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Women’s Volleyball Picks Up Seventh Straight Win

   CHARLESTON, S.C. - - The Ball State women’s volleyball team upped its winning streak to seven matches with an impressive 3-0 (25-21, 25-13, 25-13) sweep of UNC-Asheville Friday afternoon to open play in the College of Charleston Classic.

   The Cardinals, who have also posted four consecutive sweeps, improve to 10-3 overall with the win, while the Bulldogs fall to 7-5.

   Ball State’s middles continued their solid play in the victory over UNC-Asheville, combining for 19 kills and a .576 (19-0-33) rate of success.

   Senior Mindy Marx (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) led the way by tying for match-high honors with 10 kills and hitting .500 (10-0-20). Redshirt sophomore Hayley Benson (Hilliard, Ohio/Hilliard Bradley) added nine kills and a match-best .692 (9-0-13) attack percentage, while also posting a match-high three total blocks.

   Redshirt freshman outside hitter Mackenzie Kitchel (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove/Cincinnati) also turned in another solid match with nine kills.

   Sophomore setter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) guided the Ball State offense to a .274 (47-13-124) attack percentage, while logging her first double-double of the season with 33 assists and 13 digs.

   In the backcourt, senior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) led all players with 18 digs, while also serving up an ace.

   Overall, Ball State’s defense also continued its strong play by limiting the Bulldogs to a .055 (28-22-110) attack percentage for the contest. Anna Moore led UNC-Asheville with 10 kills, while Katie Davis and Rachel Wells tied for team-high honors with 15 digs apiece.

   With the score of the opening set knotted at 14, kills from redshirt sophomore outside hitter Alex Fuelling (Decatur, Ind./Bellmont/Morehead State) and Spadafora helped the Cardinals take a 16-14 lead on its way to a 20-17 advantage. However, UNC-Asheville battled back within one point at the 20-19 mark.

   That would be as close as the hosts on the scoreboard would get, however, as Ball State scored the next three points in a run which was started by a kill from senior opposite Lauren Grant (Eagan, Minn./Eastview/Cincinnati). After a BSU timeout at the 23-21 mark, Fuelling tagged back-to-back hardwood blasts to end the set at 25-21.

   The teams battled to a 7-7 tie in the second set, before a kill from senior outside hitter Kylee Baker (Plainfield, Ill./Plainfield North) sparked a 10-1 Ball State run. The Cardinals controlled play from there, winning the set 25-13 on back-to-back attack errors from UNC-Asheville.

   The third set saw the Cardinals clinging to a 12-10 edge before back-to-back blasts from Kitchel sparked another huge Ball State run. In fact, Ball State would score 13 of the final 16 points to win the set 25-13 and the match 3-0.

   Ball State concludes play in the College of Charleston Classic Saturday with matches versus Southern Methodist (Noon) and host College of Charleston (7:30 p.m.). Check Saturday evening for complete results from day two of the event.

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