MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State (14-17) women's volleyball team ended the 2012 season with a 3-2 (23-25, 27-29, 25-23, 25-22, 15-10) loss to Xavier (21-11) Saturday night in non-conference action at Worthen Arena.
"Xavier played some great defense when the match was on the line," said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. "We had them down late in set three, and they just toughened up like great teams do. It would have been great to go out with a win tonight against a quality opponent, unfortunately we just fell a little short. Both teams played hard, Xavier's defense just turned out to be a little better than ours in the end."
In the last match of her collegiate career, senior middle hitter Lisa Scott (McLean, Va./Langley/Maryland) led the Ball State attack with 14 kills and a .429 (14-2-28) hitting mark. She also racked up a match-best six total blocks.
Senior outside hitter Kara Bates (Bradley, Ill./Bradley Bourbonnais Community/Maryland) added 12 kills in her final collegiate match, along with five digs.
Also closing out their Ball State careers were seniors Lauren Schlaker (Oswego, Ill. /Oswego East) and Claire Farkas (Granger, Ind./Marian). Schlaker tied a season-high with seven digs, while Farkas tallied one.
In addition to the double-digit kill totals from Scott and Bates, freshman outside hitter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) finished the match with 13 kills, while junior opposite attacker Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) added 10. Spadafora also earned 13 digs to post her fourth double-double of the season as an emergency outside hitter due to BSU's injury depleted front line.
Junior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East) finished the match with her 16th double-double of the season, handing out 55 assists and scooping up 14 digs, while also scoring five total blocks and three kills.
Junior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) led the Cardinals with 26 digs, while adding a career-best four service aces. With her 26 digs, she upped her career total to 1,386 leaving her 194 digs shy of the fourth slot in program history.
Freshman defensive specialist Kati Vasalakis (Yorktown, Ind./Yorktown) tied her career-high with 12 digs, while redshirt freshman middle hitter Kelly Hopkins (Kokomo, Ind./Kokomo) matched her career-best with seven kills.
Kelsey Dunaway paced a balanced Xavier attack with 16 kills, while Stephanie Vorherr earned a match-best 33 digs.
As a team, the Cardinals finished the night with a .153 (60-31-189) hitting mark, compared to a .217 (70-27-198) rate of success for the Musketeers. BSU held a 91-84 edge in team digs, while Xavier logged a 13.0-12.0 advantage in total blocks.
Trailing 20-14 in the opening set, the Cardinals were able to capitalize on kills from Scott and Hopkins, as well as three Xavier hitting errors and a block to pull within one at 21-20. A solo block from Hopkins would then even the score at 21, while two more kills from the redshirt freshman helped BSU reach set-point at 24-23. Spadafora followed with a solo stuff of her own to give BSU the 25-23 opening frame win.
Ball State found itself down 18-15 in the second set, only to battle back and take a 19-18 lead on four straight kills. Two more Xavier miscues helped BSU pull ahead 23-21, only to see the guests rally back and reach set point at 24-23. A kill from Marx knotted up the score at 24, and the teams battled to a 27-27 stalemate with Xavier having three more attempts to win the set.
However, a pivotal attacking error by Xavier moved the score to 28-27 in favor of the home squad, while a block from Seidel and Scott gave BSU a 29-27 win and a 2-0 lead heading into the 10-minute intermission.
Ball State looked poised to end the match in three, holding a 21-18 lead in the third frame, but Xavier answered with a five-kill run pulling ahead 23-21. The Musketeers would reach set point at 24-22, before the teams traded service errors to end the set at 25-23.
Xavier charged out to a 20-15 advantage in the fourth frame, only to have Scott post two kills and a pair of block assists to help rally BSU within one at 21-20. Unfortunately, BSU could not get over the hump as a pair of kills from Dunaway helped end the frame at 25-22 in favor of the guests.
The Cardinals had the early momentum in the fifth set, as a XU service error and kills from Spadafora and Scott gave BSU a 3-1 edge. The lead was short-lived however, a Xavier answered with a 9-4 run to pull ahead 10-7. Ball State used a kill from Spadafora and back-to-back service aces from Fredrich to tie the score at 10, but Xavier rattled off the final five points to win the set 15-10 and the match 3-2.