By: Parker Webster and Tyler Klimes
Ball State Sports Link
The Ball State Cardinals (22-3, 12-1 MAC) are set to take on the Central Michigan Chippewas (11-14, 5-8 MAC). Just four games left in the regular season for the Ball State Cardinals as they aim to finish strong at home with the Central Michigan Chippewas coming to town.
The red hot Cardinals continue their dominance as they have won twelve games in a row. The first team to reach 20 wins in the Mid-American Conference this season, winning more games in conference than the Chippewas have won all season.
Ball State has been phenomenal on the stat sheet along with their wins this season. Ranking 19th nationally with a .273 hitting percentage. Along with that, they are off to the best start of a season since 2011.
The Cardinals have defied the odds against them being voted to finish behind Central Michigan in the preseason polls. Now sitting comfortably ahead of the Chippewas coming into these two matches.
Currently it’s been all Ball State and Bowling Green in the MAC both with (12-1) sizable leads in its sides of the conference. Both teams meet in Worthen Arena on a win streak, of course Central Michigan a bit smaller margin on a two-game win streak. While Ball State with Senior Day being Friday wanting to sweep this team and end with all wins before the MAC tournament.
On Ball State’s home court the team has an all-time record of (290-93), while Central Michigan has a (6-22) record in Worthen Arena. The Cardinals own the series record (49-35) and the last time these two teams met was in the Spring 2020-21 season. Splitting the series last season and now meeting for back to back games with Ball State on a roll.
For the Cardinals, watch out for Natalie Risi. She has been one of the leaders on the team offensively and defensively throughout the season. Coming into this game, she has 105 kills and 266 digs. She plays all around the court and is likely to be a threat to the Chippewas during the entire match.
On the other side of the court, Lisbeth Rosario-Martinez is looking to spoil the Cardinals winning-streak. Her season stats of 187 kills and 84 digs could put her team in a position to pull off the upset at Worthen Arena.
Even though the records of both teams are not on the same level, the game will have implications on the standings in the MAC West Division. Ball State is sitting on top of the division with a 12-1 conference record and are looking to stay there. Central Michigan is currently tied with Northern Illinois with a 5-8 MAC record. A win in this matchup will result in them moving up a spot in the standings.
With the MAC tournament coming up, each match means more than ever. Both teams still have a chance to improve their resume for the season with five matches remaining in the regular season.
Tune in to Sports Link Digital Radio to find out who will win the first of two matchups between the Cardinals and the Chippewas at 6:30 in Worthen Arena.