A slow start in the second half doomed Ball State as Toledo was able to jump out to an 11-point lead and led by as many as 16 points down the stretch.
Tied at 30 at halftime, the Rockets went on a 17-6 run over the first five minutes of the second half to find themselves up 47-36 practically before the fans returned to their seats from the concession stands.
The next tournament for the team will be the John Kirk Panther Intercollegiate in Stockbridge, Ga., on March 22-23. The small break will give the team some much-needed rest after competing in back-to-back tournaments this week.
Ball State drops to 10-6 (4-4 Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) and will conclude their west coast swing at No. 2 Pepperdine University tonight.
Ball State has eight players on its roster from last season's MAC Tournament Champion team that defeated powerhouse University of Tennessee in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
Tied for third place with the University of Missouri, Ball State set a school record by shooting a combined 289 in the first round. The record was the best 18-hole team score in Ball State history. This record beats the previous one of 294 set three years ago during the 2007-08 Mid-American Conference Preview in Speedway, Ind.
Junior forward Ty'Ronda Benning led the seventh-seeded Cardinals with 16 points. Senior guard Audrey McDonald scored 13 points, while senior forward Danielle Gratton added two in their final games for Ball State.
The Cardinals lost 3-2 Monday afternoon to the Chanticleers, following a loss of the same score Sunday. Ball State (3-8) held a 2-1 lead late on Monday, but was unable to hold it and Coastal Carolina (10-1) extended their winning streak to nine games in the bottom of the ninth.
The loss for the Cardinals wraps up a crash-and-burn end of the season. Ball State's hopes of almost assuredly taking the MAC West Division title and a first-round tournament bye vanished with three straight losses to end the regular season. That losing streak ends at four with Sunday's decision.
Even though Ball State finished in sixth place overall, the Cardinals fared better than five other MAC teams. Western Michigan University finished in ninth, the University of Toledo placed 13th, Ohio University placed in 16th, the University of Akron finished in 17th while Bowling Green State University placed last.
Today's game is set for a 2 p.m. tipoff. Though it is a MAC Tournament game, students who have stayed in Muncie for Spring Break can still get into "The Nest" free of charge by showing their student IDs.
For the third time this season, Ball State had a decisive victory over Western Michigan, this time 67-43. With the win, the Cardinals advance to Cleveland to face MAC West Division winner University of Toledo in the MAC Tournament Quarterfinals.
The Cardinals (3-6) fell behind 6-1 in the second inning, as starting pitcher Scott Brothers delivered the worst start of the season for Ball State. The senior lasted just 1 1/3 innings, allowing six runs on six hits. But freshmen Jon Cisna and Michael Sandman combined for 7 2/3 shutout innings, and Ball State's offense rallied for nine runs.
Jackson said the reason for her improved play stems from a plea from coack Kelly Packard for another rebounder other than junior forward Emily Maggert.
Over Spring Break, the Cardinals will be taking on two teams in Las Vegas as part of their preparation for the MAC tournament.
For the Ball State University women's basketball team (13-16, 7-9 MAC) and Western Michigan University (9-20, 4-12 MAC) everything is on the line. A win means advancing to Cleveland for the quarterfinals while a loss ends the season.