MUNCIE, Ind. - The No. 9 Ball State Cardinals swept the IPFW Mastodons (25-21, 25-17, 25-20) Saturday night at Worthen Arena to advance to the MIVA Semifinals.
With the win, Ball State moves to 21-5 on the season while IPFW drops to 13-13 on the 2013 campaign. The Cardinals now hold a 17-2 record in MIVA Quarterfinal matches.
Jamion Hartley and Greg Herceg led the kill count with 11 and eight kills each. Matt Leske, Graham McIlvaine and Kevin Owens each contributed five kills.
McIlvaine added 25 assists to go with eight digs, a solo block and an assisted block. Herceg also got under eight digs while libero Tommy Rouse led the way with 10 digs.
It was truly a block party as Ball State dominated the net 14 team blocks to five. Leske, Witmer and Owens each had six assisted blocks and Hartley helped out on five blocks.
The first set saw five ties early on before the Cardinals were able to benefit from some Mastodon attack errors to go up 12-10 forcing the Mastodons to call a timeout. It was all Ball State from there as IPFW was only able to get within one the rest of the set. Hartley slammed down the final point to give BSU the 25-21 set win.
Ball State led the entire second set grabbing an eight-point lead to force IPFW to call a timeout at 20-12. The Mastodons strung some points together down the stretch, but the Cardinals prevailed and took the set with an Owens kill.
The Cardinals held the momentum coming out of intermission. The Mastodons were able to get within one point, 12-11, causing the Cardinals to call a timeout to regroup. IPFW continued to hit attack errors and Balll State took the match off a kill from Owens.
Ball State hit .338 on the night (38-12-77) while IPFW managed a .080 (36-27-113). The Cardinals also held the advantage in digs, 33-23.
Rob Samp led the Mastodons with nine kills, while Andy Sellan had eight kills.
Ball State will take on the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers Wednesday, Apr. 24 in Chicago. Stay tuned to ballstatesports.com for updates. You can follow the team on Twitter on @BallStateMVB or on Facebook at “Ball State Men’s Volleyball”.