By Alexis Williams | @Alexisss_10
Sideline Reporter for Ball State Men’s Volleyball on ESPN 3
Member of Ball State Sports Link
Eighty-three in a half miles separate Worthen Arena and the Hilliard Gates Sports Complex. The nationally ranked Ball State mens volleyball team will take on in-state rival IPFW tonight at 7:30 p.m.
The Cardinals (7-3, 2-0) are red hot coming off a five-set match win over #7 Ohio State in Columbus, Ohio. On the other hand the Masotodons (4-6, 0-2) are looking for their first conference win to finish off a stretch of seven-straight road games.
IPFW Head Coach Ryan Perrotte is in his first season as head coach after coaching legend Arnie Ball retired. Perrotte served as his assistant coach for 12 seasons.
“This rivalry is something special,” Perrotte said. “I know my team is hungry to play Ball State at Ball State.”
The Masotodons will look to redshirt senior Andrew Sellan to lead their team. Sellan leads the MIVA in kills and kills-per-set, making him a serious threat for IPFW’s offense.
The Cardinals play at home for their first time in six games and they know it will be something special, but the taste of losing twice to IPFW last season is something they have not forgotten about.
Ball State Head Coach Joel Walton knows his team has to come out with confidence if they want to shut down IPFW early.
“We have not hit our consistency yet,” Walton said. “We have a lot of work to do on offense and defense. What we do have is depth. Any player can come off the bench and play. Our line up is always changing because of it.”
This is arguably why Ball State has been so successful thus far.
All time, the Cardinals are 66-29 all-time against IPFW and 29-13 at home.
IPFW Senior Luis Bertran is only 22 digs away from tying IPFW career digs set from 1986-89. Bertran has 794 career digs.
Ball State Junior Brendan Surane is fourth in the MIVA and leads the Cardinals with 100 kills.
Tonight’s game can be seen nationally on ESPN3. Cory Stace, Connor Onion and myself will bring you all the action as Ball State kicks off its first of six straight home games.