►THE WEEK AHEAD: The Ball State women's volleyball team closes the Mid-American Conference portion of its 2012 regular season schedule this weekend with matches at Eastern Michigan (Friday @ 7 p.m.) and Central Michigan (Saturday @ 7 p.m.).
►FOLLOW THE ACTION: Live stats and live video will be available for both matches this weekend, while CMU will also be streaming an audio-only broadcast ... Links for all live events can be found above.
►WITH TWO TO GO: With two matches remaining before the 2012 MAC Tournament, Ball State is holding the No. 8 slot for the eight-team tournament field with a 6-8 league record ... With a win in either of its two remaining match, or a Miami (4-10 MAC) loss in either of its two, the Cardinals will secure a berth in the event ... The Cardinals could finish anywhere between the No. 5 & No. 8 seeds depending on this weekend's results as Akron (8-6 MAC), Central Michigan (7-7 MAC) and Eastern Michigan (7-7 MAC) are directly ahead of the Cardinals.
►CARDINALS ALL-TIME: Ball State enters Friday's match at Eastern Michigan with an 801-516-2 (.608) all-time record after suffering losses to Western Michigan and Northern Illinois last week ... BSU boasts a 62-27 (.697) mark under third-year head coach Steve Shondell, including a 32-14 (.696) record in Mid-American Conference play.
►BALL STATE IN THE MAC: With a 3-1 victory at Ohio (Oct. 14, 2011), Ball State became just the second women's volleyball program in league history to collect 300 Mid-American Conference victories ... With a 6-8 MAC record this season, BSU enters Friday's match with a 312-157 (.665) all-time record in conference matches ... BSU's record is the second-best in league history, trailing only Western Michigan's 328-141 (.699) all-time MAC mark ... Eastern Michigan is eighth in league history with a 212-257 all-time MAC record, while Central Michigan is seventh at 241-228.
►FROM THE NEST: With an 8-6 home record so far this season, Ball State maintains a 216-63 (.774) all-time record in matches played in Worthen Arena, including a 160-36 (.816) mark versus Mid-American Conference teams.
►VS. EASTERN MICHIGAN: Ball State maintains a 46-23 lead in the all-time series against Eastern Michigan despite suffering a 1-3 (25-22, 21-25, 23-25, 24-26) home setback to the Eagles in the first meeting this season (Oct. 6) ... EMU won both regular season meetings last season, while BSU scored a win in the quarterfinals of the MAC Tournament ... The Cardinals hold a slim 16-14 edge in matches played in Ypsilanti, Mich., with its last road win coming Nov. 5, 2010.
►VS. CENTRAL MICHIGAN: The Cardinals hold a 38-29 edge in the all-time series versus Central Michigan despite suffering a 2-3 (19-25, 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 12-15) home loss to the Chippewas in the first meeting this season (Oct. 5) ... BSU had won the previous five matches in the series after snapping a five-match CMU winning streak ... Ball State is 16-12 all-time in matches played in Mount Pleasant, Mich., having won its last two road matches in the series.
►SCOUTING THE CARDINALS: Ball State enters the week holding the No. 8 slot in the race to the MAC tournament with a 13-14 (6-8 MAC) record ... Last week, the Cardinals were swept at home by both Western Michigan and Northern Illinois ... Kara Bates leads the Ball State attack and ranks fourth in the MAC with a 3.71 kills-per-set average, while Lisa Scott is second among BSU's starters at 2.47 ... Setters Jacqui Seidel and Jenna Spadafora have helped the BSU offense rank third in the MAC with a .221 team hitting percentage ... Catie Fredrich paces the BSU backcourt and ranks second in the league with a 4.93 digs-per-set average ... As a team, Ball State is limiting its opponents to a .204 hitting mark which ranks BSU's defense sixth in the MAC.
►SCOUTING THE EAGLES: Eastern Michigan enters the week holding the No. 6 slot in the race to the MAC tournament with a 17-13 (7-7 MAC) record ... Last week, EMU swept both Central Michigan and Kent State at home ... Rachel Iaquaniello paces all players in the MAC with a 4.29 kills-per-set average, while Kristen Baker is second on the squad at 2.33 ... Kim Hildreth and Alyssa Davis have combined to set the EMU offense to a .204 hitting mark this season, which ranks eighth among the 12 MAC teams ... Sierra Reed has a team-best 4.17 digs-per-set average ... The Eastern Michigan defense ranks ninth in the league by allowing opponents to connect for a .209 hitting mark.
►SCOUTING THE CHIPPEWAS: Central Michigan enters the week holding the No. 7 slot in the race to the MAC tournament with a 13-12 (7-7 MAC) record ... After losing to Eastern Michigan (0-3) last Friday, the Chippewas rebounded with a 3-2 win over league co-leader Ohio Saturday ... Kaitlyn McIntyre paces the Central Michigan attack with a 3.37 kills-per-set average to rank seventh in the MAC, while Lindsey Dulude is second on the squad at 2.84 ... Kelly Maxwell has set the Chippewas offense to a .208 hitting mark this season, which ranks sixth in the league ... Jenna Coates anchors the CMU backcourt with a league-leading 5.06 digs-per-set average ... The Central Michigan defense ranks second in the MAC by limiting opponents to a .183 hitting mark.
►IN THE NCAA STAT RANKINGS: Ball State entered the week ranked 75th in the nation with a 13.54 team kills-per-set average ... Individually, Jacqui Seidel ranks 41st in the nation with her 10.94 assists-per-set average, Catie Fredrich is 66th with a 4.93 digs-per-set average, Lisa Scott is 90th with her .333 hitting mark and Kara Bates is 92nd with her 3.71 kills-per-set average.
►DOMINATING THE MAC: Senior middle hitter Lisa Scott has found her grove in the Ball State lineup since the beginning of league play, ranking second in the MAC with a .357 hitting percentage in BSU's 14 conference matches ... Northern Illinois' Sarah Angelos is first in MAC-only contests with a .360 hitting effort ... Scott, who hit .304 in BSU's 13 pre-conference matches, has hit .304-or-better in nine of BSU's 14 league contests, including .400-or-better efforts in eight matches.
►LEADING THE PACK: Senior outside hitter Kara Bates has led the Ball State attack in kills 20 times this season, including 17 of the last 21 matches ... She posted a career-high 24 kills at Northern Colorado (Sept. 8), while collecting 19 kills in five other matches ... Bates had smashed double-digit kills in 22 matches this season ... A 2011 First Team All-MAC selection, Bates ranks fourth in the MAC with a 3.71 kills-per-set average.
►WELCOME BACK LIBERO: After missing her first career match versus Ohio (Oct. 13), junior Catie Fredrich has posted 20-or-more digs in four of the six matches since her return ... She tallied a career-high 33 digs in BSU's match at Miami (Oct. 20), while logging 21 digs at Bowling Green (Oct. 19), 27 digs at Toledo (Oct. 25) and 24 digs at Buffalo (Oct. 27) ... She has also turned in a stellar .992 reception percentage over the span, passing 123 of the 124 service attempts she has faced.
►DIGGING DEEP: With 27 digs last week, Catie Fredrich remains sixth in program history with 1,297 career digs ... Fredrich is 13 digs shy of passing Kelly Cochran's (2003-06) career total of 1,309 for fifth on BSU's all-time list ... Fredrich's 67 matches with double-figure digs ranks fourth on BSU's career charts, while her 3.97 career digs-per-set average is fourth and her 18 career matches with 20-or-more digs is fifth.
►BLOCK PARTY: Beginning with her career-high 13 total blocks at Bowling Green (Oct. 19), Lisa Scott has been on a roll at the net, averaging 1.24 blocks per set over the past six matches ... The Cardinals' leading blocker this season at 0.88 blocks per set, Scott has tallied 88 total blocks this season ... Including her three seasons at Maryland, Scott has tallied 434 total blocks over her career, including 89 solo blocks and 345 block assists ... Had she played at BSU her entire career, Scott's career blocking total would rank fifth in Ball State annals.►BACK AT THE ATTACK LINE: Freshman Jenna Spadafora led the Ball State attack with 16 kills last weekend, while also ranking third on the squad with 12 digs and serving up BSU's lone ace ... Entering the season as the team's backup setter, Spadafora has blasted double-digit kills five times this season, including a career-high 15 vs. Central Michigan (Oct. 5) as an emergency outside hitter.