MUNCIE, Ind. – The Ball State men’s volleyball team started its 50th season as a varsity program with a sweep of St. Francis at Worthen Arena on Saturday evening (25-22, 25-21, 25-22). Greg Herceg and Kevin Owens led the offense for the Cardinals registering 17 and 11 kills, respectively.
With the win, the Cardinals move to 1-0 while the Red Flash drop to 1-2 on the season.
Herceg had 17 kills for a .412 hitting percentage (17-3-34) to go with a match-high three service aces, seven digs and two assisted blocks. Owens was the second Cardinal to register double-digits in kills with 11 and a .500 hitting percentage (11-1-20). The junior also had a solo block and assisted on a block.
Tommy Rouse led the match in digs with 13. Urim Demirovski notched nine digs to go with an assisted block and four kills. Graham McIlvaine had a match-high 30 assists.
In the decisive third set, Herceg served for six straight points to bring the Cardinals back from a 9-6 deficit to a 12-9 lead. The match was tied at 20-all of a kill from St. Francis’ Logan Patterson. A kill from Herceg followed by a service ace and a Red Flash attack error gave the Cardinals a 23-20 advantage. The match ended on a kill by Demirovski.
The Cardinals held the advantage in hitting percentage .248 (43-16-109) to .177 (35-18-96) and team blocks, 7-4.
The Red Flash were led by Colin Sherwin and Logan Patterson who each registered 10 kills.
The Cardinals are in action next week with a road trip to the east coast to take on New Jersey Institute on Jan. 18 and Sacred Heart on Jan. 19. Stay tuned to ballstatesports.com for updates. You can follow the team on Twitter by following @BallStateMVB or you can like “Ball State Men’s Volleyball” on Facebook.