"You dropped your wallet!,” the Ball State student section yelled.
The chants were directed to Western Michigan (13-9, 5-5) while serving in Friday’s Women’s Volleyball match against Ball State (16-6, 8-2), which saw the Cardinals win in four sets.
“We love our fans here in Worthen; we love playing here,” fourth-year middle blocker Marie Plitt said. “Everyone is so supportive, especially our Men’s team and other sports teams and the Muncie community in general.”
The Cardinals opened play with a back-and-forth set one loss 27-25 in extra frames where fourth-year outside hitter Natalie Risi hit five kills. Third-year outside hitter Cait Snyder followed with four and Plitt with three.
Ball State committed eight total errors in the first set, two more than the Broncos and had a .234 hitting percentage compared to Western Michigan’s .312.
The Cardinals rebounded in set two, with Snyder tallying six kills and Plitt notching five kills.
Four service aces for Ball State, with two from senior libero Havyn Gates, one from Risi and one from junior libero Kate Vinson helped Ball State maintain a lead throughout set two.
The hitting percentage improved for the Cardinals, with a .600 in the second set win, while Western Michigan had a .514 hitting percentage.
In the third set win, the two teams were practically neck-and-neck. Ball State and the Broncos had the same amount of attack errors, service aces and solo blocks.
The Cardinals had two more kills than Western Michigan, with seven from Risi and five from Snyder.
Set four saw eight attack errors alone from the Broncos, another factor in sealing a match win for Ball State.
“We changed a couple things we were doing matchup-wise and I thought our service pressure really helped [Western Michigan] be a little more one dimensional,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “We slowed them down just enough to have a better idea of their reads and what they were doing.”
Snyder’s final and team-high 18th kill was the one that put the Broncos away at the end of the fourth set. Risi finished second on the team with 15 kills and 19 digs. Plitt had 13 followed by fourth-year opposite Natalie Mitchem with 11.
Despite their loss, Western Michigan’s fast-paced offense was enough to give the Cardinals some trouble.
“We have to continue to find ways to slow their offense down,” Miller Phillips said. “Western Michigan had crazy high percentages in those first three sets and we were not patient enough and made silly errors early. We have to be more disciplined tomorrow and know they are going to make plays.”