Redbirds Look to Stay Strong at IU adidas Classic

Sept. 2, 2010

 IU adidas Classic // Bloomington, Ind.
 Date  September 3-4

 vs. North Carolina State /// Sept. 3 // 4 p.m.
 at Indiana // Sept. 4 // 11 a.m.
 vs. Arkansas State // Sept. 4 // 4:30 p.m.

 Video  None
 Live Stats  N.C. State // Indiana // Arkansas State
 Match Notes  Illinois State  //  N.C. State // Indiana // Arkansas State

Illinois State has won both all-time meetings with North Carolina State. The two teams played a home-and-home series in 1990-91, with the Redbirds winning 3-0 in 1990 and 3-1 in 1991. ISU is 13-6 all-time against teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

Illinois State leads the all-time series with Indiana, 12-1. The Redbirds won the first 12 meetings of the series (1973-84) and Indiana won the last matchup in 1989. Only three of the matches in the series have been in the best-of-three sets format. ISU is 109-90 all-time against teams in the Big Ten.

Illinois State and Arkansas State will meet for the first time on the volleyball court Saturday. The Redbirds are 6-2 all-time against teams in the Sun Belt Conference (Denver, Florida International, North Texas, Western Kentucky).

Last season, senior Mallory Leggett became just the fifth player in school history to amass 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs in her career (Chris Rehor, Kim Nelson, Patti Hoppa, M.C. Richmond). In her final year as a Redbird, she will look to continue her climb up the career ranks in both categories. Leggett is ranked sixth in career digs (1,104) and 13th in career kills (1,178). If she maintains her career single-season averages, she could climb into the top-three in digs and the top-five in kills.

Illinois State has achieved something that the program hasn’t since Michael Keaton was Batman – start a season 4-0. Illinois State won its first four matches of the season for the first time since 1992 and just the eighth time in school history (1974, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1983, 1984, 1992, 2010).

Illinois State has a new offensive outside hitter tandem in senior Mallory Leggett and freshman Shannon McGlaughlin. The duo has accounted for nearly half of ISU’s kills on the seaon and have recorded double-digit kills in each match this year. Both players were named to the all-tournament team at the Corvallis Invitational and combined for 93 of ISU’s 170 kills in the three matches. Leggett, the tournament MVP, recorded 50 kills, 39 digs and seven blocks. McGlaughlin had 43 kills and 26 digs and received the first MVC Freshman of the Week award this season. Both players had double-digit kills in every match and the combined for 17 kills in ISU’s first-set win over Portland.

The Illinois State roster in 2010 features a solid core of senior leadership with Katie Culbertson, Hailey Kelley and Mallory Leggett. All three are in their fourth year with the program and have combined for 1,908 kills, 1,272 digs and 476 blocks.

Illinois State has two newcomers that are a bit more acclimated to collegiate volleyball than the typical freshman. Senior Amy Sesol may be new to the ISU roster, but she is familiar with college volleyball, having played two years at Eastern Illinois (2006-07). She amassed 191 kills and 84 blocks in her two seasoins with the Panthers. Freshman Shannon McGlaughlin enrolled at Illinois State in the Spring 2010 semester and participated with the Redbirds in the spring practice and tournament season.

Katie Seyller was approved for a medical exemption over the summer, ending her career at Illinois State. Seyller struggled with shoulder injuries throughout her career that kept her from playing in 2008 and limited her to just 37 sets in 2009. Seyller amassed 329 kills and 175 blocks in 65 matches over her career.