No. 9 Men's Volleyball Hosts MIVA Quarterfinals
MUNCIE, Ind. - The No. 9 Ball State men's volleyball team will host I-69 rival IPFW in the MIVA Quarterfinals Saturday, Apr. 20 at 7:30 p.m., at Worthen Arena. The first 250 students will get in for free. Adult tickets run $5 and children and students are $3.
Scouting the Cardinals
No. 15 Ball State (20-5, 9-5) secured the No. 3 seed in the MIVA Tournament after picking up wins over Lewis and Loyola in the final weekend of regular season action. The Cardinals are now riding a 12-match winning streak, which is the longest since 1982 when Ball State won 15 in a row.
Head coach Joel Walton was named MIVA Coach of the Year and five Cardinals were named to the MIVA All-Conference teams. Making the first team were Jamion Hartley, Greg Herceg, Kevin Owens and Tommy Rouse. Matt Leske made the second team.
The Cardinals cracked the top-15 in the AVCA Coaches Poll two weeks ago for the first time since the 2011 season and moved up to No. 9 this week. Kevin Owens was named MIVA Defensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week and third time this season after leading the blocking unit against the Flyers and Ramblers. Owens had 1.62 blocks per set and tied his career high in solo stuffs with three against Loyola.
Ball State in National Rankings
Ball State leads the nation in digs per set with a 10.87 digs per set average. The Cardinals also rank second in the country in blocks per set with a 2.94 average. BSU is fourth in kills per set (12.91), sixth in assists per set (12.01) and seventh in aces per set (1.25).
Junior middle attacker Matt Leske is second in the country in blocks per set (1.40), while his counterpart Kevin Owens is second in the nation in hitting percentage (.409). Tommy Rouse is third in Division I-II in digs per set with his 2.90 digs per set average.
IPFW picked up its third home win this season over a ranked opponent, and the fourth overall win this season against a ranked foe. IPFW hit .478 against Lewis, the highest single match
team attack percentage for IPFW since March 31, 2006, when IPFW Hit .494, also against Lewis (46 kills, 8 errors, 77 attempts). Luis Bertran’s 217 digs this season ranks 13th in IPFW’s single-season history, while his dig per set total of 2.65 puts him third in school history.
Series with IPFW
Saturday’s match marks the 96th meeting between these two squads. Ball State holds the all-time advantage at 68-27, including a 31-12 mark at home. The two teams split the regular season series this year.
Racking up MIVA Honors
Six members of the Ball State men’s volleyball team were honored by the MIVA. Head coach
Joel Walton was named Coach of the Year for the second time in his career -- the last time he earned the nod was in the 2001 season when he guided the Cardinals to a 20-8 record. Making an all-conference team for the first time in their careers were Jamion Hartley and Greg Herceg. Kevin Owens and Matt Leske both made the second team last season and Tommy Rouse had a nod to the first team during the 2011 campaign.
BSU in the MIVA Tournament
The Cardinals enter Saturday’s MIVA Tournament quarterfinal match with a 58-28 (.674) all-time
mark in the league tournament. BSU is 16-2 in quarterfinal matches, 16-12 in semifinal action and 14-11 in championship matches. Last season the Cardinals took a 3-1 in the quarterfinals over Grand Canyon before dropping a 3-0 semifinal match to Ohio State.