MUNCIE, Ind. – Facing the current Mid-American Conference leader on the road on Saturday, the Miami University volleyball team dropped the first two sets against Ball State, before coming back to win the third. The Cardinals were able to rebound and take a close decision in the fourth set as the RedHawks fell, 1-3 (19-25, 19-25, 25-23, 23-25). Miami is now 10-12 overall and 2-8 in the MAC. Ball State is 20-5 overall and 8-2 in the MAC.
Sophomore outside hitter Annie Reiswig and freshman setter Krista Brakauskas completed strong weekends for the ‘Hawks. Reiswig led Miami with 13 kills. She made only three errors in 33 attempts for a hitting percentage of .303. Brakauskas had yet another double-double, finishing with 46 assists and 15 digs. It is the fourth straight match that she has had 40+ assists.
Ball State built an 8-4 lead to begin set one. Miami attempted to comeback with a kill by freshman outside hitter Paige Hill and a block from junior outside hitter/setter Meg Riley, but the Cardinals eventually pushed the advantage to 14-9. A pair of kills from freshman outside hitter Maris Below and Hill, along with kills from Reiswig, senior outside hitter Madison Dodd and sophomore middle hitter Jenny Ingle were part of a 10-6 run that cut the deficit to one at 19-20. Unfortunately BSU was able to shut out the ‘Hawks the rest of the way, taking the last five points for a 25-19 win.
It looked bleak early in set two as Miami fell behind, 3-10. Two kills from Reiswig off Brakauskas’ assists began a 7-2 run that cut the deficit to two at 10-12. After BSU scored the next two points, a 4-1 run pulled the ‘Hawks to within one at 14-15. Ball State responded with a 6-1 run to regain control at 21-15. Ingle was able to record two more kills, but the Cardinals went on to win, 25-19.
Ball State led throughout the first half of set three. After BSU built a 10-5 lead, the RedHawks went on a 5-2 run to pull within three at 10-12. However the Cardinals did not relinquish the advantage, eventually going in front, 15-12, before Miami began to make its move. A service ace by Hill, along with back-to-back blocks by sophomore middle hitter Sarah Chaney were part of an 8-1 run that put Miami up, 20-16. Ball State fought back with a 5-2 run to pull within one at 21-22. After the teams traded points, a kill by Ingle gave Miami set point at 24-22. The Cardinals scored next, but a service error followed to give the RedHawks a 25-23 victory.
Tied at 11 in set four, an 8-4 run by Ball State gave it a four-point advantage at 19-15. Miami did not give up as kills by Reiswig and Chaney, along with a service ace by Hill were part of a 5-1 run that tied that score at 20. Riley and Ingle each put down kills, but the Cardinals were eventually able to get set point at 24-22. Reiswig fought it off once with a kill, but BSU scored the next point to earn a 25-23 victory and take a four-set win.
Hill finished with 10 kills, while Ingle and Riley each had nine. Senior libero Madison Hardy led the RedHawks with 16 digs.
Miami returns to action on Thursday when it travels to Bowling Green for a 7 p.m. match.