CSUN to play at Ball State for first time since 2010

Photo courtesy of CSUN athletics and Samuel Ware

Nine years later CSUN is returning to the site where it suffered one of its biggest upset losses in program history.

CSUN announced earlier this week that it will play a road non-conference match against Ball State on Jan. 19.

This will be the first time the Matadors have played at Worthen Arena since splitting a two-match series versus the Cardinals in 2010. Unranked Ball State after being swept in the series opener rebounded the next day in the finale to sweep then-No. 3 CSUN.

Despite the non-conference loss, the Matadors ended that 2010 season earning the only at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

CSUN in 2018 advanced to the Big West Tournament semifinals and was ranked No. 9 in both of the season’s final national media poll and national coaches poll. The Matadors also were 10-5 in non-conference play highlighted with a season series sweep against Stanford and a home win versus George Mason.

Among the CSUN starters returning next season includes all-conference outside attacker Dimitar Kalchev. Kalchev was among the national leaders last season averaging 3.03 kills per game and 0.49 aces per game.

The Matadors, though, will be without graduated All-American opposite Arvis Greene, who had a nation-best 4.55 kills per game average in 2018.

Ball State ended last season in third place in the MIVA and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals. Along with finishing at No. 11 in the national coaches, the Cardinals led the nation averaging 10.45 digs per game.

All-MIVA setter Jake Romano also returns for his second season in the Ball State starting lineup. Romano helped guide the offense to a .225 attack percentage and during conference play was second in the MIVA with 127 digs.

This will be the first meeting between the two teams since the Matadors at home swept the Cardinals in 2012.

CSUN leads the all-time series 13-6, including winning eight of the 11 meetings since 1990.

The match against the Cardinals will conclude a two-match Midwest road trip for the Matadors. CSUN will open the Indiana trip playing Purdue Fort Wayne on Jan. 18.

These will be CSUN’s first two of five non-conference matches versus the MIVA in 2019. The team also will have home matches against Lewis, Loyola and Lindenwood.

The Matadors are 3-3 against MIVA teams since 2016.