their second win of the season over host South Florida (1-1, 0-0). Halverson tallied 19 kills for Ball State in the five-set (25-23, 23-25, 25-21, 26-24, 15-13) battle against the Bulls.
Sophomore Megan Wielonski posted her second 40+ assist match of the weekend against South Florida with 47 and completed her third with 45 assists in the Saturday morning contest against William and Mary (1-2, 0-0).
The Cardinals took down the Tribe in four sets (25-18, 21-25, 25-13, 25-14) in the Saturday contest with help from Plitt’s 16 kills and senior defensive specialist Maggie Huber’s 15 digs.
Ball State will look to carry its momentum into next weekend’s Lipscomb Tournament. The Cardinals will kick off the tournament with a matchup against Oklahoma Sept. 2 at 3 p.m.