Freshman setter Lucas Machado took matters into their own hands to put an end to their conference debut.
Machado with the fourth game on the verge of overtime delivered a tip-shot kill to close out the match as No. 15 Ball State defeated No. 11 Loyola 23-25, 26-24, 27-25, 25-23 on Thursday in Muncie, Indiana.
Machado guided the Ball State offense that had three players finish with double-digit kills against Loyola (5-6, 0-1 MIVA).
Outside attacker Tinaishe Ndavazocheva led all players with 19 kills on a .395 attack percentage, including having a game-high five kills in the final game. Ndavazocheva also had back-to-back kills to end the second-game overtime and even the match.
Both opposite Braydon Savitski-Lynde and outside attacker Patrick Rogers contributed 14 kills to help Ball State (8-5, 1-0 MIVA) end its three-match losing streak. In addition, middle attacker Will Patterson had seven kills on a team-best .429 attack percentage and had the game-winning kill in the third-game overtime.
Along with the offensive performance, Rogers led Ball State with 11 digs and had a match-high 31 service receptions and zero errors.
The Cardinals limited the Ramblers to a season-low one ace. Loyola also committed 22 service errors – nine more errors than Ball State.
Despite the loss, Loyola out-hit Ball State .326 to .285 and opened with a match-best .594 attack percentage in the first game.
Opposite Parker Van Buren led the Ramblers with 19 kills and hit .333, while outside attacker Jake Read added .306 kills on a .306 attack percentage.
The Ramblers after winning the first game nearly were able to take a two-game lead. Loyola in the second game rallied from a 23-17 deficit and fought off four game-points before losing in overtime.
Loyola entered conference play on a four-match winning streak. This also was the Ramblers’ first loss of the season to a team not in the top 10 of the national rankings.