It was a much better result than Thursday for Ball State Men’s Volleyball.
The Cardinals (7-5, 2-2) took down Purdue Fort Wayne (10-4, 1-3) in a five-set (25-20, 24-26, 25-22, 19-25, 15-8) battle Saturday in the first meeting of the two teams since last year’s Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) championship match.
“To do it [win] in the fashion we did, going to five, just a stellar environment up there and a lot of people in the stands,” head coach Donan Cruz said. “We ended the match on the side where the crowd was at their most vocal and our guys played through some tough situations.”
Ball State was coming off of a loss Thursday to Loyola Chicago, where the Cardinals failed to gain the upper hand and struggled late.
“We challenged our guys this morning to dive in and remind ourselves why we are at Ball State,” Cruz said. “I thought it was more of a mental switch [from Thursday] than it was volleyball switch and all of that credit goes to the team.”
Some credit for Ball State’s win goes to the defense, who set a program record with 26.5 blocks on the Mastodon offense. Fifth-year middle blocker Felix Egharevba and second-year middle blocker Vanis Buckholz each had nine block assists.
Three Cardinals had double digit kills to lead on offense. Second-year Tinaishe Ndavazocheva led the way with 16, fifth-year outside attacker Kaleb Jenness had 14 and Egharevba tallied 10.
Ball State travels to St. Charles, Missouri Friday for another conference match against Lindenwood at 8 p.m.