Men's Volleyball Hosts No. 10 Ohio State Sunday
►PIVOTAL MATCHES: The Ball State men's volleyball team will play a pair of pivotal Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association matches over a three-day span starting with a 5 p.m. Sunday showdown versus 10th-ranked Ohio State . . . Tuesday, the Cardinals travel to Loyola for an 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT match up against the Ramblers.
►FOLLOW THE ACTION: Live stats, live audio and live video will be available for Sunday's match versus No. 10 Ohio State . . . WCRD 91.3 FM will cover the OSU contest live over the airwaves and online at BallStateSports.com with Tim Keane and C.J. Allard calling the action . . . Streaming video will be provided as part of the Ball State All Access package ($9.95 a month) . . . Loyola will also provide live stats for Tuesday's match.
►CARDINALS ALL-TIME: The Ball State men's volleyball program enters Sunday's match versus Ohio State with a 1064-428-8 (.712) all-time record in 48-plus seasons of play . . . The program, which officially became a varsity sport at Ball State during the 1964 season, 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 weekend with an 1,234-286 all-time record over 49-plus years.
►250 AND COUNTING: Joel Walton, who is in his 14th season as BSU's head coach, picked up his 250th career victory in a 3-2 thriller at George Mason (Jan. 14) . . . Walton coached his 400th career match versus Park (Feb. 25), picking up a 3-0 victory . . . He enters Sunday's match with a 260-143 (.645) career record . . . Walton is 8-26 all-time versus Ohio State and 13-18 against Loyola.
►ALL-TIME VERSUS OHIO STATE: Despite 11 straight wins by Ohio State, the Cardinals hold a 98-89-1 lead in the all-time series . . . Earlier this season, the Buckeyes scored a 3-0 (25-15, 25-22, 25-17) victory in Columbus (Feb. 17) . . . BSU's last win in the series came Feb. 15, 2008 in a 3-1 (26-30, 30-28, 32-30, 31-29) home court victory . . . Ball State is 42-30-1 versus OSU in matches played in Muncie.
►ALL-TIME VERSUS LOYOLA: The Ramblers hold a 21-18 lead in the all-time series versus Loyola, including three straight wins . . . Earlier this season, Loyola scored a 3-1 (25-18, 16-25, 29-27, 25-23) victory in Muncie (Feb. 2) . . . BSU is 3-16 all-time in Chicago, with its last road win coming April 17, 1999 by a score of 3-1 (12-15, 17-15, 15-10, 15-13).
►SCOUTING THE CARDINALS: The Cardinals enter the week with an 11-7 (3-4 MIVA) record after losing at then-No. 12 Cal State Northridge (3-0) and splitting a pair of matches at Grand Canyon (0-3 & 3-2) last week . . . Junior outside attacker Larry Wrather paces the BSU attack with a 2.60 kills-per-set average, while redshirt junior opposite attacker Jamion Hartley is second at 2.57 kps . . . Sophomore setter Graham McIlvaine has guided BSU to a .215 rate of success on offense by handing out 8.80 assists per set . . . Sophomore middle blocker Kevin Owens has a team-high .400 hitting percentage and also leads the team with 1.22 blocks per set . . . Sophomore libero Tommy Rouse averages 2.29 digs per set to pace the BSU backcourt.
►TAKING CHARGE AT THE NET: Ball State continues to be one of the most dominating defenses in the nation at the net, ranking eighth in the country with a 2.78 blocks-per-set average . . . Kevin Owens leads the Ball State block and ranks 10th nationally at 1.22 bps, while Matt Leske is 13th in the country at 1.18 and Graham McIlvaine is 50th at 0.86.
►AND IN THE BACKCOURT: Ball State also enters the weekend ranked seventh nationally with a 9.26 digs-per-set average . . . Tommy Rouse is 13th among all NCAA Division I/II players at 2.29 dps, while Larry Wrather is 41st at 1.71.
►THE MOOSE IS LOOSE: Junior opposite attacker Greg Herceg turned in a pair of solid west coast performances, racking up a then-career-high tying 13 kills at No. 12 Cal State Northridge, only to blast a new career-high with 16 kills in the second match at Grand Canyon . . . Over BSU's three matches out west, Herceg led the team with 33 kills and a 3.00 kills-per-set average . . . He also tallied 15 digs and hit .243.
►SENIOR DAY: BSU's lone senior, Jeff Aucoin, will be honored Sunday versus Ohio State . . . Aucoin is competing in his first and last season for the Ball State men's volleyball program after enrolling in graduate school upon completion of his undergraduate degree at New Hampshire ... Named MVP of the NCVF Division 1AA National Championship Tournament after guiding his team to the title as a senior at UNH, Aucoin has played in seven matches for Ball State this season, racking up eight kills and 12 digs ... He also served up an ace versus Park University.