MUNCIE, Ind. – The No. 13 Ball State men’s volleyball team sent its seniors out in style with a sweep of the Quincy Hawks Saturday afternoon. All five seniors earned the start and were led offensively by outside attacker Urim Demirovski who tallied a career-high 11 kills.
With the win Ball State improves to 21-7 on the year and 10-4 in MIVA paly while Quincy falls to 13-18 on the season and 0-14 in league play.
Demirovski connected on 11 kills off 28 swings and picked up a service ace and two digs. Senior middle attacker Kevin Owens registered nine kills and five digs to go with a match-best six blocks. Freshman outside attacker Brendan Surane earned eight kills, two aces, two digs and two blocks. Senior outside attacker Larry Wrather had five kills, two service aces, five digs and five blocks.
Senior middle attacker Matt Leske knocked in three service aces on the night to go with four kills and five blocks. Classmate Graham McIlvaine dished out 33 assists and picked up two aces, three digs and three blocks. Junior libero David Ryan Vander Meer picked up a team-best six digs.
Quincy started off with a 9-4 advantage in the first set. Ball State battled back with a service ace from Wrather, two kills by Demirovski and kills from Owens and Surane to force Quincy to call a timeout up 14-11. It was the Hawks that were able to push through and extend its lead back to six at 19-13. A side out by an Owens kill sent Surane back to the service line. Five-straight points by the Cardinals allowed Ball State to knot the set at 19-19. The Ball State run would end at 10-0 off an Owens-Wrather block to give the Cardinals the 23-19 advantage. The Cardinals capitalized on critical errors by the Hawks down the stretch to take the set 25-22.
The second set saw both teams go on a series of runs. Leske served five-straight points and Surane went on a three-point run to help Ball State take a 15-12 lead headed into the media timeout. Quincy was not able to surpass the Cardinals’ lead despite getting to within one point six times down the stretch. Demirovski set up a set point for the Cardinals, but a service error set up the set-ending kill by McIlvaine.
Coming out of the intermission, Ball State was able to score the first three points of the third set off a kill from Demirovski and back-to-back service aces by McIlvaine. The set saw seven tied scores, but Ball State maintained the lead throughout. The Hawks’ Ian Lawson served up five-straight points for Quincy to tie the set at 18-18. A kill by McIlvaine, followed by an Owens-Demirovski block allowed Ball State to grab a 21-18 lead. A solo block by Leske and a Leske-McIlvaine block set up match point for Ball State. A kill by Lawson and a Ball State attack error kept Quincy alive, but Demirovski would get the match-winning point off his career-high 11th kill of the match.
Quincy was led offensively by Jarrod Kelso and John Pranger who each tallied a match-high 12 kills.
Ball State has at least one more match left at Worthen Arena. The Cardinals will host the first round of the MIVA Tournament with a Quarterfinal match on Friday, Apr. 18 at 7:30 p.m.For the most up-to-date news on Ball State men’s volleyball, follow @bsuathletics and @BallStateMVB on Twitter. The team is also on Instagram at @ballstatemvb.