Ball State Men’s Volleyball (13-2, 5-1 MIVA) completed a sweep of its East Coast spring break trip, defeating New Jersey Institute of Technology (9-6, 4-2 EIVA) March 11 and finishing their trip with a sweep over Princeton (5-11, 4-5 EIVA) March 12.
Coming off a two-week hiatus, head coach Donan Cruz said the trip was a good opportunity for the Cardinals to bond off the court.
“It’s spring break for us and sadly, men’s volleyball players don’t have spring break vacation,” he said. “So to be able to kind of take our minds off of volleyball and get some good team bonding as we enter the second half of the season was really fun. It was awesome for us.”
Against the Tigers, Ball State looked in the groove, with Cruz saying everyone was on the same page.
“Man, [we’re] riding high right now,” Cruz said. “Coming into today, I felt like we were in a really good headspace and our guys were rallying around and picking each other up in some difficult situations. I feel like things are going well for the group.”
Senior outside hitter Kaleb Jenness hit double-digit kills for the second consecutive match and recorded a team-high three aces. Jenness has consistently ranked top three in the nation in both attack attempts per set and kills per set this season.
“With Kaleb, just so many things that you can attribute his success in attacking [to], he just understands volleyball situations really well,” Cruz said. “As an attacker, that’s probably the first thing that is really helpful to how efficient you are as an attacker and where you can score points. He’s aggressive and obviously, he’s got a crazy fast arm.”
Graduate student setter Quinn Isaacson led Ball State in assists and blocks with 36 and three while graduate student opposite attacker Angelos Mandilaris and senior libero Colin Ensalaco combined for 11 digs.
With back-to-back Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA) matchups against Ohio State (9-7, 3-3 MIVA) March 16 and March 19 coming up, the history between the two programs will no doubt be on the mind, but Cruz said the Cardinals won’t be impacted.
“One of the things that I try to emphasize is that we treat every match with the same level of focus and discipline,” he said. “We feel ready for Wednesday and I think we’re going to be able to come into Columbus and get a win for the Cardinals.”
The Cardinals travel for a match against Ohio State (9-7, 3-3 MIVA) March 16 at 7 p.m.