Ball State sweeps Lewis to reach first MIVA finals since 2009

Photo courtesy of Ball State athletics

There’s a reason why outside attacker Kaleb Jenness was selected as the MIVA Player of the Year.

Jenness had a match-high three aces along with 10 kills and zero errors on a .556 attack percentage as Ball State swept Lewis 25-23, 25-17, 25-15 in the MIVA Tournament semifinals on Wednesday in Muncie, Indiana.

This is the first time in 13 years that Ball State has advanced to the MIVA Tournament finals. That postseason run in 2009 was also the last time the Cardinals had defeated the Flyers in the MIVA Tournament.

Ball State All-MIVA setter Quinn Isaacson guided the MIVA regular season champions to out-hit Lewis .342 to .125. In addition, the Cardinals had a match-best .500 attack percentage in the final game to complete the sweep.


Jenness was one of three Ball State starters to have at least five attack attempts and hit more than .400. Outside attacker Nick Martinski had nine kills on a .421 attack percentage, while middle attacker Felix Egharevba contributed six kills and hit .714.

Egharevba defensively led all players with five blocks as Ball State out-blocked Lewis 11 to 5.

All-MIVA middle attacker Tyler Mitchem in the loss also had five blocks and a match-high 11 kills on a .300 attack percentage. Mitchem, though, was the only Flyer to have more than five kills and hit more than .200.

Lewis was limited to less than .150 attack percentage in each of the final two games. In addition, the Flyers in the second game were hit a match-worst negative-.067 and trailed by as many as 10 points.

Jeness opened the match with a game-high five kills in the first game, but the Flyers nearly rallied to force an overtime. Lewis fought off two game-points before losing the game on a service error.

Lewis was attempting to win its third consecutive MIVA Tournament championship.

Ball State with this victory will advance to play its in-state rival Purdue Fort Wayne in the MIVA Tournament finals on Saturday in Muncie, Indiana. Purdue Fort Wayne upset Loyola in its semifinal match on Wednesday.