Ball State makes big splash with new recruiting class

Two members of the U.S. Boys Youth National Team highlights Ball State’s three-person recruiting class.

Ball State announced Thursday that high school seniors Brendan Surane, Alex Pia and Connor Gross have signed national letters of intent to play for the Cardinals beginning in 2014.

Surane, a 6-foot-7-inch outside hitter and middle attacker from Lockport, Ill, helped the United States win a bronze medal at the NORCECA youth championships in Tijuana, Mexico earlier this year. As a junior for his high school team last season, Surane was an all-conference and all-area selection.


Pia, a 6-foot-6-inch middle attacker from Johns Creek, Ga., also played with Surane and Team USA during the NORCECA youth championships. In addition, he helped his Georgia-based club team qualify for the national championships the last three seasons.

Gross, is a 6-foot-5-inch setter from Appleton, Wisc., end his high school career being named the Wisconsin Player of the Year after leading his team to a perfect 34-0 record and a state championship. The setter also earned all-area and conference player of the year honors.

Ball State finished last season tied for fourth place in the MIVA and advanced to the conference tournament semifinals. The Cardinals have not a MIVA championship since 2002 — their longest drought in program history.