Redbirds Honor Seniors, Defeat Bulldogs, 3-0
Nov. 17, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - On a day riddled with bad weather and power outages, the Illinois State volleyball team (17-11, 10-6) found a way to shine light on their seniors, defeating the Drake Bulldogs (2-26, 0-16) Sunday in straight-sets (25-16, 25-17, 25-9) despite a lack of power in Redbird Arena. The Redbirds were led by Ashley Rosch with her 21st career double-double (kills digs), knocking 10 kills and 12 digs while also adding a career-high four service aces.
Down 6-3 to start the first set, the Redbirds were guided by three kills from Brooklyn Hlafka to take the lead, 8-7. ISU would add to its run, utilizing a kill from Kaitlyn Early and a service ace from Rosch combined with two Drake errors to make it 12-7, forcing DU to call a timeout. The break did not help, as Rosch added two more kills and a service ace en route to stretching the `Birds run to 12-0, forcing another Bulldog timeout with the score at 17-7. Out of the timeout, the Bulldogs scored four of the next six points, but ISU responded with a 4-0 run to push the score to 23-11. A Drake error and a kill by Rosch ended the first set, 25-16.
A pair of kills by Ashleigh Fisher and LeighAnn Hranka started off the second set strong for ISU, taking the lead, 7-2. Following a Bulldog timeout, Rosch added two more kills to extend the lead, 9-3. A pair of kills by Emily Schneider, a kill by Hlafka and a service ace by Emily Orrick helped the Redbird's cause, pushing the lead to 14-6. Forced to call a timeout following a 5-1 run by Drake, the Redbirds utilized their own 7-1 run highlighted by two kills from Schneider to extend the lead, 22-12. Kills by Rosch and Schneider gave ISU a set-point, paving the way for Schneider to end the frame with a solo block, 25-17.
Hranka was explosive in a strong start to the third set for the Redbirds, knocking two kills and adding a block while giving ISU an early lead, 6-1. After burning another timeout, the Bulldogs could not slow down the offensive assault, as Hranka and Early each added a pair of kills en route to extending the Redbirds lead, 15-6. Fisher added two more kills while a handful of Drake errors gave ISU a match-point, 24-8. Following a Redbird service error, Hranka slammed the final nail in the coffin, collecting a kill to end the set and the match, 25-9.
The Redbirds will wrap up on the season on the road, Nov. 22 and 23, against Southern Illinois and Evansville. The Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Tournament begins Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 28, in Wichita, Kan.
All Redbird matches can be heard live on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com.
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