Illinois State Drops 3-1 Decision to Western Michigan
Sept. 6, 2008
NORMAL, Ill. - Western Michigan overcame an injury to one of its top hitters and survived a late push by Illinois State to claim the Redbird Classic Championship, 3-1 (27-25, 25-14, 17-25, 25-17), at Redbird Arena on Saturday. Illinois State's Peggy Riessen led all hitters with 20 kills and earned all-tournament honors with teammate M.C. Richmond.
The Broncos (5-0) lost Ashley Vogl to an apparent knee injury in the third set and dropped the game to the Redbirds (4-3) before regrouping and closing the match with a win in the fourth set.
Western Michigan placed three on the all-tournament team, including sophomore blocker Jaime Gotham, junior libero Caitlin Strimel and junior setter Jillian Mitchell. Oakland libero Lauren Duquette also was named to the Redbird Classic All-Tournament Team.
Western Michigan jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the opening set and looked poised to take it without relinquishing the lead. However, with the Redbirds trailing 23-20, Richmond connected on a kill and collected a block-assist on the very next play to cut the lead to one. A Jessica Pratapas ace evened the tally for the first time in the match at 23-23, and after a service error, the Redbirds scored back-to-back points to take their first lead at 25-24. Illinois State was unable to close the match and the Broncos scored three consecutive points to finish the set.
The Broncos used a longer run to top the Redbirds in the second set. Leading 13-12, Western Michigan wrapped seven unanswered points around a timeout by Illinois State and scored five of the final seven points of set to take a 25-14 win. Western Michigan improved its hitting from .159 in the first set to .333 in the second set and was paced by Vogl with four kills.
The third set was a combination of the Redbirds turning the tables and Vogl's exit from the match. Illinois State led 7-4 and while the Broncos trimmed the lead by scoring the next point, Vogl landed awkwardly and left the match with an apparent right knee injury. Illinois State capitalized with six of the next nine points and moved the match tally to 2-1 with a 25-17 third-set victory.
Western Michigan regrouped in the fourth set and took a 9-3 advantage. Illinois State rallied and trimmed the deficit to two at 13-11, but the Broncos held the lead through the remainder of the match.
The Broncos outhit the Redbirds .232-to-.114 in the match and tallied seven blocks. Illinois State's Mallory Leggett joined Riessen in double digits with 14 kills and Erin Lindsey contributed 42 set-assists.
Illinois State will take part in its third tournament of the season when the Redbirds travel to the Chicago Invitational, Sept. 12-13. The Redbirds will face Louisville, top-ranked Penn State and Illinois-Chicago at Mother McCauley High School.