Thursday, No. 11 Brigham Young University (BYU) marched into Worthen Arena and defeated No. 8 Ball State Men’s Volleyball in four sets, after dropping the first set.
Saturday, in a twist, the Cardinals defeated the Cougars in four sets, after dropping the first set.
“We knew we had some things to take care of, we made a lot of mistakes Thursday,” third-year opposite Dyer Ball said. “We had to come in [today] and fix those mistakes and we could win if we did that.”
In what was their last non-conference game of the regular season, Ball State (5-3, 0-0) managed to work through their mistakes from Thursday’s contest to earn their win back over BYU (6-2, 0-0).
The Cardinals made some adjustments from Thursday, with Ball in the starting lineup instead of first-year opposite Keau Thompson.
“The biggest thing with him [Ball] is his presence on the net in terms of blocking,” head coach Donan Cruz said. “He gives hitters something else to think about.”
Ball made the most of his minutes by nabbing 12 kills, the second-most for Ball State. Ball made his presence felt on defense with four block assists too.
“Ultimately, I just wanted to help my team out as much as possible,” Ball said. “You never know when you could be the next man up.”
The Cardinals were led by second-year outside hitter Tinaishe Ndavazocheva with a team-high 19 kills.
The match was competitive throughout, with the Cougars going up 1-0 on Ball State after a first set that looked familiar to the final sets from Thursday. The Cardinals got outgunned and held to a .242 hitting percentage.
Ball State found their footing on offense shortly after and started firing on all cylinders. Their offense played a key role in the number of errors BYU committed in the final three sets.
Despite the Cougars playing sloppier, Cruz knew the match would still be tough.
“One of their subs, [fourth-year libero Jon] Stanley, came in and that is where you appreciate a service error, against someone who is capable of doing something.”
The Cardinals have wrapped up their non-conference schedule with this win and now look towards the first game of the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) season against Lewis (5-5, 0-0).
“Between all of the [non-conference] games, I think Hawaii and BYU test us in different facets of our game,” Cruz said. “Going into Thursday against Lewis, we’ve seen really big and high-level arms, big blocks and fast serves and I think it helps to see that before your conference games so you can calibrate and see where you are at.”
Contact Corbin Hubert with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @corbin_hubert_