MUNCIE, Ind. - - The Ball State women's volleyball team extended the nation's fourth-longest active homecourt winning streak to 23 matches with a 3-0 (25-19, 25-19, 25-17) victory over Buffalo Saturday evening at Worthen Arena.
With the win, the Cardinals improve to 22-3 (11-1 MAC) which is the best 25-match record in program history. BSU also improved to 10-0 all-time versus Buffalo in Worthen Arena, while dropping the Bulls season record to 10-16 (3-9 MAC).
In a match which saw the Cardinals offense roll to a .337 (45-12-98) team hitting mark, sophomore outside hitter Kylee Baker paced all players with 13 kills while not recording a single hitting error in 27 attempts for a .481 hitting mark. Baker also tallied nine digs in the match.
Sophomore middle attacker Mindy Marx also turned in a great performance, tying her career-high with 12 kills, while posting a match and career-best .625 (12-2-16) hitting mark. Marx was also one of four BSU players to finish the contest with two total blocks.
Senior setter Brittany McGinnis led the BSU offense to its .337 hitting mark by handing out a match-best 34 assists. She also collected nine digs, two block assists and an ace.
Junior outside hitter Kara Bates added eight kills, while senior middle attacker Kelsey Brandl posted seven. BSU sophomore libero Catie Fredrich collected a team-best 12 digs, while posting a perfect reception percentage with no errors in a match-high 21 attempts.
Liz Scott paced the Buffalo attack with 11 kills, while Sable Staller added 10. Kelly Svoboda collected a match-best 14 digs for the Bulls.
Defensively, the Cardinals limited the Buffalo attack to a .140 (36-21-107) rate of success for the match. BSU also held a 42-37 edge in digs and a 5-3 advantage in team blocks.
With the Cardinals trailing 9-6 in the opening set, a kill from Baker and a pair of Buffalo errors tied the score and got the home team on track. BSU continued to roll from there, adding nine of the next 12 points to pull ahead 18-12. Ball State reached set point at 24-17 thanks to a blast from Bates, while a Marx kill ended the frame at 25-19.
Ball State scored the first two points in the second game, and never trailed from there. BSU pulled ahead by six points at the 16-10 mark, and again at 22-16. Buffalo would cut the gap to three points at the 22-19 mark before back-to-back kills from Marx gave BSU set point. A UB attack error ended the set at 25-19.
Buffalo pulled out to a 5-2 edge in the third frame, only to see BSU storm back and tie the score at 8-8. With the score knotted at 10, a UB attack error and a kill from Marx swung the momentum to the Cardinals and helped them pull ahead 17-13.
Ball State maintained the four-point lead at 21-17, before kills from Bates, Baker and sophomore right side attacker Lauren Grant gave BSU match-point at 24-17. Senior defensive specialist Kaylee Schembra followed with a match-winning ace at 25-17.The Ball State women's volleyball team embarks on a critical road trip next weekend, as it visits Western Michigan (Friday, 7 p.m.) and Northern Illinois (Saturday, 7 p.m. CT). Both the Broncos and the Huskies trail the Cardinals by one match in the MAC West Division and overall MAC title race.