Redbirds Hand Hurricanes their First Loss
Brooklyn Hlafka

Brooklyn Hlafka

Sept. 1, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - Illinois State (3-2) defeated Miami (5-1) (17-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-11) for the Hurricane's first loss of the season. The Redbirds displayed strong defensive efforts with 59 digs and 9.0 total blocks. Brooklyn Hlafka recorded a match-high 15 kills, Jenny Menendez compiled 18 digs and Kaitlyn Early tallied 42 assist.

Illinois State was off to a slow start in the first set, trailing 4-1 until Shannon McGlaughlin's tip kill brought the Redbirds within two points (4-2). Miami extended their lead to 10-6 with the help of two kills from Savanah Leaf and Emani Sims, followed by a Redbird attack error. Illinois State continued to battle and trailed by only two points (19-17) after Hlafka compiled three kills in five points. Three late ISU attack errors put Miami ahead 23-17, and a kill from Taylor Hollins closed the set for the Hurricanes, 25-17.

The Redbirds quickly took the lead in the second set with two kills from Emily Schneider and Hlafka, 2-1. Illinois State extended their lead 7-3 with the help of two blocks from LeighAnn Hranka and Hlafka, and a kill from Ashley Rosch.

Another solid block from Hranka and Early gave ISU momentum late in the second set, and a 22-20 lead. A kill from Hlafka ended the set 25-23 with an ISU victory.

Both teams traded points at the start of the third set, until ISU broke away to an 11-7 lead, compiling two blocks in two points and a kill from Hranka. Three digs from Menendez wrapped up a long rally for ISU, followed by a tip kill from Hlafka to give the Redbirds a 15-14 lead. The Redbirds and Hurricanes were neck in neck until Miami committed four-consecutive errors late in the set for a 25-23 Redbird win.

ISU carried its momentum from the third set and jumped out to an early lead 4-1 with the help of kills from Hlafka and Hranka. Illinois State controlled most of the fourth set and extended its lead to 16-8, forcing Miami to call its second timeout. The Hurricanes struggled offensively and committed nine attack errors for a -0.103 team hitting percentage. The Redbirds posted six more kills then the Hurricanes and finished the third set with a .333 team hitting percentage and a 25-11 victory.

Illinois State will close tournament play tonight against Oregon State at 7 p.m. at Redbird Arena. Redbird volleyball games can be heard live on GoRedbirds.com or WJBC.com.

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