MUNCIE, Ind. - The Ball State men's volleyball team returns home to Worthen Arena for a 7:30 p.m. match on Friday, Jan. 24 against McKendree. The match will mark the first in program history for the Bobcats. The Cardinals are coming off tough losses at the hands of No. 12 Penn State and Saint Francis.
Scouting Ball State
The Cardinals (1-3) are coming off tough losses at the hands of Saint Francis and No. 12 Penn State. The Cardinals opened up Penn State match winning the first set; coming into the match Penn State had swept IPFW and Ohio State and had not dropped a set since its 3-1 loss to Hawaii on Jan. 10 in the Outrigger Invitational.
Marcin Niemczewski leads the Cardinals offensively with 45 kills and a 3.75 kills per set average. The sophomore is second on the team in service aces with four. Leading the Cardinals from the serving line is Matt Leske who has knocked in five aces this season. The senior leads Ball State in blocking with 1.21 blocks per set and maintains a .462 attack percentage (22-4-39).
McKendree University officials announced that men’s volleyball would be added as an intercollegiate sport in December of 2012 to begin play in the 2014 season. McKendree is the third school in the Great Lakes
Valley Conference to sponsor men’s volleyball, joining Lewis and Quincy. In September of 2013, McKendree was approved for membership to become the ninth member of the MIVA starting in the 2015 season.
Series with McKendree
Friday’s match marks the first meeting between the two programs and the first match of the season for McKendree.
Senior setter Graham McIlvaine is 22 assists away from being seventh in program history in career assists. Heading into Saturday’s match, McIlvaine has 2,132 assists and trails Dave Carlson (2005-06) who has 2,153 career assists.
Back-to Back Career Outings for Marty
Sophomore outside attacker Marcin Niemczewski helped lead the offense for the Cardinals it its 3-0 sweep of Sacred Heart on Saturday, Jan. 11 after registering a then career-high 15 kills and three service aces. Niemczewski also added three digs, two assisted blocks and an assist to his stat line on the night. Niemczewski followed up that performance with a career-high 18 kill effort against Saint Francis.
Switching it Up
Junior outside attacker Shane Witmer transitioned to a new role for the Cardinals in matches against Sacred Heart and Saint Francis - the libero position. In his two matches at libero, Witmer picked up 12 digs. The junior passed 56 balls with two reception errors.
The Cardinals are on Twitter at @BallStateMVB. Be sure to use the hashtag #BSUMVB all season long to join the conversation. The team also has a Facebook account, be sure to like “Ball State Men’s Volleyball” for updates and pictures.