Confidence is key.
That was one of the things junior outside attacker Matt Szews touched on after No. 13 Ball State’s 3-1 victory over No. 12 Ohio State to begin MIVA conference play Saturday.
“Being confident in my teammates and having them being confident in my ability – it’s one of the most important things to have out there,” Szews said.
Szews led the team with 13 kills on the night, 12 of which were assisted.
“It’s impossible to win a game by yourself, so it’s an amazing feeling to step onto the court and trust your team,” Szews said.
This is Ball State’s second straight win over a ranked opponent as they defeated No. 10 Cal State Northridge last week. Before that matchup, the Cardinals had dropped four in a row to ranked opponents.
“I think [tonight’s win] is a really good indicator of what we’re capable of but obviously highlights a few more things we need to work on,” Szews said. “By no means was this the best match we played tonight, so I think it’s exciting because we know we can improve a lot more.”
The Cardinals dropped the first set 25-14 but bounced back to win the next three. Szews said the team knew a change needed to be made after the first set.
“Going into game two, we said ‘Alright, we know what they’re capable of. Let’s change the way we play,’ and we just started playing better,” Szews said.
While the Cardinals improved throughout the match, Szews said there’s still work to be done.
“Early on, we struggled in serve receive a little bit, and I think toward the end of the match we did a better job of handling it,” Szews said.
The Cardinals improve to 106-95-1 all time against the Buckeyes and 4-4 (1-0 MIVA) for the season. They will travel to the east coast this weekend to take on Harvard and Sacred Heart.
Contact Evan Weaver with comments at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @evan_weaver7.