Ball State signs Wisconsin Player of Year, USA Volleyball award winner

Photo courtesy of Ball State athletics.

Two recruits who have earned some of the nation’s highest accolades in high school and club volleyball are headed to one of the most storied Midwest college men’s volleyball programs.

Ball State announced that high school seniors Wil McPhillips and Bryce Behrendt have committed to join the Cardinals beginning in the 2020 season.

McPhillips, a middle attacker from Illinois, has earned back-to-back All-Tournament Team honors at the USA Volleyball Boys’ Junior National Championships. In his junior season, he also led his high school team to the 2018 state championship and ended the year with 131 kills on a .507 attack percentage.

“Wil is a competitor,” Ball State coach Joel Walton said in a statement. “We watched him very carefully and loved what we saw from day one. He plays bigger than he is and will be great in the middle for us like so many before him have been.”

Behrendt, a 6-foot-4 outside attacker, was named the 2018 Wisconsin Men’s Volleyball Player of the Year and earned First-Team All-State honors as a junior and senior. The outside attacker concluded his high school career with more than 1,000 kills and 175 aces, including having 336 kills and 69 aces in his senior season.

“That outside attacker position is often the engine of the team and it’s important that whoever plays that position doesn’t have any holes in their game,” Walton said. “We feel like Bryce is going to be that player for us here at Ball State.”

Ball State finished last season at No. 11 in the national coaches poll and advanced to the MIVA Tournament semifinals for the second consecutive season. In addition, the team led the nation with a 10.45 digs per game average.

Among the starters returning to the Cardinals for the upcoming season includes All-MIVA setter Jake Romano and MIVA All-Freshman outside attacker Ben Chinnici.