QUINCY, Ill. - - The Ball State men's volleyball team ended the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association portion of its 2012 schedule with a 3-0 (26-24, 32-30, 25-19) victory at Quincy's Pepsi Arena Friday evening.
The Cardinals (13-10 / 5-7 MIVA) turned in its second-most efficient offensive performance of the season in the victory, connecting for a .303 (43-16-89) attack percentage as a team. BSU's best hitting mark of the year was a .306 (33-11-72) effort versus Park (Feb. 25).
Sophomore setter Graham McIlvaine (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central) ran the offense, dishing out 36 assists, while connecting for a .833 (5-0-6) rate of success from the attack line himself.
Redshirt sophomore middle attacker Matt Leske (Highwood, Ill./Highland Park) had the best all-around night for the Cardinals, blasting eight kills and hitting .636 (8-1-11), while collecting a match-best five total blocks.
Junior outside attacker Larry Wrather (Lake Bluff, Ill./Lake Forrest) added a team-high nine kills and eight digs, while BSU sophomore libero Tommy Rouse (Carmel, Ind./Cathedral) tallied a match-high 11 digs.
Quincy (17-13 / 1-11 MIVA) was paced offensively by Joe Sokol's match-high 14 kills. Steven Battaglia added 10 markers, while Sokol, Ryan Lehmann and Andrew Ouano tied for team-high honors with five digs apiece.
The Ball State defense limited the Hawks' attack to a .194 (42-22-103) hitting effort, while holding a 32-26 edge in digs and a 7-3 advantage in total blocks.
Quincy flew out to a 7-3 lead in the opening set, only to see Ball State battle back and tie the score at 9-9. BSU took its first lead of the night moments later as a kill from sophomore middle attacker Kevin Owens (Fishers, Ind./Cathedral) gave the guests a 12-11 edge.
A back-and-forth battle ensued from there, with Ball State reaching set point at 24-23 on a kill from redshirt junior opposite attacker Jamion Hartley (North Chicago, Ill./North Chicago). After a Cardinals' attack error, kills from Owens and Wrather helped BSU win the frame 26-24.
The second stanza was another back-and-forth battle as the teams played to a 23-23 stalemate. A kill from Wrather would give BSU its first of four opportunities to win the frame, but a Lehmann kill and a Ball State attack error followed, giving Quincy its first of four set-points.
With the score knotted at 30-30, a kill from Wrather followed by a block assist from Leske and McIlvaine allowed the Cardinals to end the set at 32-30.
Ball State looked poised to run away with the third set, leading 7-2, only to have the host Hawks rally and tie the score at 11-11. However, three straight BSU points shifted the momentum back to the guests and the Cardinals went on to win the frame 25-19 on a Quincy error.
The Ball State men's volleyball team concludes the 2012 regular season tomorrow (Saturday), when it travels to Lindenwood for the first time in program history for an 8 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. CT non-conference contest.