By Jordan Rinard, Senior Staff Writer
It was not easy, but the Miami University volleyball team managed to pull off a 3-0 (25-23, 25-21, 32-30) sweep of Ball State University Friday night to push their winning streak to five straight matches. The RedHawks (14-8, 7-3 Mid-American Conference) now find themselves in third place in the MAC, while the Cardinals (12-10, 6-3 MAC) are now tied for fourth with Western Michigan University.
"We came out strong and we came out with a will to win," sophomore middle blocker Paige Hill said. "We did the little things, like getting balls down, getting balls over the block, and getting block touches. We're going to carry the excitement from this weekend into next week and that'll help fuel our momentum."
It was a big night for the middles, as Hill led Miami with 12 kills to go with a .556 attack percentage and redshirt junior middle blocker Jenny Ingle recorded eight kills and led all attackers with a .700 hitting percentage. The tandem accounted for seven kills in the first set and 10 kills in the third set.
Also posting eight kills was senior outside hitter Sarah Chaney, who also had a .538 attack percentage.
The setters barely missed out on double-doubles as senior Meg Riley registered five kills, 18 assists and nine digs, while sophomore Krista Brakauskas had 20 assists and eight digs. Freshman libero Maeve McDonald put in a great night on the back row as she accounted for 16 digs.
Riley picked up MAC East Offensive Player of the Week for her efforts.
The 'Hawks outhit Ball State .255-.241 and outdug them 46-42. The RedHawks also outperformed the Cards from the serving line as they tallied seven service aces to five service errors while BSU had four service aces to seven service errors.
However, the Cardinals managed to produce one more kill than the Red and White (46-45) and had five more total blocks (9-4).
"It was great that we outhit and outdug Ball State," head coach Carolyn Condit said. "We also outserved them, showing our collected composure and our ability to serve strategically and with float and velocity. After coming off of five sets last night, we showed that we were resilient, conditioned, and have a mental tenacity to us. Our setters connected very well with our middles tonight. The passing from our back row was also very good. We have to give credit to Maeve, who has been a top libero in the MAC and has done some amazing things for us."
The RedHawks continue their final home stand of the season with a revenge match against the University at Buffalo 7 p.m. Friday. The Bulls swept Miami earlier this season. The 'Hawks also take on the University of Akron 7 p.m. Saturday. The RedHawks defeated the Zips 3-1 to start MAC play.