The MIVA’s Ball State and the EIVA’s Saint Francis won Sunday in the only NCAA Division I-II men’s volleyball matches.
The lone Monday match is a reschedule, with the EIVA’s NJIT travelling to the NJAC’s Kean. Next up in the Conference Carolinas are North Greenville vs King and Barton vs Coker on Tuesday. The MPSF, Big West, and MIVA are off until Wednesday.
No. 11 Ball State (7-5) held off No. 13 George Mason (8-2) at home in a five-set 27-29, 29-27 17-25, 25-20, 15-11 match at Worthen arena. Down a set and four set points, the Cardinals recovered from a 20-24 deficit in set two to avoid a challenging two-set deficit.
“I was thinking it, and I could tell my guys were thinking it as well. We knew that if we didn’t win that second set, it was going to be extremely difficult to win this match,” expressed Ball State coach Joel Walton. “I’m so proud of these guys. It wasn’t always pretty, but they just kept fighting and their resiliency is what ended up allowing us to beat a really good team tonight.”
The Ball State win snapped a five-match Patriot winning streak. Three Cardinals reached double-figure kills, with Kaleb Jenness leading with 22, Matt Szews with 20, and Ben Chinnici with 12. Jenness also contributed an assist, two aces, and two blocks, while Szews added a pair of aces and three blocks.
On the Patriots’ side, Hayden Wagner contributed 20 kills, an assist, an ace, and two blocks, while Sam Greenslade chipped in 14 kills and a solo block.
In the EIVA, Saint Francis (6-5) closed their road trip with a 25-22, 21-25, 25-16, 25-17 win over Queens University of Charlotte (2-10) despite 21 service errors. The Red Flash hit .383 as a team, led by red-shirt freshman Michael Fisher’s 24 kills, six digs and three aces. Evan Feltz scored his season high 11 kills along with seven digs.
The Royals were led by Nic Cavallaro, who hit .379, had 13 kills and four digs. Tristan Santoyo contributed 12 kills while hitting .321, with an assist, a block and six digs.