A lot of things can be done with one hand.
Write. Eat. Brush your teeth.
With the strike of a volleyball with one hand, Ball State Women’s Volleyball (24-8, 15-3) had their dreams of being back-to-back Mid-American Conference tournament champions dashed by Bowling Green (22-9, 15-3).
“It’s disappointing when you don't reach that goal of making it to the NCAA Tournament,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said. “But sometimes things just don't fall your way.”
Despite the matchup being between the no. 1 seed and the no. 2 seed in the tournament, neither team played their best volleyball in the first set.
Combined, the Cardinals and the Falcons committed almost 20 errors.
Nevertheless, Ball State maintained control throughout the set and won the first set point after a small four point burst by Bowling Green late in the set that brought the Falcons within three points of winning set one.
At a point where the Cardinals were up 14-10 in the second set, the Falcons proceeded to go on a six-point run to shift the momentum back in their favor.
While Ball State was able to keep it close in the remainder of the set, Bowling Green cut off most of what the Cardinals were throwing at them late to tie up the match at 1-1.
The highlight of the third set for Ball State was a late rally in which the Cardinals took the score from 17-24 to 22-24. Outside of that, offense and overall momentum was scarce for Ball State.
Bowling Green kept their cool and finished off the third set up 2-1 going into the fourth set.
In that fourth set, it seemed the offense of the Falcons was too much at times for the Cardinals. However, Ball State would live to keep the fight into a fifth and final set after finally completing a late rally at the end of set four.
Despite the crowd support inside Worthen Arena and the heart of the players, the Cardinals were unable to get the job done during the fifth set.
The season may not be over just yet for Ball State, as they still have a shot to make it in the National Invitational Volleyball Championship (NIVC), for teams who just missed out on the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Tournament
“We have the NIVC to look forward to,” Phillips said. “The draw is the same day as the NCAA selection show [Nov. 27] and I feel like we still have some matches left in us.”
Fourth-year middle blocker Marie Plitt and fourth-year middle blocker Maggie Huber believe it would be a great opportunity to get better, especially for the underclassmen returning next year.
Contact Corbin Hubert with comments at email@example.com or on Twitter @corbin_hubert_.