Redbirds Defeat IUPUI in 2013 Season Opener
Ashley Rosch
Ashley Rosch

Aug 30, 2013

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Illinois State volleyball team (1-0) defeated Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (0-1) in an exciting five set match (26-24, 21-25, 25-20, 21-25, 15-9) in the first of three matches slated for the Redbirds at the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational. Sophomore Ashley Rosch led the Redbirds with a double-double, recording 18 kills and 11 digs. Junior captain Stacey Niao also finished with a double-double, compiling 11 kills and 21 digs. Junior Kaitlyn Early orchestrated the offense, collecting 59 assists in the win.

From start to finish, both teams were relentless in trading punches with one another, with the Redbirds striking first. Rosch paced the Redbird offense in the first set, recording 5 kills and 9 digs while helping Illinois State to establish its offensive identity. Tied 7-7, Illinois State capitalized on two Jaguar errors and kills by Emily Orrick and Kaitlyn Early to take the lead, 11-7. IUPUI would respond by winning 5 of the next 8 points, shrinking the lead to 14-12. After several back and forth moments, the two teams were tied at 24-24, when kills by Early and LeighAnn Hranka locked up the final two points of the set.

After dropping the second set, the Redbirds responded by making good use of their offensive opportunities, posting a .318 attack percentage in the third set. Neither team held more than a two-point lead in the set until ISU took a 22-19 lead on kills by Rosch and Niao, as well as an error by the Jaguars. Up 24-20, Rosch closed out the set with a kill to give the Redbirds a 2-1 lead.

The Jaguars would take the fourth set, forcing the teams into a decisive 15-point fifth set tie-breaker. Rosch collected three early kills, leading the Redbirds to a 6-2 lead. Up 10-6 after some back and forth action, four of the Redbirds final five points came via errors committed by IUPUI. Rosch would put the final nail in the coffin by collecting a kill on the final point to solidify the victory for Illinois State.

The Redbirds will conclude the tournament with two matches on Saturday, Aug. 31, against Florida Gulf Coast (9 a.m. CT) and Virginia Commonwealth (3 p.m. CT). Redbird volleyball games can be heard live in and Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.