Newly inserted senior starter leads Ball State past Queens in MIVA quarterfinals

Photo by Vinnie Lopes

Sometimes good things do happen to good teammates.

Coach Donan Cruz during his postmatch media availability went out of his way to talk about how outside attacker Trevor Phillips has been the role model teammate for No. 11/8 Ball State this season.

The senior in three seasons with the Cardinals had not many opportunities on the court. Even this season, Phillips went 15 matches and more than two months between appearances in a match.

Phillips, though, continued to diligently train, doing all the important things in practice and away from the spotlight of matchday – just preparing for an opportunity.

That opportunity came to Phillips late in the regular season because of an injury to All-MIVA outside attacker Patrick Rogers. Phillips has made the most of the chance to be back on the court, especially in the postseason.


Phillips finished with a team-high 11 kills on a .625 attack percentage as the No. 1 seed Ball State swept the No. 8 seed Queens 25-22, 25-18, 25-18 in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals on Saturday in Muncie, Indiana.

Phillips in the victory committed a season-low one attack error. The senior also had a game-high four kills in the final game to secure the sweep, including three kills during a four-play stretch that was part of a 6-2 run.

Ball State out-hit Queens .355 to .203 in front of a home crowd of 650 people. The MIVA regular season champions committed three or few error attack errors in each of the three games to advance to the MIVA Tournament semifinals for the fourth straight year.

Along with Phillips, All-MIVA outside attacker Tinaishe Ndavazocheva had 10 kills on a .364 attack percentage. Freshman middle attacker Will Patterson added five kills and zero errors on a .455 attack percentage against Queens.

Ball State had five fewer service errors than Queens and ended the match with six aces – four more aces than the Royals.

Ndavazocheva led all players with three aces, while opposite Dyer Ball delivered back-to-back aces to close out the match.

Queens making its inaugural MIVA Tournament appearance was limited to a match-low .045 attack percentage in the final game.

Outside attacker Jack Brinkman in the loss had a match-high 12 kills on a .375 attack percentage. Brinkman, though, was the Royals player to hit more than .250.

Ball State with this victory will advance to the No. 4 seed Lindenwood in the MIVA Tournament semifinals on Thursday.

Lindenwood finished with a .540 attack percentage in a sweep against the No. 5 seed Purdue Fort Wayne in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinals on Saturday.