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Men's Volleyball Hosts Sacred Heart Wednesday

Courtesy: Ball State Athletics
         
Release: January 17, 2012
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►THE WEEK AHEAD: The Ball State men's volleyball team opens the home portion of its 2012 schedule this week with three matches at Worthen Arena . . . First up is Sacred Heart at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday . . . Friday, BSU will look for its second win in a week over George Mason, while it will try to avenge its five-set loss versus St. Francis Saturday . . . Both of those matches also begin at 7:30 p.m.

►FOLLOW THE ACTION: Live stats, live audio and live video will be available for all of Ball State's matches this week . . . WCRD 91.3 will once again serve as the radio home of the Cardinals, with Tim Keene and CJ Allard covering the action . . . Both the live stats and live audio are free on ballstatesports.com, while the live video is available with an all access subscription which begins at $9.95 a month.

►CARDINALS ALL-TIME: Men's volleyball officially became a varsity sport at Ball State during the 1964 season . . . Since becoming a varsity sport, the men's volleyball program has amassed an 1,054-422-8 overall record for a .713 winning percentage in 48-plus seasons . . . Men's volleyball joins baseball and men's basketball as the only programs in school history to reach 1,000 wins . . . In addition, only one other NCAA Division I/II men's volleyball program has eclipsed 1,000 wins, with UCLA entering the 2012 season with an 1,222-283 all-time record over 49-plus years.

►250 AND COUNTING: Joel Walton picked up his 250th career victory Saturday, when the Cardinals scored a 3-2 victory at George Mason . . . Walton, who is in his 14th season as BSU's head coach, enters the week with a 250-137 (.646) career record.

►THE All-TIME SERIES: The Cardinals hold 2-0 lead in the all-time series against Sacred Heart, posting a pair of 3-2 wins over the Pioneers last season . . . With its win over George Mason Saturday, the Cardinals are now 40-25 all-time versus the Patriots including wins in five of the last six matches . . . St. Francis snapped a five-match losing streak to the Cardinals with its win Friday, but trails BSU 10-4 in the all-time series.

►SCOUTING THE CARDINALS: The Cardinals opened the 2012 season with a pair of five-set matches, suffering a 2-3 (18-25, 19-25, 30-28, 25-22, 10-15) setback at St. Francis, before rebounding with a 3-2 (20-25, 25-19, 25-18, 22-25, 15-13) victory at George Mason . . . Redshirt junior Jamion Hartley paced the BSU attack with 27 kills (3.00 kps), while junior Larry Wrather was second with 26 kills (2.60 kps) . . . Sophomore setter Graham McIlvaine guided BSU to a .206 rate of success on offense, while leading the team with 10 total blocks . . . Sophomore libero Tommy Rouse collected 2.10 digs per set to pace the BSU back court.

►THE KNOCKOUT PUNCH: In his debut as a starting middle blocker for the Cardinal's sophomore Kevin Owens turned in a solid opening weekend, blasting 16 kills and collecting five blocks, including a solo stuff . . . Owen's best match came in the win at George Mason, when he scored a career-high 10 kills while hitting for a career-best .529 (10-1-17) rate of success . . . He also collected three block assists in the win.

►MORE FROM THE MIDDLE: In his first round as a starting middle blocker for BSU, redshirt sophomore Matt Leske averaged 1.30 kills and 0.90 blocks per set last week.

►BRINGING THE D: After seeing limited action at St. Francis, freshman outside hitter Shane Witmer made the most of his time versus George Mason, racking up a career-high 10 digs while playing in just four of the five sets . . . He also threw up a pair of blocks, including a solo stuff, while adding three kills.

►SPEAKING OF DEFENSE: Sophomore libero Tommy Rouse tallied a team-best 15 digs in Saturday's win at George Mason, marking the 13th time in his career he has collected double-digit digs in a match . . . Rouse also turn in stellar numbers in serve receive, successfully passing all 62 balls served at him over the weekend.

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