Redbirds Set to Host Braves, Ramblers
Kaitlyn Early leads the Redbirds with 26 service aces
Kaitlyn Early leads the Redbirds with 26 service aces

Oct. 30, 2013

Date/Time vs. Bradley (Friday, Nov. 1 at 7:05 p.m.)
vs. Loyola (Saturday, Nov. 2 at 7:05 p.m.)

Redbird Arena (Normal, Ill.)

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NORMAL, Ill. - Continuing the second half of the conference season, the Illinois State volleyball team (15-7, 8-2) will host the Bradley Braves (11-9, 5-6) Friday followed by the Loyola Ramblers (9-14, 4-7) Saturday in a pair of Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) matchups. The Redbirds currently hold the third spot in the conference standings behind Wichita State and Northern Iowa.

After going 7-0 to start the conference schedule, ISU has lost three of its last four matches. The Redbirds are led by Ashley Rosch with 252 kills this season, averaging a conference eighth-best 3.04 kills per set. Stacey Niao ranks second with 214 kills and 252 digs, while first-year libero Emily Orrick has collected a team-high 391 digs. The Mackinaw, Ill., native averages 4.52 digs per set, while recording a team second-best 23 service aces. Kaitlyn Early continues to thrive in her second full season as the starting setter, as the junior has amassed 878 assists while also adding 210 digs and a team-high 26 service aces.

The Braves are led by Amy Angelos with 238 kills on a .330 attack percentage while also picking up a team-best 60 total blocks. Alise Tupuritis ranks second in both kills and digs, collecting 222 and 201 respectively. Jessica Teel and Melissa Hoerber split time at the setter position, as Teel has added 399 assists while Hoerber has collected 395. Defensively, Lauren Zerante leads the Braves with 373 digs, averaging 5.04 digs per set. The Braves are coming off their second victory over Southern Illinois this season, most recently defeating the Salukis in straight sets.

Morgan Reardon continues to lead Loyola in kills with 185 on the season despite not having played in a match since Sept. 28, due to injury. The freshman maintains a conference third-best 3.63 kills per set. Libby Bresser ranks second on the team with 179.5 points, knocking 128 kills while adding 74 total blocks, which includes 19 solo blocks. Stephanie Kinane has added 370 digs while Brittany Brown has 664 assists, averaging 8.20 assists per set. In their first year as members of the MVC, the Ramblers have collected four conference victories. Loyola is most recently coming off its second straight-set sweep of Evansville this season, defeating the Purple Aces Oct. 26.

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