Leading 22-14 late in the second set and looking to close it out, No. 12 Ball State men's volleyball went in a direction it had gone several times before this season — it looked for "The Big Cheese" to make a big impact.
Freshman outside attacker Matt Szews finished the second set off with a kill and back-to-back service aces to help give the Cardinals a 2-0 lead and they never looked back from there. Ball State (13-4, 5-3 MIVA) got their second consecutive road win with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-14, 25-17) victory over Quincy.
Ball State started strong in each of the three sets but finished each set even stronger, head coach Joel Walton said.
"Tonight, we were firing on all cylinders," Walton said. "We haven't played a match like that in a while so I was excited to see our guys put in a dominant performance and play the way that they're capable of playing."
The Cardinals were efficient on the offensive side of the net in Saturday's match. The team's .506 attack percentage marked the first time Ball State had an attack percentage over .500 since finishing at .576 in a win over Barton on Jan. 26, 2013.
Ball State stat leaders:
Kills: Matt Szews - 16
Assists: Connor Gross - 38
Digs: Nick Lavanchy - 7
Service Aces: Matt Szews - 4 (Career high)
Total Blocks: Connor Gross & Matt Walsh - 4
"Our passers did a good job of handling their serves and getting those passes up to [setter Connor Gross]," Walton said. "We were able to hit one-on-one a lot of the night and that's a situation where our attacker should be able to terminate the ball and they did."
Szews finished with a match-high 16 kills and a career-high four service aces in the Cardinals' victory.
"I think Matt is getting a lot more confident in his serve," Walton said. "He was able to move it with a little more spin at times and also hit it off-speed so he was able to put a lot of pressure on people with that serve."
Ball State also had solid outings from junior outside attacker Matt Walsh, who finished with nine kills and four blocks and junior outside attacker Mitch Weiler, who finished with five kills, three blocks and two digs.
The Cardinals have two home matches against Grand Canyon on March 1 and March 2. Both matches begin at 7:30 p.m.
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