Redbirds Lose in Three Sets to Creighton
LeighAnn Hranka
LeighAnn Hranka

Oct. 12, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. –   The Illinois State volleyball team (10-8, 4-4 MVC) fell to Creighton (16-3, 7-1 MVC) in three sets (18-25, 21-25, 17-25) Friday night at Redbird Arena. Creighton finished the match with a hitting percentage of .195, while the Redbirds tallied a .064 mark.

LeighAnn Hranka led the Redbird effort with 10 kills and four blocks, while Kaitlyn Early contributed 20 assists.

Despite close action early, the Redbirds were unable to grab a lead in the first set. Creighton would pull away from an early 4-4 tie to a 14-8 lead on the strength of a 10-4 run. Due in part to Kelli Browning’s four blocks, the Bluejays maintained their advantage throughout the first set, finishing with a 25–18 victory. Hranka finished the set strong, recording five kills to go along with a .714 hitting percentage.

The Redbirds saw their first lead of the night in the second set, where a kill by Stacey Niao would give them their largest lead of 6-4. Creighton, however, remained close and would power past the Redbirds’ last lead of 8-7 with a 5-0 run to put them up 12-8. While the Jays would maintain a consistent lead for most of the set, the Redbirds began to make noise late. A Hranka kill brought the Redbirds to within two at 23-21. Creighton, however, did not relinquish its advantage, as back-to-back kills by Megan Bober and Leah McNary sealed the set 25-21. Ashley Rosch was a bright spot for Illinois State in the second set, notching five kills.

Creighton was able to distance itself early in the third set, quickly gaining a 5-0 lead. An eventual 17-5 lead would give the Jays their largest lead of the match. Despite a 6-1 run for the Redbirds to make it 20-15, Creighton’s lead proved to be too much. The Jays finished the final set with a 25-17 victory following a block by Heather Thorson.  Hranka led the Redbirds in the set with three blocks and three kills.

The Redbirds will return to action Saturday, Oct. 13 when they host Drake. In support of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Illinois State will “Paint the Arena Pink.” The match is scheduled to start at 7 p.m.

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