Courtesy Ball State Athletic Department

CLEVELAND, Ohio -(4-1-21) – For her part in helping the Ball State women’s volleyball program lead the Mid-American Conference in blocking, freshman middle Lauren Gilliland , a Coldwater grad, has been named to the 2020-21 MAC All-Freshman Team.
 
Gilliland made her presence felt in the MAC from her very first match, tallying nine total blocks in the season-opening win over Akron. She followed with seven the next night and never looked back, finishing her freshman season ranked second in the MAC with a 1.18 blocks-per-set average.

Head Coach Kelli Miller Phillips said

“Lauren was a huge presence for us this season,”

“She really developed as a blocker and became one of the top blockers in the conference as a freshman which led us to be the top blocking team in the MAC. She’s very competitive and one of the hardest workers in our gym, so I’m not surprised she received this honor. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for Lauren.”


 Led by Gilliland’s average, which also ranked 65th nationally, the Cardinals led the league and ranked 38th among the 306 NCAA Division I programs at 2.49 blocks per set. In addition, Gilliland’s 94 total blocks (10 solo and 84 assists) ranked 13th nationally, while Ball State’s 199.5 total blocks as a team were seventh in the country.

Gilliland scored at least one block in 20 matches, with five-or-more nine times. Her nine blocks versus Akron (Jan. 22), and later against Kent State (March 12), tied as the fifth-best single match total in the MAC this season.

She also made an impact on offense, averaging 1.24 kills per set and hitting for a .248 rate of success. She scored at least five kills in 11 matches, including a career-high nine in the sweep of Miami (March 16).

2020-21 All-Freshman Team (6 members) 
Lauren Gilliland, Ball State
Milla Milak, Buffalo
Caitlin O’Farrell, Ohio
Sam Steele, Ohio
Taylor Alt, Toledo
Logan Case, Western Michigan

Gilliland is the 18th player in program history to be named to the MAC All-Freshman Team, and the sixth since Phillips was named the head coach.

The Ball State women’s volleyball team closed an unconventional 2020-21 spring season last Saturday (March 27) with a 9-12 overall record.