Ball State Women’s Volleyball can’t complete comeback at Eastern Michigan

Ball State Women’s Volleyball (19-8, 10-4 MAC) fell for the second straight night Saturday, this time on the road against Eastern Michigan (16-12, MAC 8-6).

A .214 hitting percentage and 24 attack errors stung the Cardinals while the Eagles recorded a .331 hitting percentage and 18 blocks on the night. The Cardinals’ 55 kills were no match for the 71 kills by the opposition. Caussie Haut of the Eagles, who finished with 19 points and 16 kills, proved to be the Cardinals’ biggest challenge in Ypsilanit.

The Cardinals struggled early with a total of seven attack errors in the first set alone. This led to a .147 hitting percentage compared to the Eagles’ .471. In addition, three service errors contributed a 25-17 Cardinal loss in the first set.

“Eastern Michigan was really hot offensively, and we didn’t have much of an answer for them tonight,” head Coach Kelli Miller said. “On our side of the net, I though Reece [Kral] turned in a good offensive performance.”

The second set proved to be no better for Ball State as the team fell 25-17 yet again. Despite strong performances by freshman Reece Kral and junior Sydnee VanBeek, the Eagles were too much to handle in the second set. Attack errors once again held the Cardinals back, as they had six of them in the second set.

The Cardinals were able to put together a strong performance to win the third set of the night 25-23. The Eagles had six attack errors, allowing the Cardinals to respond with 12 kills to capitalize on the situation.

Set four started with the Cardinals taking a commanding 14-9 lead to kick off a comeback performance. Senior Ellie Dunn stepped up to join Kral and Vanbeek to help the Cardinals seal the fourth set 25-17. Five blocks from the Cardinals shut down the Eagles’ offensive power.

The final set of the evening began with the Eagles taking an 8-3 lead. Despite winning the last two sets, the Cardinals were unable to capitalize on key mistakes made by the opposing team and fell 15-9. Kral led the team with 14 kills on the day and had the highest hitting percentage at .458.

“We have to get back in the gym, study the film, work hard and continue to stay with the process,” Miller said.

The Cardinals will be back in action on Nov. 8 in Ohio to take on Toledo.

Contact Drew Pierce with comments at dlpierce@bsu.edu or on Twitter @dpierce3cc.

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