Chirp, Chirp — Again: No. 10 Ball State upsets No. 1/1 Hawaii for second time

Photo courtesy of Ball State athletics

Quinn Isaacson stepped up to the service line in the biggest moment and delivered one of Ball State’s biggest wins in its 58-year program history.

Isaacson served a match-winning ace to cap off a three ace performance in the fifth game as No. 10 Ball State defeated No. 1/1 Hawai’i 25-18, 22-25, 27-25, 22-25, 15-11 on Monday in Muncie, Indiana.

The All-MIVA setter in the decisive game had back-to-back aces and added a block as part of a 6-0 run to erase an early deficit. Isaacson also was behind the service line for the Cardinals as they closed out the match on a 3-0 run to complete the non-conference series sweep.

This was the second time in the last three days Ball State defeated the nation’s top-ranked team, which was without multiple starters for both matches. The Cardinals entered this series having one win all-time against a No. 1 ranked team in its program history.


Isaacson finished with a match-high five aces and had 65 assists as Ball State out-hit the defending NCAA champions .436 to .366. Ball State had a match-best .750 attack percentage in the opening game and closed out the match with a .500 attack percentage and zero errors in the fifth game.

Along with Isaacson’s offensive performance, the setter defensively had a match-high 15 digs.

The Cardinals had three players finish with double-digit kills in the victory.

Opposite Angelos Mandilaris led all players with 25 kills on a .422 attack percentage, including a game-high nine kills in the team’s third-game overtime win.

Outside attacker Kaleb Jenness ended with 20 kills on a .356 attack percentage with five kills coming in the fifth game. Middle attacker Vanis Buckholz also contributed 13 kills and zero errors while hitting .867.

Opposite Dimitrios Mouchlias in the loss had a team-high 21 kills and zero errors on a .538 attack percentage. In addition, Spyros Chakas had 15 kills, and middle attacker Cole Hogland had 10 kills and zero errors on a .714 attack percentage.

This is the second time since 2019 that Hawai’i has lost back-to-back matches.

Ball State with this victory remains one of five undefeated teams in the nation and the only undefeated team in the MIVA.