Stays the course, never complains, coachable.
“[She] does whatever you ask and is just really locked into getting better,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “She just kind of ignores the noise and [thinks] ‘how do I get better,’ and good things happen when you put in a concentrated effort.”
Third-year outside hitter Cait Snyder smashed a career-high 18 kills as Ball State Women’s Volleyball defeated Buffalo in four sets Oct. 8, the accolade just a testament to her development as a Cardinal according to Phillips.
“I’m so proud of her,” second-year setter Megan Wielonski said. “She’s just been killing it recently. She’s really someone I can rely on and I really trust now. It’s just awesome to see her development and our connection grow.”
Along with a block assist and four digs, Snyder’s kill total topped her previous career high of 15 which she set 24 hours before facing off against Buffalo.
“It really just takes a lot of game experiences to know when to make those shots, when to take a little bit off, when to go for it, I think that’s what really helps a lot,” Snyder said.
Despite ending the evening on a high note, the Cardinals wavered in the first two frames. After scraping a first-set win 26-24, Buffalo took set two 25-19 before Ball State was able to get into a groove and finish out the match.
“I felt like for the first set and a half, their middle, number 12… we struggled to contain her and she’s super physical,” Phillips said. “I mean she’s hitting high, was getting good shots and I felt like we were a little bit scattered chasing them from a blocking standpoint. Then I feel like we settled down, executed our game plan a little bit better which slowed her down and enabled us to dig a few more balls from other attackers.”
Wielonski dished out 54 assists as fourth-year middle blocker Marie Plitt and fourth-year outside hitter Natalie Risi also hit double-digit kills with 13 and 12 respectively.
“Me, Marie and Natalie [sic] are all roommates so it’s been really cool to see our connection grow off the court this year,” Wielonski said. “But again, I think that’s also just something that our team is really good at just having everyone be so consistent and every one of our players can be in double-figure kills every night.”
Wielonski and Risi combined for 37 digs while fourth-year defensive specialist Maggie Huber added 15 to the defensive effort as the Cardinals won sets three and four 25-11 and 25-21 respectively to win their fourth straight match.
Ball State heads out on the road next for two matches against Northern Illinois Oct. 14 at 6 p.m. and Oct. 15 at 2 p.m.