Offense Erupts, Redbirds Dominate Mastodons 3-0
Emily Schneider
Emily Schneider

Sept. 14, 2013

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - Coming off back-to-back losses for the first time this season, the Redbirds channeled their frustrations into a masterful offensive performance. The Illinois State volleyball team (7-3) defeated the Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) Mastodons (6-5) in a straight-set sweep (25-16, 25-22, 25-18) Saturday in their final match of the Butler tournament.

Led by an omnipotent performance by Emily Schneider, who collected 12 kills while hitting .800, the Redbirds amassed a team .404 attack percentage. Schneider, Brooklyn Hlafka and Stacey Niao were masterful in their offensive pursuits, as all three players had double digit attack attempts without an error.

In the first set, the `Birds were paced by Schneider and senior LeighAnn Hranka who each collected five kills. Tied 8-8 early, Schneider, Hranka and Brooklyn Hlafka each recorded multiple kills to help establish an Illinois State lead, 18-11. Jaydn' Pegues of IPFW tried to rally her team with a strong offense showing, tallying five kills in the first set, but Schneider would slam the door shot on IPFW, as she recorded the final two points for ISU, sealing the set 25-16.

Indicative of the performance by the Redbirds, the second set was the worst offensive showing for ISU in the match, even though the team still clubbed a respectable .267. The biggest challenge was slowing down Pegues, as she collected eight of her 21 total kills in the second set. Emily Orrick commanded the back court well however, and the Redbirds were able to take the second set 25-22.

In the final set, the offense returned to form for Illinois State, as Ashley Rosch collected five kills en route to leading the Redbirds to an easy victory, 25-18. The victory set the Redbirds up with a solid record through ten matches heading into conference play beginning next weekend.

The Redbirds will next face Evansville Sept. 20 in Normal, Ill., for the first home match of the season as well as the first match against Missouri Valley Conference opponents.

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