Illinois State Falls to Dayton In Straight-Sets, 3-0
Sept. 4, 2009
KALAMAZOO, Mich. - Illinois State (3-2) lost to Dayton (4-0) in straight-sets, 3-0 (22-25, 11-25, 23-25) in the first match of the Holiday Inn West Bronco Invitational in Kalamazoo, Mich. Friday. Junior Mallory Leggett kept her streak of consecutive double-digit kill matches alive in the loss.
Coming into the match, the Redbirds knew they would face a tough opponent in the Flyers, who received 29 votes in the latest American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Top-25 poll. ISU head coach Melissa Myers saw some very good things from her team against the toughest opponent they had faced this year.
"We did some very good things in this match," said Myers. "We passed well and had great digs and touches on blocks against very good hitters. Our biggest issue was that we didn't execute on offense in key moments of the match. Dayton is a great opponent for us to play at this point of the season to help us get better."
Leggett led the Redbirds with 12 kills, her fourth-straight match in double-figures, and had three service aces. Senior Kasey Mollerus led ISU with 16 digs. Junior Jessica Pratapas and sophomore Kristin Stauter split time at setter for the Redbirds, collecting 20 and nine set-assists, respectively.
Illinois State led throughout the beginning of the first set and used four-straight points to pull ahead, 17-11. Dayton answered with a 9-0 run to take its first lead since the beginning of the set, 20-17. Two Redbird points brought them back within one, but the Flyers had four-straight of their own to bring on set point. The Redbirds staved off the loss with back-to-back points, but a Flyer kill claimed the set.
Dayton held the lead early in the second set, but never by more than two points. With the score tied at eight apiece, the Flyers took control, outscoring the Redbirds 17-3 the rest of the way. Dayton started it off with a 12-0 run and hit .424 in the set with 16 kills and just two errors.
Just like the previous two, the third set was close early on and stayed that way for the remainder with 13 ties and eight lead changes. Dayton led consistently up until the score was tied at 16 and sophomore Tabitha Visk had a kill to put the Redbirds ahead. Later, tied at 18, Dayton went on a 6-2 run to force match point. The Redbirds held tough with three-straight points and were down by only one. On the final point, it appeared that Mollerus had made a sliding dig and it wasn't until after the Redbirds sent the ball back over that the official blew her whistle to signify a kill for the Flyers.
Illinois State takes on host Western Michigan Saturday at 9 a.m.