The McKendree University men's volleyball team swept Ball State University, 3-0 to open Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) play with a win. The Bearcats improve to 4-4 overall on the season and 1-0 in MIVA competition.
McKendree started out the match down 10-5 at the largest deficit in set one but the Bearcats found their rhythm and didn't fall behind the Cardinals to that extent for the remainder of the match. McKendree won the first set 25-23, came out on top in the second set 28-26, and clinched the sweep with a 25-21 victory in the third set.
The Bearcats outperformed the Cardinals offensively in every set. McKendree recorded a .440 team hitting percentage compared to Ball State's .235 in set one. The trend continued into the second and third set as the Bearcats hit .205% and .301% as a team while the Cardinals only managed a .128% and a .294%.
Individual offensive leaders for McKendree were senior outside hitter Will Frank (Moro, IL/Edwardsville), sophomore outside hitter Patrick Ross (Anthem, AZ/Boulder Creek), and junior outside hitter Zach Schnittker (Arlington Heights, IL/Buffalo Grove). Frank tallied 14 kills for McKendree while Ross and Schnittker each recorded eight. Sophomore middle blocker and freshman setter Ryan Serrano (Anthem, AZ/Boulder Creek) each collected impressive individual hitting percentages in the match. Dimke went 6 for 10 to earn a .600 hitting percentage while Serrano recorded five kills on five total attacks to manage the impressive feat of a perfect 1.000 hitting percentage.
The defense was just as successful for the Bearcats. McKendree doubled the amount of total blocks than Ball State could manage in the match, the Bearcats with 14 total and the Cardinals with seven. Schnittker, Dimke, and Serrano each tallied a solo block on the night. Dimke led the team with six total blocks then Schnittker and freshman middle blocker Tommy McGrath (Paradise Valley, AZ/Brophy College Prep) were next, each tallying five total blocks. Senior libero Zach Thompson (Defiance, MO/Francis Howell) led the back line with eight total digs followed by Schnittker and Frank, each with five digs.
McKendree will continue MIVA competition Friday night against Purdue Fort Wayne in Fort Wayne, Ind., for a 7 p.m. ET match. The Bearcats will then return home to take on Lindenwood University Wednesday Feb. 13 at 7 p.m.