In its second out of three matches against ranked opponents, No. 14 Ball State Men’s Volleyball (2-2, 0-0 MIVA) lost its first road match this season, 3-0, to No. 11 Stanford (3-0, 0-0 MPSF).
“As a team, we didn’t play well enough to win a game or even push Stanford to a fourth or fifth set,” head coach Joel Walton said. “We continue to have a low hitting percentage, we continue to make errors. Some of that is a result of inconsistent passing.”
The match was the first of two for the Cardinals on the road this weekend. The Cardinals dropped the first set 22-25, which saw the both teams tied 22-22 before the Cardinal would go on a three point run to secure the first set.
The second game saw the Cardinals take multiple one point leads early. After being tied 13-13, Stanford would go on a 12-4 scoring run to win the set 25-17. Ball State would then go on to drop the third set 20-25, facing a sweep in their second straight match.
The Cardinals would trail the Cardinal in every offensive category with the exception of total attacks. Individually, the Cardinals top offensive performances came from their veterans. Senior outside hitter David Siebum and junior outside attacker Matt Szews would be tied for the lead in kills with nine apiece, and junior setter Jake Romano tallied 23 assists on the night.
Although the Cardinals are now at .500 after starting the season with two consecutive victories, the team has outscored their opponents 164-153 in kills. Additionally, the team has 163 block assists compared with their opponents’ 146.
Walton said that he continues to have trust in his team and each match has taught him which area the Cardinals need to remain most consistent in.
“Strong competition can be very beneficial for us later in the year,” Walton said. “We need to gain as much as we can from this experience, work to continue to improve and try to do things better when we step on the court.”
The Cardinals will face No. 5 Brigham-Young (1-0, 0-0 MPSF) at Smith Fieldhouse on Saturday. At 9 p.m. PST
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