Cardinals sweep Kent State in straight sets for 20th win

20 wins.

For the fourth time in five years, Ball State Women’s Volleyball has reached 20 wins in a season.

The Cardinals achieved this feat thanks to a sweep of a deep Kent State team that has had five players win Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division Player of the Week honors throughout the season.

“We weren’t sure what lineup they were going to put out tonight and we don’t know for sure what lineup they will put out tomorrow night, it could be totally different, so we just go out and do us,” third-year outside hitter Cait Snyder said.

Ball State pounced on the Flashes early in the first set behind four kills from fourth-year middle blocker Marie Plitt and three kills from Snyder.

The Cardinals’ defense made its presence known with four blocks in set one with two from fourth-year outside hitter Natalie Risi and two from Plitt.

Kent State also gave up seven points to Ball State in the first set with four attack errors and three service errors. 

The errors for the Flashes continued with eight total in the second set. 

The offense for the Cardinals picked up throughout set two with 16 kills and a .389 hitting percentage. Plitt and fourth-year opposite Natalie Mitchem each had four kills in the second set, with Plitt having a .727 hitting percentage after two.

Ball State jumped to an early 9-4 lead in the final set when a kill from Kent State’s fourth-year outside hitter Taylor Herbele sparked a five-point run by the Flashes and saw them take the lead at one point, up 11-10.

“We’ve got to respond a little bit faster besides letting the same team just serve short balls and cause us problems so it’s a good learning experience for us to make those adjustments,” head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said.

Six kills for Snyder led the Cardinals on offense in the third set, including her final one of the match which punctuated the sweep of Kent State. Mitchem had another four kills of her own in the third set.

Ball State and the Flashes return to Worthen Arena for one more match against each other Friday at 6 p.m.

“I’d like to block a little better [tomorrow], I feel like our block got used a little more than I’d like to tonight so that is a good start and our service pressure finished well but I would like to see consistent service pressure from start to finish,” Miller-Phillips said.

Contact Corbin Hubert with comments at cchubert@bsu.edu or on Twitter @corbin_hubert_.

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