- #12 Ball State Def. #13 Fort Wayne 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 15-10)
- #12 Ball State 12-9; #13 Fort Wayne 15-6
- Fort Wayne, Indiana (Arnie Ball Court)
- Box score
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The Fort Wayne Mastadons hosted the Ball State Cardinals on Wednesday night, and the Cardinals avoided an upset in a five-set thriller. The two teams will face each other again in Muncie, Indiana on Saturday when the Cardinals host the Mastadons.
Leading the Ball State offense was sophomore outside hitter, Matt Szews, with 16 kills on a .278 clip. Matt Walsh also had an impressive offensive performance with 11 kills and one error, hitting .476. Setter Jake Romano ran the offense with 42 assists and went four for seven on attacks.
Fort Wayne was led by Pelegrin Vargas (.326) and Richie Diedrich (.500) with 24 and 10 kills, respectively. Vargas also led the defensive campaign with 15 digs for a double-double and also added in a service ace. They were fueled by setter Michael Keegan, who tabbed 48 assists and 12 digs on the match, joining Vargas in the double-double feat.
Both teams will resume play on Saturday against each other in Muncie, Indiana.
Courtesy of Ball State Athletics
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – The 11th ranked Ball State men’s volleyball team returned to Indiana to face MIVA foe Fort Wayne after four matches in California. The Cardinals were able to avoid an upset by taking down the Mastodons Wednesday evening, 3-2 (21-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 15-10).
Ball State totaled 58 kills for a .263 hitting percentage. The Cardinals also had 52 assists, 46 digs, 14.5 team blocks and eight service aces on the night.
Two Cardinals finished the night with double digit kills. Matt Szews led the team with 16 while Matt Walsh had 11. Szews had a .278 hitting percentage, eight digs, two blocks and two service aces in the contest. Walsh hit for .476 while adding nine blocks, two digs and one assist. Other Ball State players with notable kills were Mitch Weiler with nine, Parker Swartz and David Siebum with five, Ben Chinnici with six, Jake Romano with four and Blake Reardon with two. Romano also added eight digs with Weiler and Chinnici tallying seven apiece. Weiler also had six block assists.
The opening set had four tied scores and three lead changes before the Mastodons took the set, 25-21. Szews and Walsh each had three kills in the set while Reardon and Weiler added two. Swartz, Romano and Siebum each were able to knock down one kill in the first set. Weiler led the team in digs with three in set one. Romano had eight assists in the first set.
Ball State scored the first point of set number two and never trailed in that set. Fort Wayne was forced to call a timeout when the score was 6-1 and again at 11-2. The Cardinals eventually took the set, 25-22. Szews led the team with four kills and four digs. Weiler added three kills and three digs in the set. Ball State finished the set with 11 kills on 11 assists along 15 digs and five blocks.
In the third set, Ball State hit for .350 but Fort Wayne hit for an impressive .708. The Cardinals only had 10 kills compared to the Mastodons’ 19. Walsh had four of those kills with two added Siebum and one added by Chinnici, Weiler and Swartz. Romano had all nine of the Cardinals’ assists. The Mastodons took the set, 25-21.
The Cardinals held Fort Wayne to only eight kills on 34 attempts in the fourth set. Ball State had 14 kills in that set with four from Chinnici and Szews. Weiler and Romano had two kills apiece with one added by Swartz. Chinnici. Szews and Adam Wessel were all able to record four digs apiece in the set. Weiler and Walsh each had three block assists. Ball State was too much for Fort Wayne in that set, winning 25-22.
The Cardinals continued that momentum into the fifth set, scoring the first three points of the set. Ball State had 10 kills for a .539 hitting percentage in the deciding set. Szews led the way with four kills with two added by Swartz. Weiler, Romano and Walsh were each able to knock down one apiece. Romano also had seven of Ball State’s nine assists. The team had six digs and five blocks in the final set.
The Ball State men’s volleyball team now moves to 12-9 on the season with a record of 5-2 in the MIVA. The Cardinals will take on Fort Wayne again on Saturday, March 17 in Muncie. Match time is set for 7:30 p.m.
For the most up-to-date news on the Ball State men’s volleyball team, please follow @BallStateSports and @BallStateMVB.
Courtesy of Fort Wayne Athletics
FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Despite career-highs from Pelegrin Vargas in kills and digs, No. 15 Fort Wayne fell to No. 11 Ball State on Arnie Ball Court in five sets (21-25, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22, 15-10) on Pi Day (Wednesday, March 14).
The sophomore outside hitter had 24 kills, which matched his high set earlier this year in the five-set loss to Loyola, along with 15 digs, which surpassed his previous high of 11. This was Vargas’ third career double-double, and was paired with Michael Keegan‘s 14th double-double of 48 assists and 12 digs.
Fort Wayne took the first and third sets behind strong hitting numbers, averaging .355 and .708 in the sets respectively. This .708 clip is the best hitting percentage in a single set in at least the last two seasons. Fourteen of the kills Vargas had came in the sets that the Mastodons won. The Puerto Rico native finished with 25.5 points, which is a season-high by any Mastodon.
In the middle, Richie Diedrich had a season-high 10 kills on 16 swings for a .500 clip. Tomas Gago added six kills and led the team with five blocks. Off the bench, Kade Bontrager had two aces, to tie Colton Stone for the lead in that category.
In set one, the ‘Dons went on a 4-0 run to open up a 10-7 lead, one that they did not relinquish for the rest of the set. The second set began with a 12-2 Cardinal lead that Fort Wayne eventually squeezed down to two at 23-21 and 24-22. The third was in the ‘Dons favor, as they led by as many as seven. Vargas had three straight kills followed by a Tony Price ace that started the set.
Ball State put the Mastodons in a hole in the fourth set, putting them down at 20-14 before the ‘Dons went on a 5-0 run. In the final set of the night, the Cardinals took a 9-4 lead to which Fort Wayne could not respond.
Preseason All-MIVA team members Matt Szews and Matt Walsh combined for 27 kills, 10 digs, 11 blocks and two aces for Ball State.
Fort Wayne falls to 15-6, 3-4 MIVA, while Ball State improves to 12-9, 5-2 MIVA. The two teams will meet on the court again on Saturday (March 17) when the ‘Dons travel to Muncie.