Ball state (2-0, 0-0 MIVA) vs. George Mason (1-1, 0-0 EIVA)
Friday, January 19 (7:00 PM ET)
ESPN+ | Live stats
Last meeting: Ball State 3, George Mason 1 (1/23/21)
Series history: Ball stands leads 45-30
NEW AGE: The Ball State men’s volleyball program opens the donate cross era Thursday night with a 7:00 p.m. first serve against Maryville… Before Cruz took over from the Cardinals, Cruz was a four-time National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Coach of the Year at Grand View University… Just the Fourth Head Coach in the storied history of Ball State men’s volleyball, Cruz led the inaugural Grand View men’s team to a 13-13 point in the 2012 season, en route to an overall record of 211-55 with the Vikings… Grand View career finished with the best win percentage in NAIA men’s volleyball history at .793.
ALSO NEW IN THE STAFF: Cruz on the Ball State contributors include the Midwestern Volleyball Association (MIVA) luminary and former Lewis University star Mike Iandolo and BYU men’s volleyball alumnus Christian Rupert … Iandolo was a two-time All-MIVA First Team roster, spending the last three seasons as head coach at the University of Charleston … Rupert helped the Cougars make a few appearances in the NCAA Division I/II Men’s Volleyball Championship Match , and after a brief professional career, he spent two seasons as a volunteer assistant at Princeton.
SCOUTING GEORGE MASON: The Patriots come to Muncie for the first time since February 10, 2019. The Cardinals won that meeting at the Worthen Arena in a 3-2 five-set thriller. Last year, Ball State and George Mason split a two-game non-conference series with the Patriots defeating the Cardinals on January 22 with a score of 3-2 and then Ball State won the second game with a score of 3-1 on January 23. George Mason enters the game with a 1-1 overall record with a 3-0 defeat to Barton College and a 3-2 loss to Mount Olive. Redshirt OPP Jack Bolz leads George Mason offensively with 25 kills this season.
CARDINAL SUMMARY: The Cardinals opened their season for the first time since that year’s 2020 season with a 2-0 ledger that year, Ball State started with a 3-0 record. Ball State earned 3-0 sweeps over Maryville and Tusculum at the Worthen Arena last week. Currently, the Cardinals are led offensively by junior Bryce Behrendt who had 19 murders last week. As a team, the Cardinals had 24 service aces led by a graduate senior setter Quinn Isaacson who had eight. He also racked up a career of 25 best assists on Saturday, January 15 against Tusculum.
ISAACSON AND JENNESS NAMED PRESEASON ALL-MIVA: B Graduated senior setter Quinn Isaacson(Plainfield, Illinois/Plainfield North) and senior winger Caleb Jenness (Mount Pleasant, SC/Wando) earned places on the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association) Preseason All-MIVA Team while the Cardinals were picked to finish fourth in the preseason poll. Last season, Isaacson earned All-MIVA First Team honors for the first time in his career after being named to the second team in 2020. He finished the 2021 season second in the MIVA in assists (800), averaging 10.81 per set. He was also fifth in digs (143) and service aces (24). Isaacson also earned All-MIVA Defensive Player of the Week honors for the week of February 23, 2021. This marks the second straight year that Jenness has been included in the All-MIVA preseason roster. Jenness, a two-time All-MIVA First Team honorary, was second on the team in kills (260) and third in blocks (48) last season. He registered double-digit kills for the Cardinals in 16 games, including a season-best 21 at Ohio State on March 11, 2021. Jenness was named MIVA Offensive Player of the Week on February 23 for his performance against Lindenwood.
NEXT GAME: Ball State will stay home this weekend with a two-game run against volleyball powerhouse Hawai’i on Saturday, January 29 and Monday, January 31. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m. ET, the first service at the Worthen Arena.
THIS YEAR WE HAD to say goodbye to a legend: dr. Don Shondell, an iconic figure in volleyball who founded the men’s program at Ball State University, died Nov. 24. He was 92. Shondell, who graduated from Ball State in 1952 and 1956, had an illustrious career that was long and varied as a coach, professor and author. He formed the first men’s volleyball team at Ball State in 1960 and would work tirelessly for the next four years to make men’s volleyball a college sport. The team achieved varsity status in 1964, and during his 34 seasons at the helm of the program, Dr. Shondell set a career record of 769-280-6 (0.732), earning him the second most wins by a head coach in NCAA men’s volleyball history. His 769 career wins are the most by a Ball State coach in any sport. dr. Shondell has been awarded the Coach of the Year award eight times from the Midwest Intercollegiate Volleyball Association (MIVA), the conference of which he co-founded and first chaired. dr. Shondell led Ball State to 19 regular-season MIVA titles, 12 MIVA tournament championships, and 13 NCAA men’s volleyball championship berths.