MUNCIE, Ind. – The No. 13 Ball State men’s volleyball team travels to No. 10 Lewis for a Saturday night match that will begin at 8 p.m. ET. The Cardinals are coming off a 3-1 loss to the No. 1 Loyola Ramblers Thursday evening. Saturday night’s match will be broadcasted live on 91.3 WCRD.
Scouting Ball State
The Cardinals (7-4, 3-1 MIVA) snapped its six-match winning streak at the hands over the league-leading Loyola Ramblers. Sophomore Marcin Niemczewski led the offense with 16 kills while senior Larry Wrather got under a season-high 11 digs on the night. The match was the first time in school history that Ball State has hosted two No. 1 teams in the same season. BSU has hosted then-No. 1 UC Irvine (Jan. 4) before welcoming the No. 1 Loyola Ramblers Thursday evening.
The Cardinals are ranked seventh in the country in blocking with a 2.88 average led by MIVA Defensive Player of the Week Matt Leske who has a 1.41 blocks per set average.
Sophomore Marcin Niemczewski leads the offense for Ball State with a MIVA-best 3.67 kills per set average. Seniors Matt Leske and Kevin Owens head up the block for Ball State with 1.41 and 0.95 blocks per set, respectively.
The Flyers (9-4, 1-2 MIVA) are coming off a loss to IPFW on Thursday evening (25-22, 25-23, 22-25, 18-25, 15-12). Geoff Powell had a tremendous night for Lewis registering 24 kills of a .375 hitting percentage (24-6-48) to go with seven digs and three blocks. Greg Petty and Bobby Walsh also tallied double-digit kills for the Flyers with 14 and 13 kills, respectively.
Series with Lewis
Ball State holds a 29-20 advantage in the series against Lewis that dates back to the 1994 season. The teams split their matchups last season with each squad earning a victory on their home court.
Big Crowd for No. 1 Loyola
The match against. No. 1 Loyola on Feb. 20 was the third-highest attended match in school history with 2,693 in attendance. The largest crowd at Worthen Arena to watch a Ball State men’s volleyball match was on Jan. 17, 2009 when 3,729 came out to watch then-No. 4 Stanford.
Leske Earns Defensive Player of the Week - Feb. 18
Senior middle attacker Matt Leske led the blocking unit in wins against conference opponents Quincy and Lindenwood to extend Ball State’s winning streak to six matches. He collected 11 total blocks in the two contests.
Senior setter Graham McIlvaine moved to sixth in program history after his 35 assists performance against Lindenwood on Feb. 15. Heading into Saturday’s match McIlvaine has 2,357 career assists. The senior passed Jeff Robertson (1997-2000) who finished his career with 2,313 assists.