Ball State women's volleyball, now winners in seven straight matches, knocked off Toledo to take sole possession of Mid-American Conference (MAC) West Division after a career-high 19 kills from third-year outside hitter Cait Snyder.
“Having a presence on the left side [of the net] we can count on is absolutely huge,” Ball State Women’s Volleyball head coach Kelli Miller Phillips said.
The Cardinals jumped out early on the Rockets, going ahead 17-12 at one point in the first set after a service ace from fourth-year outside hitter Natalie Risi. Even after Toledo came back, Ball State went ahead by seven points following two back-to-back attack errors from the Rocket’s third-year outside hitter Taylor Alt.
On offense, the Cardinals’ hot start came from five kills apiece from Synder and Risi in set one.
The momentum for Ball State carried into the second set, as seven kills from Snyder, three kills from fourth-year opposite Natalie Mitchem and two service aces from Risi.
The Cardinals were able to keep rallies going multiple times throughout the match, in part also from Toledo’s 25 attack errors.
“An area we have been putting an emphasis on in practice [is rallies], Miller Phillips said. “We have to be able to play for longer periods of time and to beat teams you have to have great physical conditioning.”
In the third set, the Cardinals dropped their only set of the evening and it was the only set where they had more attack errors than the Rockets, with five to Toledo’s four. Ball State also allowed four-straigh service aces late in the third set.
Risi and Snyder’s five kills and nine total errors from the opposition in the fourth and final set helped to put away the Rockets.
With the match win, Ball State takes the lead in the MAC West Division.
“It’s a great feeling,” Miller Phillips said. “That’s something we wanted at the start of the season and we have trusted the course and put the work in to be back in the position but we still have a lot of work left to do and take it one day at a time.”
The Cardinals return to Worthen Arena this weekend for a series of matches against Western Michigan starting Friday at 6 p.m.