ISU Falls to Missouri State in Season Finale
Shannon McGlaughlin

Shannon McGlaughlin

Nov. 19, 2011

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NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State volleyball team dropped a five-set thriller on senior night to the Missouri State Bears, Saturday, November 19, at Redbird Arena. The Redbirds were led by Shannon McGlaughlin and LeighAnn Hranka who recorded 16 and 14 kills, respectively. Defensively, Hranka and Kristin Stauter anchored the team with 18 digs apiece.

Illinois State opened the first set with a five-point lead, 8-3, off of a block assist by Stauter and Tabitha Visk. Hranka kept things going for the Redbirds with a service ace. Back at the net, McLaughlin and Visk blocked an MSU hit to give the advantage to the Redbirds, 8-3. Emily Schneider recorded back-to-back kills to keep the momentum with the Redbirds, giving them a nine-point lead, 13-4. Later in the set, the Redbirds continued to be dominant at the net with a block from Schneider and McGlaughlin and a solo block from Ciera Lucich, ending the match with a Redbird win, 25-12. Schneider led all hitters with five kills. Stauter dished out 11 assists and tallied seven digs.

The Redbirds were point-for-point with Missouri State until kills by Schnieder and Hranka pushed the Redbirds into a four-point lead in the middle of the set, 15-11. Building on this momentum for the rest of the set, Illinois State scored two runs of three consecutive points to give the `Birds a six-point advantage, 21-15. The Redbirds finished the set with a kill from Visk, winning the second set of the match, 25-20. Illinois State continued to lead across the board, with Stauter posting 18 assists and 3 digs, and Hranka with six kills and four digs. McGlaughlin also posted six kills for the set.

ISU trailed in the beginning of the third set, but a service ace from Menendez and kills from McGlaughlin helped the Redbirds tie the score up, 9-9. The Bears led for the rest of the set, and despite the Redbirds scoring two points in the final moments of the set, Missouri State posted a win, 25-16. Hranka and McGlaughlin led with 12 kills each overall, and Stauter with 37 assists.

In the fourth set, Illinois State trailed until the middle of the set, where kills from McGlaughlin began to even the field, 10-12. The Redbirds continued to follow the Bears by up to six points, until kills by Visk and Brooklyn Hlafka pushed the Redbirds back into winning territory, 18-22. However, Missouri State continued to push forward, winning the match, 25-19. McGlaughlin led the Redbirds with 15 kills, followed by Hranka's 13 and Schneider's 10. Stauter blazed forward, posting 42 assists and 17 digs thus far in the match.

The `Birds opened the fifth set with a service ace from Stauter, but trailed until kills by Hranka and Schneider helped Illinois State get back in the game, 4-7. The Redbirds continued to add on to this comeback, evening the score to 9-13 with kills from McGlaughlin and Hlafka. This did not come soon enough, as the Bears added two points onto their score to win the set and the match, 15-8.

Following the match, seniors Laura Wakefield, Visk and Stauter were honored for their contributions the past four years in a Redbird uniform.

The Redbirds continue on from their regular-season matches to compete at the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament on Thursday, Nov. 24 in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

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