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MVB Hosts No. 13 Loyola Thursday To Open MIVA Play

February 3, 2012


â–ºTHE WEEK AHEAD: The Ball State men's volleyball team opens Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association play this week with home matches versus No. 13 Loyola (Thursday, 7:30 p.m.) and No. 6 Lewis (Sunday, 1 p.m.).

â–ºFOLLOW THE ACTION: Live stats, live audio and live video will be available for both matches this week at BallStateSports.com . . . WCRD 91.3 FM will cover both matches live on the airwaves and online with Tim Keane and C.J. Allard calling the action . . . Streaming video will also be provided by BallStateSports.com as part of the Ball State All Access package which starts at $9.95 a month.

â–ºCARDINALS ALL-TIME: After posting a 2-0 record last week, the Ball State men's volleyball program enters Thursday's match versus Loyola with a 1058-423-8 (.713) all-time record in 48-plus seasons of play . . . The program, which officially became a varsity sport at Ball State during the 1964 season, joins baseball and men's basketball as the only programs in school history to reach 1,000 wins . . . In addition, only one other NCAA Division I/II men's volleyball program has eclipsed 1,000 wins, with UCLA entering the week with an 1,226-283 all-time record over 49-plus years.

â–º250 AND COUNTING: Joel Walton, who is in his 14th season as BSU's head coach, picked up his 250th career victory in a 3-2 thriller at George Mason (Jan. 14) . . . After the Cardinals went 2-0 last week, Walton enters Thursday's match against Loyola with a 254-138 (.648) career record . . . Walton is 13-17 (.433) all-time versus Loyola and 21-11 (.656) against Lewis.

â–ºALL-TIME VERSUS LOYOLA: The Ramblers hold a 20-18 lead in the all-time series thanks to a pair of wins last season; 3-1 in Muncie (Feb. 19) and 3-2 in Chicago (April 8) . . . However, the Cardinals hold a 13-4 edge in matches played in Muncie.

â–ºALL-TIME VERSUS LEWIS: The Cardinals own a 28-17 lead in the all-time series versus the Flyers after the teams split the regular season series last season . . . BSU scored a 3-1 win in Muncie (March 25), after suffering a 3-2 setback in Romeoville (Feb. 11) . . . The teams have traded the last six meetings after a 10-match BSU winning streak.

â–ºSCOUTING THE CARDINALS: The Cardinals enter the week with a 5-2 record after scoring wins at Limestone (3-1) and Pfeiffer (3-0) last week . . . Redshirt junior right side attacker Jamion Hartley paces the BSU attack with 78 kills (3.25 kps), while junior outside attacker Larry Wrather is second with 68 kills (2.52 kps) . . . Sophomore setter Graham McIlvaine has guided BSU to a .230 rate of success on offense by handing out 9.29 assists per set . . . Redshirt sophomore middle blocker Matt Leske leads the team with 31 total blocks (1.11 bps) . . . Sophomore libero Tommy Rouse averages 2.29 digs per set to pace the BSU back court.

â–ºFRESHMAN FLYING HIGH: Freshman outside hitter Shane Witmer continued his solid offensive play last week, blasting a career-high 15 kills in the Cardinals' 3-1 win at Limestone . . . Witmer, who is the only BSU player with a double-double so far this season, led BSU with 20 total kills last week for a 2.86 kills-per-set average . . . His .333 (15-5-30) attack percentage against Limestone was also a career-best effort.

â–ºTHE KNOCKOUT PUNCH: Sophomore middle blocker Kevin Owens hit for a .462 (8-2-13) rate of success at Pfeiffer last Saturday, helping bring his season attacking mark to .389  which ranks fifth in the MIVA . . . He also served up a pair of aces against the Falcons . . . At the net, Owens ranks sixth in the MIVA with a 1.04 blocks-per-set average.

â–ºMORE FROM THE MIDDLE: After collecting seven total blocks last week, redshirt sophomore middle blocker Matt Leske finds himself ranked first on the team and third in the MIVA with a 1.11 blocks-per-set average.

â–ºTHE HEART ATTACK: Redshirt junior right side attacker Jamion Hartley has proven to be a huge offensive weapon for the Cardinals, racking up double-digit kills in five of the six matches he has played in this season . . . In his last outing at Limestone, Hartley blasted 14 kills and collected a career-high nine digs while adding a pair of aces . . . Going back to last season, Hartley has scored double-figure kills in nine of his last 12 matches.

â–ºFROM THE BACK ROW: Sophomore libero Tommy Rouse, who was named the MIVA Defensive Player of Week Jan. 23, enters the week ranked third in the league with a 2.29 digs-per-set average . . . He also boasts a .993 (139-for-140) reception percentage this season.

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