Ball State uses epic fourth-game comeback to defeat BYU

Photo courtesy of Ball State athletics

Jonathan Bates | Associate Editor

Down two starters, Ball State won the second match of a back-to-back series on Saturday night in Provo. The Cardinals won in four games, 23-25, 25-19, 33-21, 25-20.

Ball State has now defeated three teams ranked in the top ten in their last four matches to improve to a 6-1 record on the young season. BYU drops to 5-3 overall, having played ranked teams in six of their eight matches.

Ball State responded with a win a night after losing in five games, when the Cougars pulled off a reverse sweep.


The third set required seven game points before Ball State pulled out the game in overtime. Both teams attacked above .350 in the set, which featured 26 ties and four lead changes.

The Cardinals were down as many as six points in the fourth game, but used a 11-1 run to take the final game of the match. The Cougars had four attack errors during that Ball State comeback.

Ball State was without the services of two starters on Saturday night – All-American opposite Angelos Mandilaris and outside attacker Vanis Buckholtz.

Caleb Jenness led the Cardinals with 19 kills, while Dyer Ball finished with 17 kills. Stanford-transfer opposite Kupono Browne led three Cougars with double-digit kills with 19 kills on a .441 attack percentage.

The biggest difference on the final stat sheet was on the defensive side of the court. The Cardinals outblocked the Cougars, 18 to 11, while outdigging them, 44 to 32. Individually, Quinn Isaacson led the charge with a match-high 16 digs and three solo blocks.

Ball State returns to the court on Thursday night at defending MIVA champion Lewis to start MIVA conference play. The Flyers defeated No. 8/10 Grand Canyon on Saturday night in five games.

BYU continues their long non-conference home stand next weekend they welcome No. 13 UC San Diego to Smith Fieldhouse for a pair of matches.