Ball State 3, Grand Canyon 0
MUNCIE, Ind. – The No. 11 Ball State men's volleyball team returned to Worthen Arena Wednesday night for round one against MIVA foe Grand Canyon. The Cardinals swept the Lopes, 25-21, 25-10, 25-21.
Freshman Matt Szews proved once again to be a dominating force for the Cardinals. Szews led the team with 12 kills and 11 digs. Junior Matt Walshalso made his presence known with a team high 12 total blocks, three solo blocks and nine block assists. Brendan Surane added nine kills while Mitch Weiler tallied seven. Senior Connor Grosshad 35 assists.
The Cardinals came out ready to play, scoring the first two points of the match. Ball State then went on a 4-0 run making the score 7-2, causing the Lopes to call an early timeout. In the opening set, Surane led the way with five kills for a .556 hitting percentage. Szews added four kills and four digs while Walsh knocked down four blocks. As a team, Ball State had 15 kills and seven blocks in the set one victory, 25-21.
Set two was all Ball State and too much for Grand Canyon to handle. The Cardinals won the set with a score of 25-10. Ball State had 10 kills while the Lopes were 3/24 in kills. Szews led the set with three kills and Surane, Weiler and Walsh each added two.
The third set was back and forth with nine tied scores and four lead changes, but the Cardinals were able to finish the match with a 25-21 set three victory. Ball State had 15 kills, 15 digs and three blocks in the final set. Szews had five kills, one being the match winner, and a set high seven digs. Gross, Weiler and Alex Piaeach knocked down three kills.
"Our guys really understood our game plan tonight," said head coach Joel Walton in a post game interview. "Our defense was in the right place at the right time. We put a lot of pressure on them and did a great job tonight with our blocking."
"Grand Canyon is going to come out again tomorrow night motivated and ready to play us again," added Walton. "We have to come ready and try to not let them get on track."
The Ball State men's volleyball team (14-4, 6-3 MIVA) will look to take down the Lopes once again tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. in Worthen Arena.
Lourdes 3, Fort Wayne 1
YLVANIA, Ohio - Despite double-doubles from Michael Keegan and Colton Stone, the Fort Wayne men's volleyball team dropped its nonconference matchup at Lourdes 3-1 (25-18 25-21, 20-25, 29-27) in the Russell J. Ebeid Recreation Center on Wednesday night (March 1).
The Gray Wolves started hot in its first NCAA Division I home matchup. Fort Wayne did not lead in the first set after the Gray Wolves opened up a 9-7 advantage. A 5-2 Fort Wayne run did bring the Mastodons within two at 15-13, a Stone capped the run with a kill and a subsequent ace.
The second set was back and forth, as the 'Dons held a 10-7 lead before the Gray Wolves went on a 9-4 run.
The Mastodons held a 12-8 lead before Lourdes rattled off eight straight. The 'Dons would follow with a six-point run of their own to take an 18-17 lead. Fort Wayne closed the set on a 12-3 run, during which Stone had three kills. The 'Dons held the Gray Wolves to .158 in the third set.
In the fourth, the 'Dons took its first lead of the set at 21-20, but Lourdes would not go away. Fort Wayne had two set points, but the Gray Wolves took their second match point. The 'Dons held the Gray Wolves to a .083 hitting percentage in the final set.
Michael Keegan finished the night with 48 assists and 10 digs, good enough for his third double-double in three straight matches. This is the first instance of three straight double-doubles since Matt Zbyszewski had four straight in April of 2005.
Stone led the 'Dons in kills and digs, as he finished with 24 and 16 respectively. Both of those clips are single-match highs for Fort Wayne this season. Austin Neace dug out 10 Lourdes attacks, while Graydon Schroeder had 10 kills.
The Mastodons take a break from competition for two weeks, and are back in action on March 17 as they travel to Phoenix to have two matches at Grand Canyon. Both matches in Phoenix will be played at 8 p.m. EST.