ISU Clings to Two-Set Lead at the Break in Evansville
Sept. 19, 2008
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Mallory Leggett and Peggy Riessen each have a match-high seven kills, and Katie Culbertson has six kills and a match-best .455 hitting percentage, as Illinois State leads host Evansville, 2-0, at the conclusion of two sets at the Carson Center Friday. The Redbirds captured set one 26-24, before winning the second frame by a score of 25-21.
Leggett and Riessen's eight combined kills allowed Illinois State to fight off an early Evansville surge, and record a 26-24, extra-point win in the first set. Both teams traded points for the initial eight possessions, before Evansville completed a 4-0 run to take a 7-4 lead. The Redbirds were forced into their first timeout three points later, trailing 9-5. Leggett's service ace helped the Redbirds trim the lead to three (13-10), but the Purple Aces fought back with three-of the next four points to force another timeout, clinging to their biggest lead of five, 16-11.
ISU answered with a 5-1 flurry, and cut the Evansville lead to just one, 17-16. Riessen had two kills in the stretch. The Redbirds claimed their first lead (18-17) since early in the set two points later, after Hailey Kelley and Erin Lindsey assisted on a block, and the Aces were forced into a hitting error. But Evansville re-claimed the lead twice in the ensuing six points. The `Birds countered with a 3-0 spurt to take a 23-21 lead, and force the Purple Aces into their last timeout of the frame.
The Redbirds forced set point at 24-21 following a service ace by Lindsey, but needed five more possessions to close out the frame and take a 1-0 in the best-of-five. Evansville fought off three set points, before Leggett and Riessen broke a 24-24 tie with back-to-back kills to give ISU the 26-24 win.
The Redbirds built a commanding eight-point lead mid-way through the second set, but a late run by the hosts forced ISU to hold on for a tight 25-21 lead. Illinois State broke an 8-8 tie with a quick 4-0 spurt, and forced Evansville into its first timeout trailing by four, 12-8. Katie Culbertson had one kill and an assisted block in the spurt. The Redbirds continued the run, eventually taking their largest lead of eight points, 21-13, after another Culbertson kill.
But the Aces answered with a 4-0 spree to pull back within five, 22-17, and forced Myers into her first timeout of the frame. The Redbird lead was cut to just three (23-20) after another 3-0 run by Evansville, and Myers burned her final timeout of the frame. ISU put the finishing touches on the 25-21 lead with a kill by Riessen, and a set-ending, forced attack error by Evansville.