“When you get in these long matches, it is not about who is the better team,” second-year outside attacker Tinaishe Ndavazocheva said.
Ndavazocheva was one of the primary forms of offense Thursday for Ball State Men’s Volleyball, who had a game-high 27 kills in the five-set loss (22-25, 25-19, 23-25, 25-20,16-18) to Lewis in its first Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) game of the season.
“We just have to keep our composure when it is tense and the pressure is high in these long matches,” Ndavazocheva said.
The Cardinals (5-4, 0-1) started the match giving up 13 kills on 30 attack attempts to the Flyers (7-5, 1-0) who held Ball State to a .237 hitting percentage throughout the match.
“Once they got us after set one, I think everyone was a little bit tentative and we struggled to get in a rhythm,” head coach Donan Cruz said.
After dropping the first set, the Cardinals offense kicked in, however, it may have been too little too late for Ball State.
Despite winning sets two and four, the Cardinals’ defense allowed Lewis to stay competitive in the matchup, a key factor in the loss according to Cruz.
“For us to get a little bit better defensively is the big deal [before Saturday],” Cruz said.
The Flyers were able to capture the fifth set and the win after six attack errors were committed by Ball State down the stretch.
“We had opportunities in [set] five and we just did not execute,” Cruz said. “It’s tough because you prepare and you hope to be a little bit cleaner in those situations.”
The Cardinals look to rebound Saturday in their second MIVA match against visiting McKendree at 5 p.m.