ROMEOVILLE, Ill. - - Despite a big come-from-behind victory in the opening set, the Ball State men's volleyball team suffered a 3-1 (28-30, 25-20, 25-20, 25-20) setback to No. 9 Lewis Friday night in Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association play at Neil Carey Arena.
Junior outside attacker Larry Wrather (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forrest) paced the Ball State (12-9 / 4-6 MIVA) offense with 10 kills, while sophomore middle attacker Kevin Owens (Fishers, Ind./Cathedral) added nine.
Redshirt sophomore middle attacker Matt Leske (Highwood, Ill./Highland Park) led the Cardinals at the net with six total blocks, while Wrather and Owens each scored four. Wrather also added 10 digs for his second double-double of the season.
Geoff Powell led the Lewis (21-6 / 7-3 MIVA) offense with 19 kills, while Jay Petty added 17 and Greg Petty posted 10.
The Flyers held a .279 (61-22-140) to .186 (47-25-118) hitting advantage in the contest, while BSU won the battle at the net 10-9 and in the backcourt 47-37.
In a hotly contested first set, the teams battled to a 19-19 stalemate before a 5-2 run gave the hosts three set points. However, two Lewis errors surrounding a kill from Leske helped the Cardinals battle back and tie the score at 24.
A BSU attack error gave the Flyers their fourth shot at winning the set, but kills from redshirt freshman outside attacker Matt Sutherland (Rochester, N.Y./Penfield) and senior outside attacker Jeff Aucoin (Brighton, Mass./New Hampshire) followed to allow BSU to reach its first set-point.
Lewis survived the next point, thanks to a kill from Aaron Flick, as the teams traded five straight to play to a 28-28 tie. Ball State would go on to compete the come-from-behind win thanks to back-to-back markers from Owens which pushed the final set score to 30-28.
Lewis opened the second set strong, playing to a 4-1 advantage. Ball State would remain within two, at 7-5, only to see the Flyers control play from there and win the frame 25-20 on a Flick kill.
The Cardinals capitalized on two kills and a block assists from Wrather to pull ahead 6-3 in the third set. Ball State maintained a 10-5 lead after an ace and kill from junior opposite attacker Greg Herceg (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Ignatius). Unfortunately, the Flyers scored 13 of the next 18 points to capture the frame's momentum. Lewis went on to win the set 25-20 on a G. Petty kill.
With the score of the fourth set tied at 13, back-to-back kills from the Flyers gave the hosts the lead for good in the game at 15-13. BSU would stay within two points, at 20-18, but the hosts scored five of the final seven points to win the set 25-20 and the match 3-1.
The Ball State men's volleyball team returns to action Saturday when it travels up I-69 for a 7 p.m. MIVA showdown at IPFW.