Ball State Softball Closes Regular Season with Three Game Series at Toledo

bsu

Courtesy of Ball State Athletics

NOTE: Due to anticipated inclement weather, Ball State and Toledo will play a doubleheader Friday (1 p.m.) and a single game Saturday (TBD) at Scott Park.

GAMES 52 & 53: Ball State at Toledo
Friday, May 6 – Doubleheader Starting at 1 p.m.
ESPN3 Live Video  |  Live Stats

GAME 54: Ball State at Toledo
Saturday, May 7 – Single Game at TBA
Live Stats

► THIS WEEK IN BALL STATE SOFTBALL: The Ball State softball team closes the regular season this weekend when it travels to Toledo for a pivotal three game Mid-American Conference series … Due to anticipated inclement weather, the Cardinals and Rockets will play a doubleheader Friday (1 p.m.) and a single game Saturday (TBD) at Scott Park.

► FOLLOW THE ACTION: Both of Friday’s games are slated to be broadcast live on ESPN3 … Live stats will be available for all three games this weekend at BallStateSports.com/livestats … Fans can also get regular updates by following the team on Twitter: @BallStateSB, Instagram: @BallStateSB and Facebook: BallStateSoftball.

► WHERE WE STAND: Entering the final week of the regular season, the Cardinals are 1.5 games back in the race for one of eight spots in the upcoming MAC Tournament … If Ball State goes 3-0 this weekend, it can earn a spot in the MAC Tournament with either Buffalo (vs. Miami) or Central Michigan (vs. Northern Illinois) losing their weekend series … The Cardinals could also make the tournament with a 2-1 weekend, but would need Buffalo, Central Michigan and either Western Michigan or Eastern Michigan (who play each other) to be swept … Weather could also play a factor in the standings, as rain is expected to impact most of the conference games Saturday.

► CARDINALS ALL-TIME: With a 22-29 record so far in 2016, Ball State enters Friday’s doubleheader at Toledo with a 943-988-4 (.488) all-time record in 41-plus seasons of play … Established as a varsity program in 1975, Ball State has won five Mid-American Conference regular season titles (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014), six MAC West Division crowns (2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015), three MAC Tournament championships (1998, 2010 and 2015) and advanced to the NCAA Tournament three times (1998, 2010 and 2015).

► SCOUTING THE CARDINALS: Ball State has won four of its last five games, including sweeping Western Michigan last weekend … Senior Sammi Cowger paces the Cardinals during the span with a .500 batting average, while senior Emily Dabkowski is second at .400 … In the circle, sophomore Carolyn Wilmes is 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA over the last five games, allowing just three earned runs and holding opponents to a .255 average over the span.

► ALL-TIME VS. TOLEDO: While Ball State holds a 54-41 lead in the all-time series, Toledo has won two of the last three games between the two teams … Ball State won 19 straight in the series until a 6-4 Toledo win April 6, 2014 … Last season, Ball State won the first game of an April 10 doubleheader at Toledo by a score of 1-0 … The Rockets battled back to take the nightcap 8-7 … With the split, the Cardinals maintain a slim 24-23 advantage in road games in the series.

BALL STATE SOFTBALL STORY LINES

► The Cardinals played the first 32 games of the 2016 season on the road, which is the longest stretch of road games in program history … Entering this season, the longest previous road swing was a 31-game stint to open the 2012 campaign.

► Since the beginning of the 2009 season, Ball State has proven to be the MAC’s premier program by compiling a 117-44 (.727) league record … Kent State is second on the list during the same time frame with a 109-54 (.669) record … This weekend’s opponent Toledo is 12th at 54-118 (.314).

► Ball State will be looking for its first road win in league action this weekend when it travels to Toledo … The Cardinals are currently 0-8 in MAC road games … Toledo is 8-8 in home games this season, including 4-8 in league action, but has won seven straight at Scott Park as part of its current 10-game winning streak.

► Ball State’s seniors came through in a big way in their final home series, led by Sammi Cowger who paced the offense with a .625 average … Emily Dabkowski was named a MAC West Division Co-Player of the Week after driving in the game-winning run in Friday’s second game, while scoring the eventual game winner in Saturday’s contest … She hit .556 on the weekend with team-highs of four RBIs and four runs scored … Selena Reyna drove in the game-winning run in the opener with a ninth-inning, two-out RBI double … Nicole Steinbach went 2-0 in the circle with a 2.92 ERA and logged 10 strikeouts, while Kelsey Schifferdecker held WMU two a pair of hits and no runs in her one appearance.

► With a pair of wins in the circle last weekend versus Western Michigan, senior pitcher Nicole Steinbach took over sole possession of third on Ball State’s career wins list … Steinbach, who owns a 64-50 career record, is just the fourth pitcher in program history to record 50-or-more wins … Her 50th career win came when she guided Ball State to a 3-2 victory over UAB (Feb. 14) to close play in the Sand Dollar Classic earlier this season.

► When she struck out the second batter in last Friday’s series opener versus Western Michigan (April 29), Nicole Steinbach became the fourth player in program history and the 29th in MAC annals to reach 500 career strikeouts … Steinbach finished the weekend with 10 strikeouts to raise her career total to 509 which ranks 32nd among all active NCAA Division I players.

► With her first save of the 2016 season in the second game victory over Ohio (April 2), Nicole Steinbach took over sole possession of the Ball State program record for career saves with her ninth.

► Nicole Steinbach has made 139 career appearances in the circle for the Cardinals, with her 100th coming in the 2015 NCAA Regional opener versus No. 21 Notre Dame … She guided Ball State to its first-ever NCAA regional win by limiting the Fighting Irish to six hits and two earned runs to earn the complete game victory.

► Senior pitcher Kelsey Schifferdecker also looks to continue her climb up the Ball State record books, as she enters the week ranked seventh in program history with 36 career pitching victories … Schifferdecker, who owns a 36-18 career record, has been particularly dominating in MAC play, with a 15-4 record in conference action.

► Senior Emily Dabkowski has started the last 162 games for the Cardinals … Dabkowski started all 111 games over the 2014 and 2015 seasons at second base … This season, she has started the first 51 games at shortstop.

► A 2015 First Team All-MAC selection, Emily Dabkowski is Ball State’s active career home run leader and ranks fourth in program history with 31 career blasts … She is also fifth in program history with a .594 career slugging percentage, while her 139 runs scored are tied for fifth and her 137 RBIs are seventh … In addition, she currently holds the 13th-best career batting average in program history at .324.

► Emily Dabkowski enters the weekend tied for sixth in the MAC with 24 extra base hits this season … She is tied for the league lead with four triples, is tied for 13th in the conference with 10 doubles and is tied for seventh in the MAC with nine home runs.

► Senior Sammi Cowger continues to be one of the more versatile players on the Cardinals roster, starting at either first base or in right field in the last seven games … A .252 career batter, Cowger ranks 18th in program history with seven career home runs … In addition, she has been hit by a pitch 17 times over her career, which is fifth on Ball State’s career charts … Cowger is also one of only 26 players in program history to record a pitching save, as she has made 12 career appearances in the circle.

► Senior outfielder Selena Reyna enters the week ranked fifth in program history with 44 career doubles … She needs eight more doubles to move past Amanda Carpenter’s (2010-13) career total of 51 for fourth on Ball State’s all-time list … Reyna, who is seventh in program history with 22 career home runs, is 13th on Ball State’s career charts with a .484 slugging percentage … She also moved into 10th in program history in both runs scored (108) and RBI (102) last weekend.

► Freshman Madison Lee made the most of her first career at bat versus No. 25 South Alabama (Feb. 13), splitting the outfielders in left-center field for a pinch hit double … Since then, Lee has started the last 47 games as either the designated player, catcher or first baseman … In her first at bat versus No. 24 Texas (Feb. 19), Lee blasted her first career home run in the top of the second to tie the game at 1-1 at the time … Overall, Lee is first on team with a .356 (47-for-132) batting average and is tied for sixth in the MAC with 24 walks for a team-best .459 on-base percentage … In the win over Valpo (Feb. 28), Lee drove in her first career game-winning RBI with a two-run double.

► Sophomore Carolyn Wilmes has found her rhythm in the circle as of late, earning a pair of complete game victories in her last two starts … Over 14.0 innings of work, Wilmes has limited opponents to 13 hits and a .255 batting average … She has allowed just three earned runs, while striking out five batters.

► Ball State’s favorite jersey to wear this season appears to be home white, as the Cardinals are 10-10 this season in their white tops … The Cardinals are 3-5 in red tops, while owning an 9-14 mark in black jerseys.

Advertisements

Indiana State | Baseball: Shockers Next On Sycamores’ MVC Campaign

indiana-state

Courtesy of Indiana State Athletics

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. — Indiana State Baseball (27-16, 7-5 MVC) is coming off a weekend sweep over ranked Missouri State. The sweep moved the Sycamores back into the number two spot in the Missouri Valley Conference. Indiana State will travel to Wichita State, for a three-game series with the current MVC fifth ranked Shockers who are

Weekend Schedule

Friday, May 6 – @ Wichita State – 7:30 p.m. ET
Saturday, May 7 – @ Wichita State – 3:00 p.m. ET
Sunday, May 8 – @ Wichita State – 2:00 p.m. ET

Probable Pitchers
Game one – LHP Ryan Keaffaber
Game two – RHP Tyler Ward
Game three – LHP Weston Rivers

Right On Pace

The Sycamores are on pace to post the highest team batting average since the 2012 season, as they currently are hitting .283 as a team. The team currently holds the highest slugging percentage (.401) since the 2012 season. Junior Hunter Owen‘s 60 hits puts him on pace to break the 2012 season’s most hits category, set at 78 by former ISU player, Jeremy Lucas. Owen also looks to surpass Lucas’ single season runs scored from the 2012 season (53). MVC statistics notch the team first in the fielding category with a .980 percentage, while the NCAA as a whole slates the Sycamore defense at sixth in the nation. The Sycamore pitching staff is currently second in the MVC with a 3.62 ERA. Owen is second in the total hits category among MVC players with 60, as well as second in runs scores with 44. Senior Andy Young is third in the MVC with 43 runs scored, while senior Andy DeJesus is second in the most triples category amongst MVC players with five, and sixteenth in the NCAA for the same category. Hunter Owen and Andy Young round out the top 30 in the NCAA for hit by pitches as they rank seventeenth and twenty-seventh, respectively.

Clutch Closer
Jeremy McKinney has been the Sycamores’ go-to closer for a majority of the season. Throughout the three-game series with Missouri State, the Franklin, Ind., native earned one win and two saves, as he made appearances in all three games of the weekend. McKinney tossed four complete innings, giving up four hits, one run, zero walks, and striking out one. The righty entered Friday’s game in the top of the ninth inning when the Sycamores and Bears were tied, as he held the Bears scoreless in the top half of the inning just before the Sycamores notched their fourth walk-off win of the season in the bottom half. McKinney owns best ERA amongst active pitchers on the team with a 2.41, has made the most appearances with 21, and scored his sixth and seventh saves of the season this weekend. Currently, McKinney is on pace to surpass the eleven saves teammate Ryan Keaffaber tallied in the 2014 season.

One More Win 
Thus far this season, Sycamore Baseball has locked in 27 wins. With eleven games left in the regular season, the team needs one more win to tie last season’s wins and two more to move ahead of last season.

A Little History
The Sycamores are 45-98 all-time against the Shockers, with their first meeting having been in the 1978 season. Last season, the Sycamores dropped the series as the Shockers took two of three.

Scouting The Competition
The Shockers are currently 6-6 in the MVC and hold the fifth spot. Despite their overall record of 16-29, the Shockers have been on a steady incline since beginning conference play. Friday’s projected starter, LHP Cody Tyler, was named the MVC pitcher of the week after he pitched a complete game shutout in Wichita State’s 8-0 victory over Southern Illinois. Three Shockers are batting just over .300 in Trey Vickers, Greyson Jenista, and Dayton Dugas. Jenista, Dugas, and teammates Luke Ritter, Ryan Tinkham and Mikel Mucha have tallied over 20 RBIs, as Gunnar Troutwine leads with 32 RBIs.

This weekend’s three-game, MVC series will be broadcast on ESPN3, and can be heard on 1130 WIBQ AM. Game one will begin at 7:30 p.m. ET on Friday night, while Saturday’s game will take place at 3:00 p.m. ET, and the final game on Sunday will begin at 2:00 p.m. ET. For more information, checkout GoSycamores.com, or follow Sycamore Baseball on Facebook and Twitter.

Purdue | Women’s Golf Has Tough First Round at Regionals

purdue

Courtesy of Purdue Athletics

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – The Purdue women’s golf team struggled at the opening day of the NCAA Regional Championships at the Shoal Creek Country Club, shooting 25-over, 313 to sit in 15th place overall. Junior August Kim put up the top individual performance for the Boilermakers, shooting two-over, 74, and is tied for seventh, individually, heading into day two.

Shoal Creek proved incredibly difficult for the field Thursday afternoon, as the team lead is held by Big Ten rival Northwestern at eight-over, 296, as only the Wildcats, Oklahoma State and Florida State played the course under 300 for the day. The Boilermakers are 10 shots back from a qualifying spot in the NCAA Tournament as New Mexico State currently sits sixth at 15-over, 303.

Kim almost made it out of the first day just off the lead as her trio of birdies left her even-par after 17 holes, including a stretch of 10 straight holes without a bogey between No. 4 and No. 13. However, a double bogey on the final hole pushed her a few strokes back and logged her first round over par since April 9. Birdies were scarce for the field on Thursday, as senior Anna Appert Lund and freshman Cova SanJuan made two apiece, while sophomores Marta Martin and Linn Andersson each only made one. Despite making just nine birdies as a team, the Boilermakers boasted the fourth-most in the field Thursday. SanJuan finished at five-over, 77, while Martin and Appert Lund had the final two team scores at nine-over, 81.

Vanderbilt’s Jennifer Hahn holds the individual lead at two-under, 70, holding a two-shot lead on Northwestern’s Kacie Komoto and Oklahoma State’s Maddie McCrary, who finished even-par, 72. There are three players tied for fourth at one-over, 73, and Kim is one of nine players tied at two-over par.

Play resumes tomorrow at 7:30 a.m. CT, with the Boilermakers projected to start play on the back-nine.

Results: http://www.golfstatresults.com/public/leaderboards/gsnav.cfm?pg=team&tid=9990

IPFW | Baseball Plays Three Games At South Dakota State This Weekend

ipfw

Courtesy of IPFW Athletics

BROOKINGS, S.D. — IPFW will play a three-game Summit League baseball road series at South Dakota State University this weekend, May 6-8, at Erv Huether Field in Brookings, South Dakota.  Game one is scheduled for Friday at 4 p.m. ET.

The visiting Mastodons of eighth-year head coach Bobby Pierce enter the league series with a record of 21-23 overall, 6-15 in the Summit League, including eight wins in their last 12 games overall.  The host Jackrabbits are 17-26 overall, 11-10 in the Summit League, including seven wins in their last 11 games overall.

IPFW at SDSU SERIES INFORMATION
Erv Huether Field, Brookings, S.D.
Game One: Friday, May 6, 4 p.m. / Live Stats
Game Two: Saturday, May 7, 2 p.m. / Live Stats
Game Three: Sunday, May 8, 2 p.m. / Live Stats
Series History: SDSU leads 40-11
2016 Series: SDSU leads 3-0

PITCHING
Projected Rotation: Evan Miller (So., RHP), Trevor Storie (Sr., RHP), Brandon Pease (R-Sr., LHP)

IPFW is expected to use a starting pitching rotation that features Miller in game one, Storie in game two and Pease in game three.  Miller is 4-5 with a 6.44 ERA and 59 strikeouts through 11 appearances/starts and 57.1 innings pitched.  Storie is 5-5 with a 4.83 ERA and 46 strikeouts through 11 appearances/starts and 63.1 innings.  Pease is 1-2 with a 4.63 ERA and 24 strikeouts through 11 appearances/five starts and 23.1 innings.

Miller leads the team in starts, strikeouts and strikeouts looking (22).  Storie, this week’s Summit League Pitcher of the Week, leads the team in starts, wins and innings pitched.

Bullpen: Jordan Martin (Jr., RHP), Jake Weber (R-Jr., RHP), Brandon Phelps (R-So., RHP), Damian Helm (So., LHP), Adam Neal (Fr., RHP), Mitchell Ley (Jr., LHP), Tanner McAninch (Jr., RHP)

The Mastodons have used Martin (22 appearances, 1-0, 2.70 ERA, 2 Saves, 27K, 33.1 IP), Weber (18 appearances/1 start, 3-4, 5.08 ERA, 8 saves, 24K, 28.1 IP), Phelps (16 appearances, 1-0, 8.53 ERA, 16K, 19.0 IP), Helm (15 appearances/3 starts, 2-2, 6.64 ERA, 1 Save, 26K, 39.1 IP), Neal (13 appearances, 0-0, 2.89 ERA, 12K, 18.2 IP), Ley (12 appearances/6 starts, 1-2, 6.38 ERA, 22K, 36.2 IP) and McAninch (12 appearances, 0-1, 2.92 ERA, 7K, 12.1 IP) most frequently this season.

Martin leads the team in appearances, games in relief (22), ERA and opponent batting average (.234).  Weber leads the team in saves and games finished (15).  Ley leads the team in runners picked off (3).

HITTING
Projected Lineup: CF: Brandon Soat (Sr.), 1B: Kendall Whitman (Sr.), SS: Greg Kaiser (R-Sr.), RF: Shane Trevino (R-Sr.), DH: Brock Logan (R-So.), C:Jonathan Valenzuela-Reece (Sr.), LF: Grant Wilson (Sr.), 3B: Shannon Baker (R-So.), 2B: Jackson Boyce (Jr.)

IPFW is expected to open the series with a probable lineup that features Soat in center field, Whitman at first base, Kaiser at shortstop, Trevino in right field, Logan as the designated hitter, Valenzuela-Reece at catcher, Wilson in left field, Baker at third base and Boyce at second base.  Soat is hitting .299 with three home runs, three triples, eight doubles, 22 runs and 37 RBIs, followed by Whitman (.296, 1 HR, 1 3B, 7 2Bs, 21 Runs, 21 RBIs), Kaiser (.282, 9 HRs, 1 3B, 15 2Bs, 27 Runs, 28 RBIs), Boyce (.271, 2 HRs, 2 3Bs, 7 2Bs, 22 Runs, 11 RBIs), Valenzuela-Reece (.267, 2 HRs, 2 2Bs, 7 Runs, 18 RBIs), Logan (.262, 3 HRs, 8 2Bs, 9 Runs, 20 RBIs), Trevino (.259, 10 HRs, 5 2Bs, 27 Runs, 30 RBIs), Baker (.221, 6 2Bs, 18 Runs, 16 RBIs) and Wilson (.167, 1 2B, 8 Runs, 2 RBIs).

Kaiser, recently named one of 10 finalists nationwide for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award, leads the team in doubles, stolen bases (12), sacrifice flies (3), total bases (92) and slugging percentage (.541).  Soat leads the team in at bats (184), hits (55), triples, runs and total plate appearances (213).  Whitman leads the team in on base percentage (.413), sacrifice flies (3) and being hit-by-pitch (10).  Trevino leads the team in home runs and RBIs.  Baker leads the team in walks (31).  Boyce leads the team in sacrifice bunts (4) and steal attempts (14).  Boyce, Soat, Trevino and Whitman have each played in all 44 games, while Boyce, Soat and Trevino have each started all 44 gamed this season.

Depth: Sean Herberger (Sr., C), Isaiah White (R-So., OF), Zak Kellogg (So. C), Alec Reuille (R-Fr.), Brandon Yoho (Fr., IF)

Kellogg (58), Yoho (30) and Herberger (28) have seen the most at-bats among the reserves for the Mastodons this season.

Ball State Baseball Game Notes – vs. Eastern Michigan (May 6-8)

bsu

Game 1 – Eastern Michigan at Ball State
Friday, May 6, 3 p.m.
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats | Social Media (@BallStateBB)

Game 2 – Eastern Michigan at Ball State
Saturday, May 7, 1 p.m.
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats | Social Media (@BallStateBB)

Game 3 – Eastern Michigan at Ball State
Sunday, May 8, 1 p.m.
Live Video | Live Audio | Live Stats | Social Media (@BallStateBB)

Projected Starting Pitchers
Game 1 – Colin Brockhouse, RHP (3-4, 4.15 ERA, 46 Ks)
Game 2 – Kevin Marnon, LHP (4-4, 4.04 ERA, 42 Ks)
Game 3 – Brendan Burns, RHP (5-3, 3.58, 41 Ks) or Matt Haro, LHP (4-1, 2.40 ERA, 28 Ks)

Game Notes
Opening Pitch: The Cardinals will celebrate Senior Day this Sunday. Three seniors – LHP Matt Haro, INF Ryan Spaulding and OF Scott Tyler – as well as senior student manager Anthony Marquez will be honored prior to first pitch.

This is also the final home league series of the season. Ball State is 6-3 in home MAC games, including a series sweep over Western Michigan. 1B Caleb Stayton is batting .513 (20-of-39) in those games with four home runs, four doubles and 21 RBIs.

Series History: Eastern Michigan holds a 76-71-1 lead in the series which dates back to 1950. The Cardinals had won eight straight over the Eagles until EMU won the final two games of a three-game set in 2015.

RF Alex Call went 10-for-15 (.667) with three RBIs at the plate in last year’s series.

2006 Team Reunion: Ball State’s 2006 team, which won the MAC Tournament and qualified for NCAA Regionals, is celebrating its 10-year reunion this weekend. 

The Cardinals won 12 of their final 14 regular season games that year and then swept all four games at the MAC Tournament to claim the program’s first tournament title. Ball State went on to defeat No. 8 Kentucky in the opening game of the NCAA Regionals before dropping the next two games to end the magical season.

2B Kyle Dygert was named MVP of the MAC Tournament after hitting two home runs in four games, including a two-run shot in the championship game.

Strong Bullpen: Over the last 10 MAC games, the Ball State bullpen has tossed 48 innings and holds a 1.69 ERA. In eight of those 10 games, the bullpen has allowed no more than one earned run. 

RHP BJ Butler has been particularly effective as he has made eight consecutive appearances in MAC games without allowing a run. Butler has four wins and a save in that stretch.

Quite a Series for Baisa: LF Roman Baisa was a tough out in the Buffalo series April 29-30. He went 6-for-8 (.750) at the plate, scored three times, walked three times and stole seven bases 

In the series opener at Buffalo, Baisa piled up three stolen bases, the most by a Ball State player since CF Matt Eppers swiped three bases versus Maine on March 3, 2015. He also scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th inning in the 4-2 win over the Bulls.

Congratulations Graduates!: RF Alex Call and INF Ryan Spaulding are expected to earn their bachelor’s degree this spring or summer. Call majored in entrepreneurial management while Spaulding majored in finance.

Big Ten Announces Women’s Tennis All-Conference Team and Individual Award Winners

B1G

Courtesy of the Big Ten Conference

ROSEMONT, Ill. – The Big Ten announced its women’s tennis All-Conference team and individual award winners on Thursday following the Big Ten Women’s Tennis Tournament. Ohio State’s Francesca Di Lorenzo was named both Player and Freshman of the Year, while Buckeye head coach Melissa Schaub was tabbed Coach of the Year.

Di Lorenzo reels in Player and Freshman of the Year accolades after going 11-0 in Big Ten singles play at the No. 1 position. The unanimous choice as Freshman of the Year has been ranked among the top-five singles players nationally all spring, reaching No. 1 in February. Di Lorenzo guided the Buckeyes to their first Big Ten Championship and first Big Ten Tournament title. This marks the third time than an Ohio State standout has been named Player of the Year and third time a Buckeye has been tabbed Freshman of the Year.

Schaub collects her second Coach of the Year award overall and second in as many seasons after guiding the Buckeyes to an 11-0 record in conference play and their first Big Ten Championship. The 2016 Big Ten Tournament Champions are currently 28-2 on the season and ranked No. 5 in the country. This marks the third time that an Ohio State mentor has earned Coach of the Year laurels, including Schaub’s honor last season and Chuck Merzbacher’s selection in 1999.

Earning consideration on the All-Big Ten team is Illinois’ Louise Kwong, Michigan’s Kate Fahey, Brienne Minor and Ronit Yurovsky, Minnesota’s Caroline Ryba, Northwestern’s Alicia Barnett, Erin Larner and Maddie Lipp, Ohio State’s Gabriella De Santis, Di Lorenzo, Miho Kowase and Anna Sanford, Penn State’s Kimberly-Ann Surin and Wisconsin’s Lauren Chypyha. Both Di Lorenzo and Yurovsky were unanimous selections.

The Big Ten also recognized 14 Sportsmanship Award honorees. The students chosen are individuals who have distinguished themselves through sportsmanship and ethical behavior. These students must also be in good academic standing and have demonstrated good citizenship outside of the sports-competition setting. The complete list of honorees can be found below.
INDIVIDUAL AWARDS
Player of the Year:
 Francesca Di Lorenzo, Ohio State
Freshman of the Year: FRANCESCA DI LORENZO, OHIO STATE
Coach of the Year: Melissa Schaub, Ohio State

All-Big Ten Team
Louise Kwong, Illinois
Kate Fahey, Michigan
Brienne Minor, Michigan
RONIT YUROVSKY, MICHIGAN
Caroline Ryba, Minnesota
Alicia Barnett, Northwestern
Erin Larner, Northwestern
Maddie Lipp, Northwestern
Gabriella De Santis, Ohio State
FRANCESCA DI LORENZO, OHIO STATE
Miho Kowase, Ohio State
Anna Sanford, Ohio State
Kimberly-Ann Surin, Penn State
Lauren Chypyha, Wisconsin

Unanimous selections in CAPS
Sportsmanship Award Winners
Jade Hilton, Illinois
Sarah McLean, Indiana
Anastasia Reimchen, Iowa
Kristina Hovsepyan, Maryland
Ronit Yurovsky, Michigan
Emily Metcalf, Michigan State
Maja Vujic, Minnesota
Kati Matysova, Nebraska
Alex Chatt, Northwestern
Ferny Angeles Paz, Ohio State
Katharine Whiteaway, Penn State
Natalia Davila, Purdue
Mariam Zein, Rutgers
Ekaterina Stepanova, Wisconsin

Ball State | Kelli Miller Named Women’s Volleyball Head Coach

bsu

Courtesy of Ball State Athletics

MUNCIE, Ind. – – Ball State University has selected Kelli Miller, a Muncie native who has spent the past six seasons as a Cardinals assistant coach, as the next head coach of the women’s volleyball program, according to director of intercollegiate athletics Mark Sandy.

“Kelli is an outstanding person who is definitely ready to lead our program.” Sandy said. “I am confident she will be an excellent head coach.”

Miller was recently honored as an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Thirty Under 30 Award winner, which recognizes the top 30 up-and-coming coaches at all levels of the sport. She helped guide the Cardinals to a 119-68 (64-34 Mid-American Conference) record over the past six years working under retired head coach Steve Shondell. During that time, Ball State won the 2010 MAC regular season championship, earned an at-large berth into the 2011 NCAA Tournament and captured the 2013 MAC West Division crown.

“I would like to thank Mark Sandy, Karin Lee and the rest of the administration for this fantastic opportunity,” Miller said. “I had the privilege of working with Steve Shondell over the past six years, and I am excited to take the lead and build upon the foundation he created.  I look forward to developing our student-athletes on and off the court, and continuing the rich tradition of success Ball State women’s volleyball has enjoyed.”

During her time as an assistant, Miller helped Ball State student-athletes earn 15 All-MAC First Team honors, five All-MAC Second Team accolades and three MAC All-Freshman Team awards. A former collegiate libero herself, Miller mentored then-senior liberoAlyssa Rio to the 2010 Collegiate Volleyball Update (CVU.com) National Libero of the Year award. Rio finished her senior season ranked second nationally with a 5.86 digs-per-set average, and was a four-time MAC West Division Defensive Player of the Week and a CVU.com National Player of the Week.

Miller served as Ball State’s defensive coordinator for her first three seasons, with the team ranking in the top three in the league in digs-per-set average all three years. She assumed the duties of both offensive and recruiting coordinator in 2013. Ball State’s offense shined under her guidance, finishing first in the MAC and seventh nationally with a 14.84 kills-per-set average in 2013. In 2014, middle attacker Hayley Benson led the MAC in hitting percentage (.433) and was named an AVCA All-Midwest Region honorable mention. In 2015, Ball State’s recruiting class was recognized as the top class in the MAC and one of the top 55 nationally by PrepVolleyball.com.

Prior to coming to Ball State, Miller was a student/volunteer coach under Purdue head coach Dave Shondell during the 2009 season.  While working with the Boilermakers, she was responsible for scouting opponent hitters, reception rotations and servers. In addition, she developed and implemented serve receive and defensive drills. Miller has also coached for the Munciana Volleyball Club as both a head and assistant coach.

Prior to her coaching career, Miller was a four-year standout libero at Purdue from 2005-08. She finished her career as the program’s all-time leader in digs (2,013) and digs-per-set average (4.05). A three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, Miller helped guide the Boilermakers to four NCAA Tournament appearances, including three trips to the NCAA Regional semifinals. All four teams she played on were ranked in the top-25 nationally, with her 2008 squad finishing the year at No. 15.

A five-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week, Miller collected a program-record 40 digs in a match against Indiana on Oct. 17, 2007. Over her career, Miller played in all 136 of Purdue’s matches and in 496 of a possible 497 sets. She also ended her career as the only player in program history to record 30-or-more digs in a match five times over her career.

Prior to attending Purdue, Miller was a four-time all-state selection at Muncie Central High School. The No. 47 recruit in the country as listed in PrepVolleyball.com’s senior aces, Miller helped guide the Bearcats to state titles as a sophomore and senior, with the team finishing as state runner-up her junior year. She led Muncie Central to four straight conference titles, all undefeated league seasons, and earned East Central Indiana Volleyball Player of the Year accolades as a junior.

Miller also played club volleyball for Munciana, with her 13-under team finishing second nationally, while her 14-under team placed third. As a member of the Munciana Samurai 18-1’s, which was coached by Ball State alumnus Mike Lingenfelter, Miller was named to the All-America squad after helping guide her team to a runner-up finish at the USA Junior Olympics.

Miller graduated from Purdue in December of 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in health and kinesiology. She earned her master’s degree in sport administration from Ball State in 2012.

For the most up-to-date news on Ball State women’s volleyball, follow @BallStateSports and @BallStateWVB on Twitter.