Redbird Volleyball Defeats Southern Illinois in Straight Sets, 3-0
Ashley Rosch
Ashley Rosch

Sept. 22, 2013

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NORMAL, Ill. - LeighAnn Hranka led the Illinois State volleyball team (9-3, 2-0 MVC) in straight sets to defeat Southern Illinois (6-8, 1-1 MVC) Sunday. Hranka collected 11 kills and had six block assists, while the team tallied 11 blocks in the victory.

Ashley Rosch had double-digit kills with 10 and no errors for a hitting percentage of .400 and recorded eight digs. Emily Schneider and Stacey Niao both had five kills. Schneider had two solo blocks and collected four block assists. Kaitlyn Early dished out 29 assists and had four kills of her own to go with 11 digs.

The two teams traded points in the first set until Illinois State used a 3-0 run to take a 15-10 lead. Southern Illinois got a kill to end ISU's run, but the Redbirds regrouped and used a 5-0 run to take a 20-11 lead with two kills from Niao during the run. The Salukis refused to go down without a fight, as they battled back to get within one point, 22-21. However, a Redbird timeout gave ISU a much needed break, as the team won the last three points off of a kill by Early and back-to-back kills by Hranka, giving ISU the win, 25-21. Hranka and Niao both tallied four kills in the opening set, while early had 10 assists.

Illinois State kept its momentum from the first set, as it jumped ahead to an early 6-1 lead, forcing a Southern Illinois timeout. SIU battled back like it did in the first set to get within two, 10-8. The two teams exchanged points, but a 4-0 run by ISU gave the Redbirds a 16-10 advantage. The Salukis got back within five, 20-15, but the Redbird blockers proved to be too much, as SIU couldn't overcome the deficit. ISU won the set, 25-19, and headed into the locker room with a 2-0 set advantage. In the second set, Rosch had five kills, while Hranka added four. Eliza Smith and Schneider had solo blocks, while Hranka and Smith had four and three block assists, respectively. ISU had seven team blocks in the second set.

In the third set, ISU grabbed three-straight points early, 6-3, off of two-straight Saluki errors. The two teams went back and forth and tied the match, 18-18. Kills by Early and Rosch gave Illinois State the 20-18 lead. The Redbirds ended the set with a 7-1 run, including a service ace by Schneider to win the set, 25-19, and the match.

The Redbirds return will travel to Milwaukee, Wis., Wednesday, Sept. 25 for a mid-week non-conference matchup against Marquette before returning to Redbird Arena Friday, Sept. 27, to host Indiana State.

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