No. 9 Ball State Posts 3-1 Win At No. 15 IPFW


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Fort Wayne, Ind. - Behind the strong defensive play of libero Ian Peckler (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills H.S.), the No. 9 Ball State men's volleyball team tallied a 3-1 (30-26, 24-30, 30-19, 30-27) victory over No. 15 IPFW Friday evening at the Hilliard Gates Sports Center.

Peckler finished the match with a season-high 21 digs, becoming the first player in the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association to record over 20 digs in a match this season. The 21 digs are also the highest total in a four-game match in the NCAA this season, and the second-most in a complete match in 2008.

Aside from the solid defensive play of Peckler, four Cardinals logged double-digit kills in the contest to help BSU pick up its eighth straight win, and 12th victory in the last 13 matches.

With the win, Ball State remains atop the league standings with a 13-6 (6-1 MIVA) record. IPFW falls to 8-7 (3-4 MIVA) with the loss.

Patrick Durbin (Louisville, Ky./Trinity H.S.) was BSU's top attacker, racking up 19 kills, including the final two markers of the match.

Matt McCarthy (Wheaton Ill./Wheaton Warrenville South H.S.) finished the contest with a team-best .524 attack percentage, recording 12 kills on 21 swings with just one error. He also paced all players with seven total blocks.

Todd Chamberlain (Louisville, Ky./Trinity H.S.) also tallied 12 kills in the win, while Marcus Imwalle (Maria Stein, Ohio/Marion Local H.S.) collected 10.

BSU setter Ethan Pheister (Shorewood, Wis./Shorewood H.S.) guided the BSU offense to a .322 (64-17-146) rate of success, while adding three kills and four total blocks.

C.J. Macias was the Mastodons' top attacker, logging a match-best 20 kills in addition to eight digs. IPFW's Jason Yost added a double-double with 17 kills and 14 digs, while Brock Ullrich posted 10 kills. Mike Morici paced IPFW with 15 digs.

The first game was the toughest of the night as the teams battled through 19 ties and four lead changes to a 22-22 advantage. J.D. Gasparovic (St. Louis, Mo./Oakville H.S.) and Imwalle combined of a block assist to break the deadlock and an IPFW attack error gave BSU a two-point edge at 24-22.

The teams traded the next six points before Pheister and McCarthy combined for a block assists to push the score to 28-25. Two points later, Pheister scored the game-winning point on a sneak attack to the middle of the court.

After hitting .433 in the opening set, the Ball State offense struggled in game two, as the Mastodons were able to capitalize on 11 attack errors and win the set 30-24.

In the third game, the Cardinals found their offense once again, hitting for a match-best .583 (15-1-24) rate of success. After playing to a 3-3 tie, a kill from Durbin and an IPFW attack error put the Cardinals ahead for good in the set.

BSU built a 10-point edge at 21-11, and pulled ahead by as many as 12 points on several occasions. Durbin smashed the game-winning kill at 30-21, following another block from McCarthy and Pheister.

Ball State looked poised to end the fourth set quickly, as they pulled ahead by six points at the 20-14 mark. However, the hosts did not go down without a fight, as they battled back within two at 27-25.

The Mastodons continued the rally, as kills from Macias and Steve Rogers tied the set at 27-27, ignited the crowd and forced BSU to take its final timeouts. After the minute break, a Macias attack error shifted the momentum back to the Cardinals, and Durbin followed with back-to-back kills to give Ball State the 30-27 game victory and a 3-1 match win.

In addition to Durbin's play in the final game, Gasparovic made his presence felt by smashing five kills on five swings. Gasparovic finished the contest with eight kills and a .429 (8-2-14) attack percentage.

Overall, Ball State held a .322 to .262 (66-27-149) attacking advantage, while logging 11 total blocks to IPFW's four. The Mastodons held a 55 to 47 advantage in digs.

The Ball State men's volleyball team will have to battle the snow for its next match Saturday night, as it travels to Erie, Pa., for an 8 p.m. showdown with Mercyhurst

Article courtesy of Blal State athletics.

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