MUNCIE, Ind. – The No. 13 Ball State men’s volleyball team defeated the Lindenwood Lions Friday evening 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 25-22 led offensively by senior middle attacker Kevin Owens. The Cardinals got under 53 digs on the night with three Cardinals tallying double-digit digs.
With the win Ball State improves to 20-7 on the season and 9-4 in MIVA play while Lindenwood falls to 19-10 on the campaign and 4-9 in league action.
Owens led the Cardinals with 14 kills off 20 swings, committing only one attack error for a .650 hitting percentage. The senior also picked up three blocks. Senior middle attacker Matt Leske and junior outside attacker Matt Sutherland added nine kills each while sophomore outside attacker Marcin Niemczewski added eight kills.
McIlvaine registered his fifth double-double of the season after dishing out 39 assists and getting under a season-high 12 digs. Also earning 12 digs were junior outside attacker Shane Witmer and junior libero David Ryan Vander Meer. Leske recorded a career-high six digs while Niemczewski also got under six digs. Leske put up four blocks while McIlvaine led the team with five blocks.
The first set saw 10 ties and four lead changes with the Lions taking an early lead. Coming out of a timeout the Cardinals outscored the Lions 6-2 to tie the match 15-15. McIlvaine was able to keep the ball in play using his foot and Niemczewski was able to put it away. Lindenwood called its final timeout of the set after committing its fifth service error of the set giving Ball State the 23-21 advantage. A block by the Lions followed by a service ace knotted the set at 23-23. Consecutive kills from Owens gave the Cardinals the 25-23 set win.
Ball State opened up the second set taking an 11-8 lead after a Leske-McIlvaine block. The Lions battled back tying the set five more times down the stretch. With the set tied at 21-21 Lindenwood would commit its seventh service error of the set. A Witmer kill from McIlvaine would give the Cardinals a two-point advantage. The teams traded points but Niemczewski would seal the deal for the Cardinals, 25-22.
Coming out of intermission Ball State led early on with Lindenwood calling its first timeout looking at a 12-7 deficit. Ball State would push its lead to as many as six, up 18-12. A solo block by McIlvaine would cause Lindenwood to call a timeout with Ball State holding a 22-18 lead. Out of the timeout the Lions would score two-straight causing the Cardinals to call for time. Lindenwood would again score two more points tying the set at 22-22. A kill by Niemczewski and a Lindenwood block would tie the set at 23-23. A kill from Lidenwood’s Zach Bequette followed by a Bequette solo block would allow the Lions to steal the third frame 25-23.
A four-point run by Ball State capped by a Sutherland-McIlvaine-Owens triple block would allow the Cardinals to take a 9-5 lead early in the fourth set. Vander Meer recorded his first kill of the season to help Ball State advance its lead to 17-11. Three-straight points by the Lions caused Cardinals to call a timeout despite holding a 23-21 advantage. A Ball State attack error brought Lindenwood to within one point, 23-22, but a kill from Witmer and an attack error by the Lions would end the match.
Lindenwood was led offensively by Kyle Overby who recorded 20 kills while Scott Siwicki added 10 kills. Overby also got under a team-high 12 digs.
The Lions led the battle of the blocks 12-10, but the Cardinals excelled in digs 53-44. Ball State finished the night with a .225 attack percentage( 49-22-120) while Lindenwood managed a .196 clip (53-25-143).
N early14-15 graham kicked the ball to keep it in another heads up play afterwards to keep it in place then tied 15-15
Ball State will honor its five seniors – Urim Demirovski, Matt Leske, Graham McIlvaine, Kevin Owens and Larry Wrather – at the conclusion of tomorrow’s match against Quincy. First serve is set for 4 p.m. at the match is being televised by Ball State Sports Link statewide on Comcast Indiana 81 and free on BallStateSports.com. The Senior Day ceremony will be carried exclusively on BallStateSports.com.
For the most up-to-date news on Ball State men’s volleyball, follow @bsuathletics and @BallStateMVB on Twitter. The team is also on Instagram at @ballstatemvb.