No. 13 Men's Volleyball Hosts MIVA Quarterfinals
MUNCIE, Ind. – The No. 13 Ball State men’s volleyball team hosts Lindenwood in the MIVA Quarterfinals Fri., Apr. 18 in Worthen Arena. There will be a live stream of the match available on BallStateSports.com. CJ Allard and Jenna Spadafora have the call on 91.3 WCRD and WCRD.net.
Scouting Ball State
The Cardinals (21-7, 10-4 MIVA), who were picked to finish fifth in the conference, ended the 2014 season in third place after wins over Quincy and Lindenwood in the final weekend of competition. Senior middle attacker Matt Leske and junior libero David Ryan Vander Meer were named to the First Team All-MIVA while senior middle attacker Kevin Owens and senior setter Graham McIlvaine earned spots on the Second Team.
Ball State leads the MIVA in blocks per set and digs per set with averages of 3.01 and 10.32, respectively. Matt Leske tops the nation with his 1.61 blocks per set average while David Ryan Vander Meer leads the conference in digs per set at 2.70.
For the season the Cardinals are hitting a .253 percentage and are holding opponents to a .191 clip. Sophomore outside attacker Marcin Niemczewski leads the Cardinals with 305 kills on the season for a 3.32 average. Graham McIlvaine has dished out 960 assists on the year while David Ryan Vander Meer has gotten under 278 digs. Matt Leske has 159 total blocks on the year while Kevin Owens has 100 total blocks.
The Lions (19-11, 4-10 MIVA) are on a five-match skid heading into the MIVA Quarterfinals. MIVA Second Team honoree Colin Hackworth leads the Lindenwood offense with a 3.61 kills per set average and 4.56 points per set average. Hackworth is eighth in the nation and second in the MIVA in points per set. Scott Siwicki is second in the MIVA in hitting percentage (.440) and aces per set (0.54). Tim Schmidt dishes out 11.14 assists per set, good for second in the MIVA and sixth in the nation. David Poole is fifth in the MIVA in digs per set (2.21) while Zach Bequette is fifth in the league in blocks per set (0.94). Lindenwood leads the nation in aces per set, 1.81, but have committed 543 service errors during the 2014 season.
Series with Lindenwood
Friday’s meeting marks the 10th meeting between the two programs with Ball State holding an 8-1 advantage. This will mark the first postseason meeting between the two teams as Lindenwood is elligible for postseason play for the first time after making the transition to Division II.
The Last Time Out
The Cardinals and the Lions squared off exactly a week ago in Worthen Arena. Kevin Owens notched 14 kills off 20 swings, committing only one attack error to lead the Cardinals offensively. Junior outside attacker Matt Sutherland and Matt Leske each added nine kills while Marcin Niemczewski added eight kills. Graham McIlvaine notched his fifth double-double of the season with 39 assists and 12 digs. David Ryan Vander Meer and junior outside attacker Shane Witmer each tallied 12 digs while Matt Leske got under a career-high six digs. Lindenwood was led by Kyle Overby’s double double of 20 kills and 12 digs while Scott Siwicki registered 10 kills. The Lions committed 20 service errors to the Cardinals’ 12 miscues from the service line.
Matt Leske and David Ryan Vander Meer earned All-MIVA First Team honors for the first time in their careers. Leske, a 2013 Volleyball Magazine Third Team All American had previously earned Second Team nods in 2012 and 2013. Kevin Owens and Graham McIlvaine earned All-MIVA Second Team nods. Owens had previously earned First Team honors in 2013 and Second Team honors in 2012. McIlvaine’s honor is the first in his career.
In the MIVA Tournament
The Cardinals have a 59-29 record (.670) in the MIVA Tournament. Ball State is 17-2 in quarterfinal matches, 16-13 in semifinal matches and 14-11 in the championship match. From 1964-69, teams competed in a round robin during the postseason and Ball State amassed a 12-3 record.
Stuck In The Middle With You
All-American middle attackers Matt Leske and Kevin Owens are both hitting over .400 for the season at .402 and .419, respectively. The seniors have a combined 364 kills on the year. The two also head up the blocking for the Cardinals with 259 total blocks between the two this season. Leske had at least seven blocks in 12 matches and has managed double digits in blocks three times this season.
In the Ball State Record Books
Red-shirt senior Matt Leske 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. Classmate Kevin Owens’ .419 clip this season 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.
Senior Graham McIlvaine 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. With one more set played, red-shirt senior Larry Wrather would tie John Shondell for 20th-most sets played in a career with 350.
The Doctor Is In
Junior libero David Ryan “Doc” Vander Meer got under a career-high 23 digs against NJIT to set a rally-scoring era school record for most digs in a four-set match. The count marked the second time this season Vander Meer had tallied over 20 kills. The libero has tallied double digit digs in 14 matches, including streak of 10 matches with double-digit digs.
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.