Redbirds Roll, Defeat Florida Gulf Coast 3-0
LeighAnn Hranka
LeighAnn Hranka

Aug 31, 2013

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. - The Illinois State volleyball team (2-0) defeated Florida Gulf Coast (0-2) in a straight set sweep on Saturday (25-22, 25-15, 25-13), beginning day two of competition at the IUPUI Hampton Inn Invitational. The Redbirds, coming off a 5-set match the night before, shook off the notion that they might be tired, dominating the match throughout.

On a day in which the team compiled a .333 team attack percentage, the Redbirds were led by sophomore Ashley Rosch who had 10 kills and 6 digs. Junior Kaitlyn Early orchestrated an efficient offense, compiling 28 assists en route to helping Illinois State get off to its best start since 2010.

After a tightly contested beginning to the first set, the Redbirds held an 11-9 lead. After multiple kills by the three-headed offensive monster of Rosch, Brooklyn Hlafka and LeighAnn Hranka, the Redbirds expanded their lead to 20-12. Refusing to go quietly, the Eagles clawed their way back, capitalizing on multiple Illinois State' errors and kills by Olivia Messner to pull within three points, 22-19. After trading jabs, and the score at 24-22, Hlafka finished off the first set with an emphatic kill that put the Redbirds out in front.

The Redbirds were methodical on the offensive side in the second set, combining for a team .360 attack percentage. The Eagles were stymied by the stout ISU defense and only hit .028, trailing by as much as 10 points as the `Birds took the second set easily, 25-15.

The final set featured an even more lopsided offensive performance, with the Redbirds hitting an impressive .406 attack percentage versus a team .024 percentage by the Eagles. At least four Redbirds recorded two kills in the final set, including five by Rosch. Early ended the match on a rare kill by the junior setter, sealing the victory with a 25-13 third set.

The Redbirds next match will be at 3 p.m. CT against Virginia Commonwealth in the final scheduled event of the tournament. You can listen to all volleyball matches live in GoRedbirds.com or WJBC.com.

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