- #11 Ball State Def. #12 Concordia Irvine 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20)
- #11 Ball State 11-7 (4-2 MIVA); #12 Concordia Irvine 8-9 (3-3 MPSF)
- Irvine, California
- Box score
Irvine, California – In a week filled with teams heading west for non-conference matches, it was a road team in #11 Ball State who overcame an early set deficit to take down #12 Concordia Irvine.
The victory keeps Ball State rolling in what is now their sixth consecutive win as they look to keep climbing the rankings and crack the top 10. For Concordia Irvine, they drop their third straight after they posted a trio of ranked successes pushed them into the top dozen.
The Cardinals biggest advantage in the match was a stronger block, as they logged an 11.5 to two advantage in team blocks. That held the Eagles down to a .156 team hitting percentage, while the lack of stuffs from Concordia Irvine helped fuel a .276 day for Ball State. The serve game was relatively even, as Ball State had one more ace (3-2) but also two more serve errors (12-10).
With Jake Romano (49 assists, seven digs) facilitating the attack, Ball State saw a three-headed monster of Matt Szews (14 kills, .300, 12 digs, four blocks), Matt Walsh (13 kills, .524, eight blocks) and Mitch Weiler (10 kills, .241, seven digs).
In the losing effort for Concordia Irvine, Chandler Gibb (35 assists, 10 digs) had a double-double with Jacob Weiser notching a team-high in digs (15) and Jonathan Predney (16 kills, 11 digs) sparking the offense. Unfortunately for the Eagles though, all four of their players with double-digit attacks recorded hitting marks under .200.
Moving forward, Ball State sticks around in Irvine to take on #3 UC Irvine on Thursday night. Meanwhile, Concordia Irvine sticks in the same city but does the opposite, as they will be the ones playing host to another MIVA opponent in #4 Loyola Chicago.
Courtesy of Ball State:
IRVINE, Calif. – The 10th ranked Ball State men’s volleyball team won its sixth straight match Wednesday night with a 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20) victory over Concordia Irvine.
The Cardinals totaled 57 kills on 55 assists for a .276 hitting percentage. Ball State also added 54 kills, 19 block assists, three service aces and two solo blocks.
Matt Szews, Matt Walsh and Mitch Weiler were the three Cardinals that tallied double digit kills. Szews led the way with a double-double, posting a team-high 14 kills and 12 digs. Walsh added 12 kills for a team-leading hitting percentage of .524. Walsh also led the team in blocks with six block assists and two solo blocks. Weiler finished the night with 10 kills and seven digs. Jake Romano had 49 assists, seven digs and two kills.
The opening set saw 15 tied scores and five lead changes before a Ball State attack error secured the win for the Eagles, 25-22. The Cardinals had 15 kills for a .314 hitting percentage. Walsh led the way in set number one with five kills. Szews added four kills while Blake Reardon, Parker Swartz and Weiler knocked down two apiece. Weiler led the team in digs with three. Romano had 13 assists in the first set.
Ball State came out to score the first two points of set number two. The Cardinals continued to pull ahead before a Concordia Irvine timeout with a score of 7-2. The Eagles were able to score two points following the timeout, but just could not do enough to get past the Cardinals. Concordia Irvine used their second timeout when the score reached 23-18. Ball State was able to take the second set, 25-19, on a Szews kill. Reardon led the set with five kills and a .375 hitting percentage. Szews notched four kills with three more added by Weiler. Szews led the way in digs with seven. Reardon and Nick LaVanchy each added three digs apiece.
The Cardinals continued momentum into the third set. Ball State held the Eagles to only nine kills and a .056 hitting percentage. Walsh had four of the Cardinals’ 13 kills along with four blocks. Ben Chinniciadded three kills in the set. Romano led the team in digs with four and added 11 assists. The Cardinals were able to take the set, 25-19.
Set number four had eight tied scores and five lead changes. A kill by Weiler secured the fourth set win for Ball State, 25-20. Weiler had four kills in the final set along with four kills from Szews. Walsh had three kills and Chinnici had two. The Cardinals finished the fourth set with 14 kills, 14 assists, 16 digs and 3.5 total team blocks.
The Ball State men’s volleyball team moves to 11-7 on the season and will look to continue their six game match streak tomorrow, March 8. The Cardinals will play in match number three of their Spring Break trip with a matchup at UC-Irvine at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.
Courtesy of Concordia Irvine:
IRVINE, Calif. – No. 14 Concordia played in their first-ever match in CU Arena as a nationally ranked team in the AVCA DI-II Coaches Poll on Wednesday night, facing off against another ranked opponent in No. 10 Ball State. Behind a steady offense and defense, it was Ball State (11-7, 4-2 MIVA) who was victorious where they defeated Concordia (8-9, 3-3 MPSF) in four sets, 22-25, 25-19, 25-19, 25-20.
The Eagles had three players collect double-digit digs on the night with Jacob Weiser leading the way with a match-high 15. Jonathan Predney and Chandler Gibb joined Weiser in double-figures with 11 and 10 digs respectively, while Predney had a match-high 16 kills and Gibb dished out 35 assists for double-doubles for each. Raymond Barsemian was next highest point scorer for Concordia where he had 13 points, all on kills.
Concordia bolted ahead early, getting a 3-1 lead from kills from Predney and Josiah Bergt. Ball State responded right away to take the lead, which from then went back-and-forward between the two teams. No team gained more than a one point lead, until the Eagles used a 4-0 run to allow separation from the Cardinal and force Ball State to use both of their timeouts and make the score 18-14. The gap was close then closed immediately, with Ball State taking six of the next eight points to tie the set up at 20 all. Predney put away a kill to go ahead 23-21, followed by a Ball State kill to come within one. The Cardinal served the ball out of bounds to give the Eagles set point and committed another error to seal the set.
Ball State started to settle in the second set, going ahead 8-2, benefiting from multiple Concordia errors. More Eagle hitting errors extended the lead for Ball State, who were now ahead by eight at 13-5, before the Cardinal committed errors of their own to bring Concordia within four. Down 19-13, Isaiah Kaaa checked in making his hitting debut and collected a kill right away and BSU followed that with a hitting error. Back-to-back kills by Barsemian brought the Eagles within three at 21-18, but a 4-1 run by the Cardinal ended the set and tied up the match.
Concordia grabbed the first two points of the third set while Ball State followed with the next three. Two Ball State errors and kills from Barsemian and Bergt put the Eagles ahead 8-6, but the lead changed in favor of the Cardinal with the score now at 11-9. Alec Krilis and Predney teamed up for a block to retake the lead at 12-11 before Ball State switched the momentum going on a 9-2 run. Predney responded with two kills to come with four at 21-17 to force BSU into a timeout. A 5-2 run ended the Eagles chance at a comeback with the Cardinal finishing the set with a kill to take a 2-1 lead in the match.
Teams went toe-to-toe in the start of the fourth set until Krilis put down a kill to take the 7-6 lead. Slowly Ball State went on small runs to gain a lead over Concordia where they got ahead 16-12. Four straight Cardinal points put them ahead by seven and closer to the end with the 20-13 lead. Ahead 23-16, the Eagles got momentum from Hunter Howell, who put down a thunderous kill from Kaaa and teamed up with Parker Maki for a block. Maki put down his second kill and Ball State hit out of bounds to bring Concordia within three at 23-20. A crucial service error for the Eagles gave the Cardinal match point, which Ball State executed immediately with a kill off the high hands to defeat Concordia.
Next Up: Concordia looks to bounce back right away as they return to CU Arena on Thursday night at 7 PM, facing off against another MIVA opponent in No. 6 Loyola-Chicago.
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