Lees-McRae to get home match vs. Ball State in 2020 season

Photo courtesy of Lees-McRae athletics

Lees-McRae will get a shot on its home court at reduplicating the program’s biggest upset.

Coach Henry Chuang informed Off the Block that his team during the upcoming season will play host to Ball State in a non-conference on March 17.

This match will take place nine years after Lees-McRae upset Ball State in a fifth-game overtime. That upset remains the only time Ball State lost to a ConfCarolinas school and is one of the five all-time wins for Lees-McRae against current MIVA teams.

While the Cardinals have defeated the Bobcats in both meetings since that 2011 upset, the upcoming match will be the first time Lees-McRae will have a home match in the series history.

Lees-McRae concluded last season in last place in the ConfCarolinas and did not qualify for the ConfCarolinas Tournament. Among the starters, though, returning for the Bobcats includes outside attacker Drew Sims, who was in the conference’s top 20 averaging both 2.34 kills per game and 0.82 blocks per game in 2019.

Ball State was the only team during the MIVA regular season to beat the eventual 2019 conference champions Lewis, but the team suffered a season-ending loss to McKendree in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals. Along with the victory against the Flyers, the Cardinals had four regular season victories versus nationally ranked teams.

First-Team All-MIVA outside attacker Matt Szews and Off the Block Freshman All-American outside attacker Kaleb Jenness highlight the starters returning for the Cardinals.

The Ball State match will be the last of Lees-McRae’s four non-conference matches against MIVA schools in 2020. It also will play Lindenwood, Quincy and McKendree as part of the Lindenwood Invitational in January.

Lees-McRae 2020 schedule

Friday, Jan. 17 at Queens
Friday, Jan. 24 at Lindenwood
Saturday, Jan. 25 vs. Quincy (at Lindenwood)
Sunday, Jan. 26 vs. McKendree (at Lindenwood)
Friday, Jan. 31 at King
Saturday, Feb. 1 vs. Belmont Abbey
Friday, Feb. 7 vs. Erskine
Saturday, Feb. 8 vs. Emmanuel
Saturday, Feb. 15 at Lincoln Memorial
Tuesday, Feb. 18 vs. Tusculum
Friday, Feb. 21 vs. Limestone
Wednesday, Feb. 26 vs King
Friday, Feb. 28 at Barton
Saturday, Feb. 29 at Mount Olive
Saturday Feb. 29 vs. St. Francis-Brooklyn (at Mount Olive)
Wednesday, March 4 at Belmont Abbey
Friday, March 13 vs. Urbana
Saturday, March 14 vs. North Greenville
Tuesday, March 17 vs. Ball State
Friday, March 20 vs. Barton
Saturday, March 21 vs. Mount Olive
Friday, March 27 at Erskine
Saturday, March 28 at Emmanuel
Tuesday, March 31 at Limestone
Thursday, April 2 vs. Queens
Friday, April 3 at North Greenville