Ball State Sweeps MIVA Weekly Awards

   MUNCIE, Ind. - - For the first time this season, the Ball State men’s volleyball team has swept the Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association’s weekly awards, with senior setter Ethan Pheister (Shorewood, Wis./Shorewood H.S.) earning MIVA Offensive Player of the Week and senior libero Billy Ebel (Lenexa, Kan./Bishop Miege H.S.) being named the MIVA Defensive Player of the Week.

   Pheister is the first BSU player to earn MIVA Offensive Player of the Week accolades this season, while Ebel picks up his fourth straight and seventh overall MIVA Defensive Player of the Week honor. Pheister was also named the Sports Imports/American Volleyball Coaches Association Division I-II Men’s National Player of the Week for his efforts last weekend.

   “Over the last month, our team has played its best volleyball of the season,” said Ball State head coach Joel Walton. “Ethan and Billy are both key components of our team’s ball control. It has been improvements in that area of our game which has our team playing more offensively consistent than we have been the last two seasons.”

   Both Cardinals earned the weekly honors for their efforts in BSU’s MIVA Tournament quarterfinal victory over IPFW last Saturday.

   Pheister led the Ball State to a .330 hitting percentage in the win over the Mastodons by spreading out the offense leading to four players logging double-digit kills in the sweep. He finished the match with 45 assists, nine digs and four block assists, which were all highs for a setter in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinal round. He also blasted three kills in the win.

   Ebel led the Ball State defense with 12 digs and a perfect 1.000 (20 for 20) reception percentage in Saturday’s victory over visiting IPFW. His 12 digs were the most of any player in the MIVA Tournament quarterfinal round.

      The No. 13 Ball State men’s volleyball team returns to action Wednesday, when it travels to No. 10 Ohio State for the semifinal round of the 2010 MIVA Tournament. Match time is set for 7 p.m. at St. John Arena.