The fall sports schedule at Ball State has officially come to a close. From close wins to postseason appearances, this season had it all. As winter break commences, here’s a list of each fall sport’s top moment of the season.
Football: Senior night
It turned out 60 minutes wasn’t enough to decide a winner on Ball State’s senior night against Western Michigan. After four ties and two lead changes, the Cardinals and Broncos found themselves heading to overtime knotted up at 35. The Cardinals reached the end zone in three plays, forcing the Broncos to score a touchdown to stay alive. Western Michigan did just that but elected to bypass the extra point and go for two to try to win the game. The Cardinal defense stuffed the ball carrier in the backfield to give Ball State a one-point victory, sending its 10 seniors out with a bang.
Women’s volleyball: Strong MAC play
Following a 6-4 start to the season, Ball State Women’s Volleyball went 3-0 in the Tiger Invitational in Towson, Maryland, and rode that momentum throughout conference competition. The Cardinals began Mid-American Conference play winning seven of their first eight contests which included a six-match win streak. Nine of the Cardinals’ 12 MAC victories were sweeps. They went on streaks of four and three in a row at different points. The Cardinals finished conference play with a record of 12-4 – good enough for the No. 3 seed in the MAC Tournament.
Soccer: MAC runner-up
Ball State Soccer entered the MAC Tournament riding a seven-game win streak – a stretch that helped the Cardinals lock up second place in the conference. Nothing came easy in the postseason. The Cardinals took down Buffalo in the first round 2-1 in double overtime. They followed that performance with another double overtime win over Western Michigan to send them to the championship game against Bowling Green. Once again, the Cardinals needed more than 90 minutes of regulation. This time, Ball State came out on the losing end of a penalty shootout to end the season as the MAC runner-up.
Women’s tennis: Hidden Dual
The highlight of the Cardinals’ season came in their first competition of the season while hosting the Hidden Dual. Ball State finished the tournament with an overall combined record of 21-3. The Cardinals finished 10-2 in singles play and 3-0 in doubles on the first day of competition. They followed it up going 6-0 in singles and 5-1 in doubles the next day. Seniors Audrey Berger and Peyton Gollhofer and junior Rebecca Herrington all concluded the tournament with perfect records.
Men’s golf: Musketeer Classic
Men’s golf had its highest point at the end of the fall schedule. In the Musketeer Classic in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Cardinals finished in second out of 13 teams participating. In a field of 84 golfers, three Cardinals placed in the top 10, and four recorded their best finishes of the year. Ball State improved its placing after every tournament this season. The Musketeer Classic was the highest the team had finished all year.
Women’s golf: Back-to-back high finishes
After an 18-stroke loss to Dayton in the Flyer Challenge to open the season, Ball State bounced back with a third-place finish in the Redbird Invitational and a second-place finish in the Cardinal Classic. Junior Manon Tounalom led the Cardinals in the Redbird Invitational with a 1-over-par performance – good for runner-up on the overall leaderboard. The trio of Tounalom, sophomore Liz Kim and freshman Morgan Lewis led the way in the Cardinal Classic. They each finished 8-over-par or better.
Field hockey: Win No. 1
Ball State Field Hockey began its season on Aug. 24. Nine games and more than a month later, the Cardinals notched one in the win column. After no goals were scored in regulation, the game against Appalachian State became sudden death. Seven minutes into overtime, redshirt sophomore Rachel Pereira found the back of the net on a penalty shot to give the Cardinals their first win of the season. Three games later, the Cardinals earned their second and only other win on the year with Pereira again playing the role of hero in overtime.
Men’s tennis: MAC Indoor
The Cardinals traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan, for the MAC Indoor Championship to conclude the fall season, and they did not disappoint. The doubles pair of senior Tom Carney and sophomore Bryce Bonin qualified for the doubles championship, marking their highest finish of the season. Three Cardinals qualified for the singles final including senior Nemanja Guzina, who won both his matches leading up to the championship.
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