August 31, 2011

SPORTS: Volleyball Drops Home Opener To Ball State

by Michael Hadley

Ball State (3-0) imposed their will on the slipping IUPUI Women's Volleyball team (0-5), cruising to a 3-0 set victory and spoiling the home-opening match at The Jungle on Tuesday night.

Steve Payne’s side opened the first set on a sour note and that tone continued for the rest of the match. Trailing from the initial round of volleys, his ladies managed only a few point victories as the set wore on. By the time Ball State reached the 20-point mark, the set was all but over.  When the dust settled, IUPUI had limped to a -.026 attack percent, as well as committing nine errors - to Ball State’s one.

The second set was much of the same. Ball State got out to an early 4-0 lead which quickly turned into an 8-2 advantage and an IUPUI timeout. The Jags stole three quick points out of the meeting, and got back within four points at 14-10 before the Cardinals cruised to a 25-18 victory. The Jaguars managed slightly better in the second set, committing “only” six errors and attacking at a .182 percent rate, but it was nowhere near Ball State’s .353 attack percent.

IUPUI managed to steal the first point of the third, but Ball State answered quickly to begin what would be a back-and-forth set. The Jaguars were in command in the early stages, but Ball State wouldn’t let them get too far ahead. The teams traded points and were even at 10-10 and again at 15-15.

In the end, it was too much Cardinal height and power for IUPUI to overcome. The Jaguars put up a valiant battle, and even gave the fans a little bonus volleyball before falling 27-25.

Coach Payne tried to find the silver lining in his team's fifth straight loss.

“It’s always good to have some fight left in you in the third after you have lost the first two, but we really would like to see that fight and intensity in sets one and two. We have to get over that hump and win set one so that we will stay energized throughout the whole match to help us get our first win.”

Moriah Fair led the Jaguars yet again with 14 kills, and Alexis Meeks managed an impressive double-double racking up 28 assists and 11 digs. Lindsey Weber also had 11 digs on the night.

The Women’s Volleyball team is back in action Saturday September 3 when the round-robin style Hampton Inn Invitational begins with IUPUI’s first match coming at 12:30 p.m. against Stetson.

Ball State 25-25-27 (3)
IUPUI 12-17-25 (0)

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