Redbirds Fall to Salukis in Potential Conference Matchup, 3-1
Nov. 22, 2013
CARBONDALE, Ill. - Nearing the end of the regular season, the Illinois State volleyball team (17-12, 10-7) fell to the Southern Illinois Salukis (17-12, 12-5) in four sets (25-20, 20-25, 21-25, 21-25) Friday, setting up a likely rematch with SIU in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) tournament next week.
The Redbirds were led by Ashley Rosch with 14 kills and no errors, hitting .452 for the match. LeighAnn Hranka added 10 kills, while Kaitlyn Early added 23 assists and four service aces. Brooklyn Hlafka had seven kills and five block assists matching Emily Schneider who had seven kills and four block assists.
Illinois State was at its best in the first set, hitting .243 as a team en route to jumping out to a 7-3 lead on a kill by Hranka. Aided by four errors from Southern Illinois, Illinois State extended its lead, 16-11. The Salukis rallied to tie the score, 17-17, but a timeout by the Redbirds allowed them to retake the lead on a kill by Ashleigh Fisher. Tied 20-20, Early lit up the SIU defense with three service aces in the final points, highlighting a 5-0 run by ISU to win the first set, 25-20.
Tied 2-2 at the start of the second set, Missouri State went on a 10-0 run to take command, 12-2. Aided on kills by Rosch, Hranka and Schneider, the Redbirds began to chip away at the lead, forcing SIU to take a timeout with the score at 15-9. Three more errors by the Salukis helped close the gap, 17-14. Kills by Stacey Niao and Hranka helped the Redbirds pull within two points, 20-18. An ace by setter Hannah Kaminsky combined with a kill from Jessica Whitehead gave the Salukis a set-point, 24-20. Emily Less ended the set with a kill, 25-20, to tie the teams at one set apiece going into halftime.
Another rough start plagued the Redbirds in the third set, as three service aces by SIU combined with three errors by ISU gave the Salukis a 10-2 lead. Hlafka, Hranka and Rosch once again rallied the Redbirds, each picking up a kill while helping ISU get back into the set, 17-10. Three errors by SIU, a kill by Hranka and a service ace by Fisher forced the Salukis to take a timeout, 19-14. The Redbirds would get within three, 23-20, but would eventually fall on a service error, ending the set, 25-21.
Tied late in the final frame, 18-18, Whitehead and Meg Viggars each added kills, giving the Salukis the lead, 21-18. A kill by Whitehead, a service ace and two Redbird errors deepened the deficit, 24-20. Emily Orrick would give ISU a bit of life with a service ace, the 11th of the match for the Redbirds, but a disconnect on the final point forced a Redbird error, giving the set and the match to the Salukis, 25-21.
The Redbirds return to action Saturday, Nov. 23, against the Purple Aces in Evansville, Ind., at 6 p.m. (CT).
All Redbird matches can be heard on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com.
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