Benson powers No. 9 BYU past No. 11 Ball State in season opener

Photo courtesy of BYU athletics

What turned into an offensive duel across the net between Luke Benson and Patrick Rogers ended with a No. 9 BYU sweep.

Both outside attackers had more than 15 kills and hit more than .700 as Benson and BYU defeated Rogers and No. 11 Ball State 25-19, 25-21, 25-20 on Friday in Provo, Utah.

Benson finished with a match-high 17 kills on a .762 attack percentage to open the two-match non-conference series that was played in front of 3,242 people. The junior had at least five kills in all three games and did not commit an attack error in the final two games.

Rogers in the loss led Ball State with 16 kills, including having a combined 13 kills in the final two games. In addition, the Freshman All-American and offseason transfer from St. Francis Brooklyn committed one error the entire match and hit .714.


Setter Noah Haine guided the BYU offense to out-hit Ball State .308 to .247. Haine also had the match-winning kill to cap off a 5-2 run to close out the match.

Along with Benson, outside attacker Miks Ramanis contributed eight kills against Ball State.

Rogers was the only Ball State player to have at least five kills.

Ball State was without Preseason All-American outside attacker Tinaishe Ndavazocheva.Ndavazocheva ended last season in the nation’s top 25 with a 3.60 kills per game average as Ball State reached the MIVA Tournament finals.

The Cardinals were held to a zero attack percentage in the opening game before hitting more than .300 in each of the final two games.

This loss ended Ball State’s three-match winning streak to open the season. Ball State defeated Wabash twice and then Thomas More earlier this week before traveling to BYU.