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2/10 - Ball State 3, George Mason 2

2/10 - Ball State 3, George Mason 2

MUNCIE, Ind. – On the brink of falling behind two sets to none while George Mason held a 24-20 lead in game two, the Ball State men's volleyball team fought off four-straight set points and came back to win the set, 29-27, while evening the match at 1-1. According to head coach Joel Walton, that was the break the Cardinals needed as they went on to beat George mason, 3-2, in an exciting five-set match on Sunday night at Worthen Arena.

"I was thinking it, and I could tell my guys were thinking it as well. We knew that if we didn't win that second set, it was going to be extremely difficult to win this match," expressed coach Walton. "I'm so proud of these guys. It wasn't always pretty, but they just kept fighting and their resiliency is what ended up allowing us to beat a really good team tonight."

Ball State improved to 7-5 on the year while George Mason dropped to 8-2. The Patriots had previously won five-consecutive matches before Sunday's loss.

Despite the tightly-contested contest, the Cardinals dominated the stat sheet as a team. BSU totaled 73 kills to 55 for the Patriots and put down six aces while allowing just one. At the net, Ball State came away with 12 blocks while giving up eight, and tallied 69 assists to George Mason's 47.

Individually, Kaleb Jenness led the Cardinals in kills with 22 and was followed closely by Matt Szews who had 20. Ben Chinnici gave BSU a strong lift off the bench with 12 kills, three assists and nine digs. Quinn Isaacson had a strong night setting the ball with 59 assists. Jenness and Szews also let the way in service aces with two apiece, and Szews had the lead in blocks with six. Isaacson's 10 digs were also a team high.

Set two was arguably the most important for the Cardinals, but the opening set was just as thrilling. Ball State held set point with the score 24-23, but the Patriots fought it off and claimed a set point of their own at 25-24. The two sides traded the next several points but George Mason ultimately went up 1-0 after securing a 29-27 victory.

Again, the Cardinals looked to be in trouble after letting set three get away with the Patriots winning 25-17, but Ball State bounced back in a big way in game four. George Mason led 18-17 and coach Walton called a timeout. From there it was all BSU as the Cardinals ripped off an 8-2 run to win the set 25-20 and send things to a decisive fifth set.

The final game of the night got off to a slow start for Ball State with George Mason taking an early 3-1 lead. BSU scored the next four points though, and never trailed again. The Patriots tied things up at eight but could never reclaim the lead as Ball State put away the match on a trio of kills by Jenness and Chinnici.

Ball State now resumes MIVA play with a road trip to Illinois where it will face ranked opponents Lewis and Loyola on Friday and Saturday. Both matches are slated for 8 p.m. ET.

For all the latest on Ball State men's volleyball, follow @BallStateMVB on social media and visit BallStateSports.com.