Redbirds Beat Evansville for First MVC Win

Sept. 14, 2012

Box Score 

NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State (7-4) volleyball team defeated Evansville (3-9) in three sets (25-23, 25-17, 25-17) in the Missouri Valley Conference opener Friday night. The Redbirds were led by Ashley Rosch with 15 kills and no attack errors for a .455 hitting percentage.

Jenny Menendez tied the match-high 17 digs and Kaitlyn Early added 33 assists and four kills. Illinois State recorded a .282 team hitting percentage compared to Evansville's .133 and out-hit the Purple Aces by 10 kills.

Illinois State was off to a great start, compiling a 5-2 lead early in the set. Ashley Ring started firing for the Purple Aces and tallied two-consecutive kills and a block to give EU a 13-10 lead. The Redbirds were able to regain the lead with the help of an ISU block and two aces from Menendez (17-14). Evansville battled late in the set, and held the Redbirds at set point for three-straight rallies, but Illinois State closed the set with a tool kill from Rosch, 25-23.

The Redbirds dominated the second set, jumping out to a 14-4 lead, with Sierra Burris tallying eight points from the service line. Early notched two kills in three points to extend the Illinois State lead 16-6. The Purple Aces made a four-point run late in the set, but kills from LeighAnn Hranka and Stacey Niao, and a block from Brooklyn Hlafka and Emily Schneider ended the set 25-17.

After the break, both teams traded points until back-to-back kills from Hlafka and Niao put the Redbirds ahead 12-11. Illinois State continued to press and earned four-consecutive points with two ISU kills and a service ace from Niao (17-15). Rosch sustained the Redbird momentum and recorded four kills in six points to give Illinois State a 20-16 lead. A solid block from Hranka and Rosch, and a kill from Hlafka finished the set 25-17 for a Redbird victory.

The Redbirds will play at Southern Illinois tomorrow at 3 p.m. CT.

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