Ball State, George Mason to play two-match non-conference series in January

Photo courtesy of Ball State athletics

One of the longest running non-conference series in college men’s volleyball will continue in 2021.

Ball State as part of unveiling its schedule earlier this week announced it will play a two-match road series against George Mason to open the season on Jan. 22-23.

The Cardinals and Patriots, with the exception of two seasons, have played each other every year since 1983. In addition, the two teams have split their six meetings since 2015, including George Mason defeating Ball State in five games last season.


George Mason opens the season at No. 13 in the national coaches poll.

All-EIVA middle attacker Jack Reese and All-EIVA outside attacker Sam Greenslade both return for the Patriots. All-EIVA opposite Hayden Wagner, who was fifth in the nation with a 4.26 kills per game average in 2019, also will be back on the court after missing the majority of the 2020 season with an injury.

Ball State ended the abbreviated 2020 season in third place in the MIVA and were picked to finish in third place for the upcoming season in the recent MIVA Preseason Poll.

Along with the Cardinals returning multiple starters from last season, All-American opposite Angelos Mandilaris opted to transfer as a graduate student from Barton to Ball State. Mandilaris, a finalist for the 2020 Division II National Player of the Year, was third in the nation averaging 4.43 kills per game on a career-best .412 attack percentage last season.

This series will be two of the four non-conference matches the Cardinals are slated to play in 2021. Ball State also will have a two-match home series versus Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 28-29.

2021 Ball State schedule

Jan. 22 at George Mason
Jan. 23 at George Mason
Jan. 28 vs. Lincoln Memorial
Jan. 29 vs. Lincoln Memorial
Feb. 5 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne
Feb. 6 vs. Purdue Fort Wayne
Feb. 12 at Lewis
Feb. 13 at Lewis
Feb. 19 vs. Lindenwood
Feb. 20 vs. Lindenwood
Feb. 27 vs. Ohio State
March 13 at Ohio State
March 19 at Quincy
March 20 at Quincy
March 26 vs. Loyola
March 27 vs. Loyola
April 2 at McKendree
April 3 at McKendree