Redbirds Top Evansville in Four-Sets
Emily Schneider
Emily Schneider

Nov. 17, 2012

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NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State (17-10, 11-7 MVC) volleyball team closed its regular season with a four-set defeat of Evansville (9-22, 4-14 MVC) at Redbird Arena Saturday night. Brooklyn Hlafka and Emily Schneider led the attack with 13 kills each, while LeighAnn Hranka added 10. Kaitlyn Early notched 45 assists in the win.

The Redbirds jumped to a quick 8-4 lead to open the first set, highlighted by kills from Hlafka, Hranka and Stacey Niao. Evansville then rallied to tie the match at 11. Consecutive kills from Emma Roberson, Jenny Murphy and Ashley Ring extended the Purple Aces lead to three. After exchanging points, a block from Ashley Rosch made it 21-20 Evansville, but the Purple Aces took four-of-the-final-five points to secure the set victory.

Illinois State took advantage of 10 Evansville errors to cruise to a 25-19 second set win. The Redbirds again opened strong, winning 7-of-10 points to open the set. ISU never trailed as Hranka, Niao and Schneider paced the attack with two kills each. Leading 10-8, Illinois State rallied around consecutive kills from Hranka and a pair of errors from the Aces. Evansville would get no closer than three points, before a service ace from Rosch closed the set.

ISU stormed in front 8-2 in set number three as senior Jenny Menendez strung together four consecutive assists to lead the attack. Evansville cut the deficit to four, 10-6, assisted by two Illinois State errors. The Redbirds were then awarded a point after Evansville's head coach was penalized with a red card. The Purple Aces responded with a 3-0 run and kept it close until Early's back handed tap for the kill made it 20-19 in favor of ISU. The Redbirds took five-of-the-next-six points as Schneider's block capped the 25-20 set victory. Hlafka tallied four kills in the set and Hranka added three. Early notched 10 assists.

Schneider's team-leading seven kills set the tone as Illinois State secured the match-victory with a 25-16 win over Evansville in the fourth set. Rosch tallied four-straight points from the service line and Menendez added three of her own as ISU jumped to a quick 7-3 lead. A pair of Evansville errors advanced the lead to 11-5. The Redbirds never trailed the set, while the Purple Aces managed cut the deficit to five, but never got any closer.

Illinois State qualified to play in the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament in Springfield, Mo. Competition begins on Thursday, Nov. 22. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.