Coming off of two wins in the Ball State Tournament Sept. 9, Ball State Women’s Volleyball (8-1, 0-0) turned around and survived a five-set (25-22, 25-12, 25-23, 25-17, 17-15) thriller against Green Bay (5-4, 0-0) to be crowned tournament champions Sept. 10.
“We tried to keep it very simple [in four and five-set matches] and try not to worry about solving every problem at once,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “Obviously there were some sets where we were not playing well at all. We were really trying to focus on what we were doing well, what are some ways we can score and just focus on taking it one point at a time."
In the second set, the Cardinals only managed five kills and had a negative hitting percentage of -.069. Ball State’s troubles on the offensive side lingered except for senior middle blocker Marie Plitt who tallied a team-high 15 kills.
“She [Plitt] was really the only thing we had going offensively, so in set five we started her left front to give her more opportunities at the ball,” Phillips said.
Plitt also had the second highest hitting percentage for the Cardinals (.353) along with seven digs and one block.
“My mindset was this is the game right now so I need to get it all out on the court because there’s nothing to lose here,” Plitt said.
Junior outside hitter Cait Snyder ranked second in kills for Ball State with nine followed by junior middle blocker Lauren Gilliand and senior opposite Natalie Mitchem with seven kills apiece.
On the defensive side, senior libero Maggie Huber had a team-high 19 digs and sophomore setter Megan Wielonski had 16 digs of her own.
The Cardinals fell in the second and fourth set while winning sets one and three before managing to get nine kills along with the Phoenix’s five attack errors to help seal the deal in the fifth set.
Ball State returns to Worthen Arena Sept. 13 to host the Dayton Flyers at 6 p.m.