Schneider Keys Redbird's 3-1 Victory Over Loyola
Emily Schneider

Emily Schneider

Oct. 4, 2013

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CHICAGO, Ill. - It was the late, great Al Davis that once said, "Just win, baby." The Illinois State volleyball team (11-4, 4-0) defeated the Loyola Ramblers (7-9, 2-3) in a tightly contested four set (25-20, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22) battle Friday, remaining perfect in conference play. The Redbirds were led by Emily Schneider, who had a team-high 15 kills on a .462 attack percentage, while also adding a solo block and seven block assists.

On a back and forth night in which the Redbirds had to overcome multiple late deficits, ISU also received solid offensive contributions from Ashley Rosch, LeighAnn Hranka and Brooklyn Hlafka. Rosch added 12 kills and five digs, while Hranka and Hlafka contributed nine kills each. Defensively, the Redbirds were led by Emily Orrick, who had 20 digs, and Kaitlyn Early, who amassed eight digs while also tallying 51 assists.

The match began in less than stellar fashion, as both teams combined for six errors in the first 13 points, giving Loyola an early lead, 7-6. Four kills by Rosch captured the momentum for the Redbirds, as ISU took the lead, 16-14. Four more errors vaulted the `Birds into good position, as their lead extended to 20-15. Rosch, Hlafka and Schneider each added kills, before Stacey Niao ended the set with a kill, 25-20.

Hlafka ignited the offense to start the second set, picking up two kills en route to giving the Redbirds an early lead, 4-1. Kathleen Vogel and Brittany Brown helped the Ramblers respond, as a fierce charge by Loyola gave the team a commanding 18-12 lead. Three kills by Hranka helped ISU pull within one point, 22-21, but the Redbirds couldn't solve the Ramblers in the end, as the set ended on a kill by Vogel, 25-22.

Out of the locker room and tied 4-4, Rosch, Schneider and Hranka each compiled multiple kills, as ISU responded to the adversity, taking the lead 20-15. Early added the only Illinois State service ace of the match to extend the lead to 21-15. Two more errors by the Ramblers and a Rosch kill gave ISU a set-point, as Hranka took an Orrick set and converted for the kill, giving the Redbirds a 2-1 set lead, 25-17.

The fourth set demonstrated the balance that the matchup presented, as both the Redbirds and the Ramblers battled furiously late into the set. Tied 18-18, Rosch and Hranka converted kill opportunities to take a two-point lead. Loyola answered back, as Kelly Feigh and Maureen Carls added kills to pull even with ISU, 20-20. Three Rambler errors and a kill by Schneider gave the Redbirds a match-point, 24-22. Rising to the occasion, Hlafka and Hranka teamed up to close the block on a Vogel attack-attempt, getting the point for the Redbirds and locking up the match.

The Redbirds will next face Bradley Saturday at 7 p.m. (CT) in Peoria, Ill.

All Redbird matches can be heard live on GoRedbirds.com or WJBC.com.

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