MUNCIE, Ind. - - Trailing by a set and 16-8 in the second, the Ball State women's volleyball team came to life behind the strong serving of junior setter Jacqui Seidel (St. Charles, Ill./St. Charles East), but ultimately fell short in a 3-2 (25-19, 21-25, 22-25, 25-22, 15-12) loss to Central Michigan Friday evening at Worthen Arena.
With the loss, the Cardinals fall to 9-9 (2-3 Mid-American Conference). The Chippewas improve to 10-6 (4-1 MAC) with the victory.
"I thought both teams played hard tonight," said Ball State head coach Steve Shondell. "It's tough to lose in five after the way we battled, but ultimately I think it will be a driving force for us moving forward. It was a really even match tonight, we just came up a few points short."
After dropping a tough opening set, the night looked bleak for the Cardinals as they found themselves down 16-8 in the second frame. However, a kill from senior outside hitter Kara Bates (Bradley, Ill./Bradley Bourbonnais Community/Maryland) and some strong serving from Seidel rallied Ball State as the Cardinals posted a 10-point run to take an 18-16 lead. From there, the rest of the match was a back-and-forth battle with CMU escaping Worthen Arena with a slim victory.
Seidel would finish the night with her ninth assist/dig double-double of the season, producing 50 assist and racking up 16 digs. She also led all players with 26 service attempts and added an ace, while not recording a single service error.
Bates also collected her third double-double of the season by blasting 15 kills and adding 10 digs despite being keyed on heavily by the CMU block and defenders. She also tied for match-high honors with five blocks, including a pair of solo stuffs.
Senior transfer middle hitter Lisa Scott (McLean, Va./Langley/Maryland) would pace all players on the night with a career-high 17 kills, while also posting a BSU career-best .571 (17-1-28) attack percentage. She also tied Bates for match-high honors with five total blocks.
Freshman setter/outside hitter Jenna Spadafora (Fort Wayne, Ind./Carroll) also continued her strong play, adding a career-high 15 kills of her own, while finishing the match with a .306 (15-4-36) hitting mark. She also collected a career-high six digs and recorded a solo block.
Junior libero Catie Fredrich (Menomonee Falls, Wis./Menomonee Falls) led the Ball State defense with 18 digs, which moved her up two spots on Ball State's all-time career digs list. Her 1,135 career digs currently rank as the eighth-highest total in program history.
Central Michigan's Lindsey Dulude and Kaitlyn McIntyre tied for team-high honors with 14 kills apiece, while Danielle Gotham added 13. Jenna Coates paced all players with 23 digs.
For the match, the Cardinals won the battle at the next, out-blocking the Chippewas by a 12.0-8.0 margin. Ball State also held a slim 68-67 advantage in team digs. CMU held the lead on offense, out-hitting BSU .198 (61-27-172) to .187 (61-29-171).The Ball State women's volleyball team returns to action at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, when it hosts Eastern Michigan in another pivotal MAC West Division showdown at Worthen Arena.