Redbirds Bounce Back to Beat Wichita State in Four Sets
Kaitlyn Early
Kaitlyn Early

Nov. 3, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State volleyball team (14-9, 8-5 MVC) defeated Missouri Valley Conference foe Wichita State (17-7, 10-5 MVC) in a four-set match Saturday night at Redbird Arena.

Ashley Rosch led the Redbirds with 21 kills and 6 digs, while Brooklyn Hlafka added 10 kills and 3 digs of her own. Sierra Burris (17) and Jenney Menendez (31) each had solid defensive efforts, combining for 48 digs.

The Redbirds opened the first set exchanging points with the Shockers until Illinois State took a five-point lead, 11-6, forcing WSU to call its first timeout. Coming out of the break, the Shockers regained momentum and went on a 4-0 run to come within one point, 11-10. Illinois State answered back with a 7-3 run, forcing Wichita State to call their second timeout, 18-13, after back-to-back kills by Rosch and LeighAnn Hranka. The Redbirds held the lead, ending the first set, 25-17. ISU received solid play from Rosch with 10 kills, giving ISU the early one-game lead.

In the second set, the Redbirds and Shockers were tied at 7-7, and exchanged points until the Shockers took an 18-13 lead, forcing Illinois State to take its first timeout. ISU was only able to score four more points, as WSU won the set 25-17. Rosch continued to play strong at the net, recording five more kills.

In the third set, ISU and WSU battled back and forth, staying within two points of each other, until the Redbirds took a two-point lead, 18-16, off of a block by Brooklyn Hlafka and Emily Schneider, forcing the Shockers to take their first timeout. A kill by Hranka and a block by Kaitlyn Early and Hranka gave the Redbirds a three-point lead, 21-18, forcing another Wichita State timeout. Coming out of the break, WSU scored two-straight points to get within one, 21-20, forcing Illinois State to take its first timeout. ISU held the lead to finish set three 25-22, taking a 2-1 advantage in the match.

Illinois State opened the fourth set with an early five-point lead, 10-5, forcing the Shockers to take its first time-out. Wichita State came out of the break with a 3-1 run to make the score, 11-8. The Redbirds regained momentum with a six-point advantage off of two-attacking errors by Wichita State to get a 16-10 lead, but WSU scored three straight points to get within three, 16-13, making Illinois State take a timeout. Coming out of break, Hranka served three-straight aces to give ISU a nine-point advantage, 23-14. Early recorded back-to back blocks to win the game, 25-16.

ISU will be back in action Nov. 9, as it takes on Drake in Des Moines, Iowa. Match is slated for a 7 p.m. start. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.