Redbirds Fall to Oregon State in Five Sets
Ashley Rosch

Ashley Rosch

Sept. 1, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State (3-3) volleyball team fell to the Beavers of Oregon State (4-2) in five sets (25-23, 21-25, 22-25, 28-26, 6-15) at Redbird Arena Saturday night. The Redbirds were led by freshman Ashley Rosch, Brooklyn Hlafka and Emily Schneider, who all recorded double-digit kills (14-12-11).

Illinois State finished in a three-way tie for first place, with Jenny Menendez and LeighAnn Hranka earning all-tournament team honors. Hlafka earned MVP honors of the tournament, recording 31 kills and a hitting percentage of .212. Hranka added 28 kills of her own, while Menendez dug-out 69 attacks.

The Redbirds and the Beavers exchanged points to open the first set, but Illinois State took the momentum, as it went on a 5-0 run led by Schneider and Hlafka. The duo each had a kill and teamed up for a block to give ISU a 9-6 advantage. Oregon State was aggressive at the net and scored six-straight points to take a 13-10 lead. ISU and OSU traded points late in the set, but back-to-back kills by Kaitlyn Early and Rosch put the Redbirds ahead by two, 23-21. The Beavers tied the set, 23-23, but Rosch tipped for a kill, while Shannon McGlaughlin put it down to win the set, 25-23.

ISU kept the momentum from the first set, as it got ahead quickly in the second set, 4-0, forcing an OSU timeout. Oregon State regrouped coming out the break and went on a 5-0 run to take its first lead of the set, 6-5. Illinois State tallied four-straight points to take a two-point lead, 12-10, followed by a 3-0 run to go ahead by three, 16-13, using a kill by Schneider and a block by Hranka and Hlafka. The two teams battled back and forth, but OSU won the set with late attacking errors by ISU, 25-21.

Illinois State and Oregon State exchanged points to start the third set, but the Beavers went on a 3-0 run, 11-7. The Redbirds responded with a 3-0 run of their own to cut OSU's lead to one, 11-10. Oregon State regained the momentum in the second half of the set and took a four-point lead, 20-16, after a solo block by Arica Nassar, forcing an ISU timeout. The Beavers jumped ahead by six, 23-17, but back-to-back blocks by Hranka got the Redbirds within four, 23-19, and caused Oregon State to take a timeout. The Redbirds battled back and got within one with a service ace by Sierra Burris late in the set, but the Beavers held on and won the set, 25-22.

OSU took a quick lead, 5-1, as ISU struggled to get on the board to start the fourth set. The Redbirds battled back and tied the game, 9-9, before trading points with the Beavers throughout the middle of the set. Back-to-back kills by Hlafka and Schneider gave Illinois State a three-point lead, 20-17, but Oregon State answered as the two teams traded points late in the deciding set. After a 24-24 tie, ISU and OSU battled, but ISU came out on top with a block by Stacy Niao and Schneider, 28-26, forcing a fifth set.

In the fifth, Oregon State was strong offensively, as Illinois State had trouble getting started and trailed OSU by five, 7-2. The Redbirds got within three, 7-4, but a 3-0 run by the Beavers increased their lead by six, 10-4. ISU couldn't respond, as OSU won, 15-6, to take the match.

The Redbirds will be back in action against Valparaiso for a midweek match Tuesday, beginning at 7 p.m., before competing in the Toledo Tournament, Sept 7-8.

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