MUNCIE, Ind.– The 13th ranked Ball State men’s volleyball team finished the weekend with a 3-1 victory over NJIT Friday night.
Freshman Matt Szews led the Cardinals with 11 kills and a .400 hitting percentage. Senior Brendan Surane knocked down eight kills, moving him to 13th in school history (during rally scoring) with 595 career kills. Senior Connor Gross led the team with 28 assists and freshman Courtland Scharenborg had 17 assists. Defensively, sophomore Adam Wessell led the team with 12 digs.
The opening set went to Ball State, 25-19. Szews had six kills, scoring the first and last point of the set. The Cardinals knocked down 13 total kills, five blocks and had a .409 hitting percentage.
Senior Mike Scannell led the team in the set two win (25-17) with three of Ball State’s nine kills. The Cardinals finished the set with a .263 hitting percentage, 10 digs and seven blocks.
Set three went to the Highlanders, 26-24. The set went back and forth before NJIT won on a Cardinal attack error. Sophomore Parker Swartz tallied four kills while Scannell, freshman Blake Reardon and junior Nate Wolf all knocked down three.
The Cardinals won the match after a dominating set four victory, 25-12. Surane and Szews both had four kills while Walsh added three. Ball State finished the closing set with 14 kills, 16 digs, two blocks and a .423 hitting percentage.
After the match, head coach Joel Walton spoke about what he thought Ball State did well tonight and what they can work on for their upcoming matches.
“The three sets we played well in, we did really well with ball control,” said Coach Walton. “It was a lot of pressure on their defense to get the right blockers into place. Set three, we just stopped passing. It’s a different feel when you’re playing behind instead of at front. We worked hard, and got to the point where we had a chance in the third set.”
“It is really valuable for us to get some experience in our players on the bench,” added Walton. “I’m glad that we were able to work those guys in, and we really got some good performances out of some of them.”
The Ball State men’s volleyball team (8-1) will be in action again as they face No. 1 Ohio State Thursday, Feb. 2 in Worthen Arena. The match against the defending national champions is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.
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