SAN MARCOS, Texas – The No. 13 Ball State men’s volleyball team earned four nods from the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association in its 2014 all-conference selections. By way of a vote of all eight conference head coaches, senior middle attacker Matt Leske and junior libero David Ryan Vander Meer earned a spot on the First Team while senior middle attacker Kevin Owens and senior setter Graham McIlvaine earned Second Team honors.
Leske and Vander Meer earned First Team honors for the first time in their career. Leske, a 2013 Volleyball Magazine Third Team All American had previously earned Second Team nods in 2012 and 2013. Owens had previously earned First Team honors in 2013 and Second Team honors in 2012. McIlvaine was honored by the MIVA for the first time in his career.
Leske leads the nation in blocks per set with a 1.61 average. The senior has netted double-digit blocks three times this season and has tallied at least seven blocks 12 times this season. The Highwood, Ill., native ranks fifth in Ball State’s 51 year history in career blocks per set average at 1.46. He is eighth all-time in career total blocks at 429 and seventh in career assisted blocks with 368.
Vander Meer is first in the MIVA and fifth in the nation in digs per set with a 2.70 average. The junior has registered 278 digs this season including 14 matches with double-digit digs. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native went on a 10-match streak where he got under at least 10 digs. Vander Meer set a rally scoring school record for most digs in a four-set match with 23 against NJIT on Mar. 20.
Owens is fourth in the conference and 10th in the country with his .419 hitting percentage. His .419 clip ranks 11th in Ball State history in season hitting percentage. For his career, the Fisher, Ind., native is hitting a .409 percentage which ranks fourth in school history for career hitting percentage. The senior has tallied 333 total blocks in his career as a Cardinal along with 580 kills.
McIlvaine is seventh in the MIVA in assists per set (9.80) and is also ninth in the league in aces per set (0.33). The Hinsdale, Ill., native has dished out 3,139 assists in his career – sixth in Ball State history. McIlvaine’s 9.48 career assists per set average is eighth in the school record books. For his career, McIlvaine has tallied 66 service aces, 251 total blocks and 243 kills.
First team honorees were: BJ Boldog (Lewis), Cody Caldwell (Loyol-Chicago), Driss Guessous (Ohio State), Thomas Jaeschke (Loyola-Chicago), Matt Leske (Ball State), Ben Ponnet (Grand Canyon), Geoff Powell (Lewis), Andrew Sellan (IPFW), Joe Smalzer (Loyola-Smalzer), and David Ryan Vander Meer (Ball State).
Second team honorees were: Colin Hackworth (Lindenwood), Andrew Lutz (Ohio State), Graham McIlvaine (Ball State), Nicholas Olson (Loyola-Chicago), Kevin Owens (Ball State), Greg Petty (Lewis), Eddie Rivera (IPFW), Omar Rivera (IPFW), Bobby Walsh (Lewis) and Lucas Yanez (Lewis).
Loyola-Chicago’s Thomas Jaeschke was named MIVA Player of the year while Ohio State’s Driss Guessous earned MIVA Freshman of the Year. Loyola-Chicago head coach Shane Davis earned MIVA Coach of the Year.
Ball State will host Lindenwood in the MIVA Quarterfinal on Fri., Apr. 18 at 7:30 p.m. in Worthen Arena. The first 250 Ball State students will get into the match for free with their student ID. Ticket prices for adults are $5 and children and students can get in for $3.
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.