MUNCIE, Ind. - - After guiding the Ball State offense to a .330 rate of success in last Saturday’s MIVA Tournament quarterfinal victory over IPFW, men’s volleyball senior setter Ethan Pheister (Shorewood, Wis./Shorewood H.S.) has been named the Sports Imports/American Volleyball Coaches Association Men’s Division I-II National Player of the Week.
Pheister is just the third Midwestern Intercollegiate Volleyball Association player to earn national player of the week accolades this season, and the first BSU’s men’s volleyball player to earn the AVCA’s top weekly honor since Nick Meyer picked it up March 26, 2007. The award marks the 11th time a BSU student-athlete has been recognized as the AVCA National Player of the Week.
“This is obviously a very difficult honor to achieve,” said Ball State head coach Joel Walton. “Ethan has played well in the later stages of the season and is currently running our offense at a high level. His improvement setting the ball for our team is a key factor in our late season run. In addition to his play, our team deserves part of the credit for this award as our win over IPFW was truly a team effort with many players contributing.”
In last Saturday’s sweep of the Mastodons, Pheister was able to effectively spread out the Ball State offense as he dished out a match-high 45 assists and helped four different Cardinals register double-digit kills in the victory. The effort marked the fifth time this season Pheister has guided four BSU players to double-figure kills in the same match and the first time it has happened in a three-game contest. All five matches were victories for the Cardinals.
On defense, Pheister also had a solid night, registering nine digs and four block assists. Pheister’s 45 assists, nine digs and four block assists led all league setters in the quarterfinal round of the MIVA Tournament, while his three kills tied for top honors.
For the week, Pheister averaged 15.00 assists, 3.00 digs, 1.67 points, 1.33 blocks and 1.00 kills per game, all well above his season averages.
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.