YPSILANTI, Mich. - - Freshman outside hitter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) recorded her second career double-double to help lift the Ball State women's volleyball team to a 3-0 (25-23, 25-22, 30-28) sweep of Eastern Michigan Friday night at the Convocation Center in Ypsilanti, Mich.
In another strong outing as an emergency outside hitter, Spadafora led the Ball State offense with 13 kills, while collecting a career-high 15 digs to help the Cardinals improve their record to 14-14 (7-8 MAC). Eastern Michigan falls to 17-14 (7-8 MAC) with the loss.
With the win, as well as a Miami loss last night to Bowling Green, the Cardinals have secured one of eight spots in the upcoming 2012 Mid-American Conference Tournament at SPIRE in Geneva, Ohio. Depending on tomorrow's results, Ball State can finish as either the No.7 or No.8 seed.
In addition to Spadafora, junior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) finished the contest with her 14th double-double of the season, dishing out 37 assists while collecting a career-high 18 digs.
In the backcourt, junior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) continued her march up the Ball State record books, collecting a match-best 29 digs to move into fifth in program history with 1,326 career digs.
Senior middle hitter Lisa Scott (McLean, Va./Langley/Maryland) and senior outside hitter Kara Bates (Bradley, Ill./Bradley Bourbonnais Community/Maryland) each collected 11 kills on the night. Scott would add a .450 (11-2-20) hitting mark, to help BSU out-hit the Eagles .214 to .182.
Freshman defensive specialist Kati Vasalakis (Yorktown, Ind./Yorktown) tied her career-high with 12 digs on the night.
Eastern Michigan's Rachel Iaquaniello led all players with 18 kills, while Sierra Reed earned a team-best 23 digs.
After falling behind 13-10 in the opening set, the Cardinals used kills from Seidel and Scott, followed by back-to-back EMU attack errors, to claim their first lead of the night at 14-13. BSU built a two-point lead at the 19-17 mark after a block from redshirt freshman middle hitter Kelly Hopkins (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) and Seidel, only to see the Eagles rattle off six of the next eight points to pull ahead 23-21.
Following its first timeout of the match, Ball State used back-to-back kills from Spadafora to even the score, while an EMU ball handling error gave BSU set-point at 24-23. Scott and junior opposite attacker Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) would end the set on the next rally with a block assist.
With the score of the second set tied at 7-7, a Hopkins solo block and a pair of kills from Bates helped the Cardinals pull ahead by four points at 12-8. The lead was short-lived, however, as Eastern Michigan posted the next four points to even the score.
From there, the teams battled to a 19-19 tie before a Seidel ace and a Marx kill led to an EMU timeout at the 21-19 mark. The Eagles would capture the next two points, only to have Marx follow with a kill and block assists, pushing the score to 23-21. After another EMU point, a Marx blast to the hardwood gave BSU set-point, while Scott used her head to collect a frame-winning solo block at 25-22.
With the score of the third set tied at seven, the Cardinals were able to capitalize on four EMU errors and a Spadafora kill to pull ahead 13-9. EMU added a kill following its first timeout, but a pair of Scott kills surrounding an ace from freshman defensive specialist Taylor Richardson (Selma, Ind./Wapahani) moved the BSU lead to 16-10.
Ball State looked poised to run away with the set, leading 23-16, only to have Eastern Michigan battle and take a 25-24 lead. BSU reached match-point at 24-20, only to have three kills from Iaquaniello and two attack errors give the hosts set point at 25-24. The Cardinals would not be denied the sweep however, eventually pulling out the set 30-28 on a kill from Bates.
The Ball State women's volleyball team concludes the MAC portion of its 2012 regular season schedule Saturday, when it travels to Central Michigan for a 7 p.m. first serve.