Redbirds Blanked, Fall to Missouri State, 3-0
Ashley Rosch had a match-high 15 kills
Ashley Rosch had a match-high 15 kills

Nov. 8, 2013

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - The Illinois State volleyball (16-9, 9-4) fell to the Missouri State Bears (18-9, 9-5) in straight-sets (24-26, 21-25, 20-25) Friday, losing back-to-back three-set matches for the first time this season. The loss tightens an already congested battle atop the Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) standings.

The Redbirds were led in the match by sophomore Ashley Rosch, who had a match-high 15 kills on a .400 clip while adding three digs, three block assists and the only service ace ISU had in the match. Brooklyn Hlafka and Emily Schneider had strong offensive showings, as Hlafka added nine kills while hitting .444 and Schneider clubbed seven kills with no errors, hitting .583 for the night.

In the first set, both teams were electric on the offensive-side. The Redbirds hit a combined .405 as a team while the Bears hit .447. Jab for jab, the teams exchanged points until late in the action. Neither team ever led by more than two points, while Rosch picked up six kills in the set. Out of a Missouri State timeout, the Redbirds held the lead 23-22. A kill by Karen Rivatto tied it up, 23-23, but Rosch quickly responded with a kill off an assist from Kaitlyn Early. The kill gave ISU a set-point, but a Redbird error combined with a kill from Olivia Brand gave the Bears the late edge. A block by MSU, just their second of the set, gave the Bears the set, 26-24.

The second set began slowly for ISU, as the Bears recorded the first five points on four Redbird errors and a service ace. MSU added six more kills, leading the Bears to a 15-5 lead. ISU responded by reeling off a 6-3 run, highlighted by two kills from LeighAnn Hranka, as the Redbirds cut into the deficit, 18-11, forcing a Missouri State timeout. The Redbirds got within striking distance late in the set, as the score moved to 23-20 on a kill by Hlafka, but Rivatto and Amber Doolittle picked up a kill each, ending the set, 25-21.

Out of halftime, the Bears once again took a commanding early lead, 11-4, forcing the Redbirds to take a timeout. The competition steadied, as the teams traded points, pushing the score to 17-12. ISU recorded three of the next four points on kills from Rosch and Hranka, as the Redbirds narrowed the gap, 18-15. Despite their efforts, the Bears once again pulled away, as four kills from Rivatto aided MSU in closing the set and the match, 25-20.

The Redbirds will return to action Saturday, Nov. 9, in Wichita, Kan., against the top-ranked Wichita State Shockers.

All Redbird match can be heard live on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com.

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