Ball State University
Feb 04 | 03:00 PM
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Brigham Young University
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Worthen Arena

2000 W. University Ave. Muncie IN 47304

Lauren Bosco | Posted: 4 Feb 2023 | Updated: 25 Feb 2023
Lauren Bosco

Cougars fall 3-1 to No. 8 Ball State, split the series 1-1

Cougars lose 3-1

MUNCIE, Ind. — No. 11 BYU men’s volleyball battled against No. 8 Ball State Saturday afternoon, falling 3-1 (26-24, 23-25, 19-25, 23-25) for BYU’s second loss to a ranked opponent this season. BYU split the series 1-1 against BSU in Worthen Arena this weekend, defeating the Cardinals in four sets on Thursday.

The Cougars (6-2) finished with more digs (40), assists (49) and kills (52), but the the Cardinals (5-3) were able to capture their first win over a ranked opponent this season, helped by 15 total blocks, while holding BYU to just four.

Set One

Sophomore outside hitter Miks Ramanis opened the first set with back-to-back kills for BYU. He would go on to lead all players with 20 kills. BYU held a substantial lead and had as high as a five-point advantage at 10-5 and 11-6. When BSU’s outside hitter Tinaishe Ndavazocheva had an attack error, head coach Donan Cruz took a timeout at 13-8. The Cougars reached their biggest lead of the set at 15-9 after a service ace by Kupono Brown.

Ball State lessened BYU’s lead in the latter half of the second set, going on a 3-0 run leading to a BYU timeout at 17-14, with the Cougars still in the lead. Ball State rallied to 17-16 after back-to-back kills and a service ace. The Cardinals inched their way to a tie at 22-22, after a kill by Ball Dyer and service ace from Connor Mason.

For the next three points, there were three service errors in a row,  with the score at 25-24 for BYU. The Cardinals would never lead at any point during set one, and the Cougars finished at 26-24 in extra points.

Ramanis led the Cougars with six kills on a .400 clip in the first set, with the Cougars hitting .310 as a whole. Both teams struggled on the service line as there were a combined 15 service errors in the first set.

Set Two

Ball State came with force in set two, going on a 3-0 run and leading at 5-3. The Cougars would trail until they reached a tie at 10-10 from a Cardinal attack error. BYU evened the score four more times but the Cardinals gained a 15-13 lead after an attack error by BYU's Luke Benson, leading to a media timeout.

Outside hitters Benson and Ramanis then both recorded a kill, taking the score to 15-15. BYU eventually seized its first lead of the set at 16-15 courtesy of a Gavin Julien and Heath Hughes block. What seemed like a pivotal moment for a BYU comeback, the Cougars went on a 3-0 run to take a lead at 20-18. Ramanis got his ninth kill of the match followed by two BSU attacking errors.

The Cardinals reached another tie at 20-20, forcing BYU to take a timeout. Browne had an attack error, for a 21-20 BSU lead. The Cougars had to burn another timeout when they were down 23-21. Anthony Cherfan recorded his first kill in a critical moment for BYU to take the score to 24-23, down by one. Ball State took the final timeout of the set in an attempt to ice BYU’s server Browne. BSU finalized set two 25-23 after a kill by Ndavazocheva.

The second set was tied as many as 13 times. Ball State also held BYU to a .154 hitting percentage while the Cardinals recorded 15 kills on a .281 clip.

Set Three

BSU unleashed more of its commanding presence in the third set, leading at 5-1. The Cougars struggled to get the ball over the net, with six errors and a negative hitting percentage, forcing a timeout from the Cougars with the visitors trailing 13-6. 

The Cardinals captured the biggest lead of the match at 19-11. Cougars Trent Moser and Julien then recorded back-to-back kills for a 19-13 score. BYU wouldn’t be able to build enough momentum to capture an edge, and the Cardinals won set three at 25-19 for a 2-1 lead. 

Set Four

BYU began with a 2-0 lead, featuring a Hughes service ace. Ramanis got his 17th kill of the day when the score went to 9-8 in favor of BYU. Ball State would get the next three points causing a BYU timeout. The Cougars would take another timeout after the Cardinals went on a 3-0 run, being down by five points at 16-11.

The Cougars looked to take the game to five sets, down by only three at 20-17, and Ball State took a time out. BSU's Ndavazocheva then cemented three more kills, finishing with a team-high of 19. The Cardinals won the set 25-23 after a service error by Julien.

Next week, BYU will host UC Santa Barbara who recently defeated No. 5 Pepperdine 3-2 on Friday. The first matchup of the series between the Cougars and the Gauchos will be on Friday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. MST, streaming on the BYUtv app.


Lauren Bosco | Posted: 31 Jan 2023 | Updated: 17 Feb 2023
Lauren Bosco

No. 11 BYU travels to No. 8 Ball State this week

Cougars ranked No. 11

PROVO, Utah — After a road series against UC Irvine, the Cougars (5-1) moved up to No. 11 in this week’s AVCA coaches poll. BYU split the series 1-1 with No. 6 UC Irvine, defeating the Anteaters on Saturday, January 27 in a 3-2 upset win.

Teon Taylor won Off the Block National Middle Attacker of the Week and was also named MPSF player of the week. It was BYU’s first weekly conference honor since former Cougar Davide Gardini won Offensive Player of the Week on March 21, 2021.

BYU will face the No. 8 ranked Ball State Cardinals (4-2) in Indiana this week for a two-game matchup on Thursday and Saturday. Most recently, the Cougars hosted the Cardinals in the Smith Fieldhouse in 2021, splitting the series 1-1. The Cardinals have suffered two losses this season, but fell to the No. 1 team in the country Hawaii both times. 

This is BYU's second week in-a-row facing another ranked opponent. BYU's No. 11 spot is its highest ranking since February 8, 2022.

Series Information

  • Series Record: BYU leads 12-4
  • Last Meeting: BYU lost 3-1 (25-23,19-25, 31-33, 20-25)
  • Home: 9-1
  • Away: 2-1
  • Neutral: 1-2

Broadcast Information

  • Thursday: 7 p.m. EST
  • Saturday: 3 p.m. EST
  • Streaming: ESPN+