Redbirds Host Northern Iowa, Bradley
Ashley Rosch

Ashley Rosch

Sept. 20, 2012


Date/Time vs. Northern Iowa (Friday, Sept. 21 at 7:05 p.m.)
vs. Bradley (Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7:05 p.m.)

Redbird Arena (Normal, Ill.)

Match Notes Complete Match Notes
Radio (Lauren McLaughlin | Play-by-Play)
AudioNow 309-319-9426 (Listen to play-by-play via landline or cellular phone)
The Melissa Myers Show Listen to this week's show, featuring an interview with Ashley Rosch

NORMAL, Ill. -The Illinois State volleyball team (7-5, 1-1 MVC) will host Northern Iowa (9-5, 1-0 MVC) and in-state rival Bradley (6-6, 0-1 MVC) in the second weekend of Missouri Valley Conference play. The Redbirds will face Northern Iowa Friday at 7:05 p.m. (CT) and will match-up against Bradley Saturday at 7:05 p.m. (CT).

ISU finished its first weekend of conference play 1-1, after sweeping Evansville, but falling to Southern Illinois (3-0). Illinois State was led defensively by Jenny Menendez, after she averaged 6.33 digs per set. She tied a match-high 17 digs against Evansville and recorded a match-high 21 digs against Southern Illinois, tallying 20-plus digs for the third time this season.

Ashley Rosch and Emily Schneider led the way offensively for Illinois State against Evansville, compiling 20 kills and no attack errors. Rosch posted 15 kills for a career-high.455 hitting percentage and recorded a match-high 16 points. Schneider notched five kills against the Purple Aces and a team-high eight kills at Southern Illinois.

Northern Iowa is coming off of its first tournament win of the season at the CEFCU Classic (Sept. 14-15) in Peoria, Ill. The team was led by Candice Burke, who had 16 digs in UNI’s 3-0 sweep over Bradley and posted 22 digs and one service ace in the Panther’s loss to Arkansas State. She was named the Most Valuable Player of the CEPCU Classic, after recording a career-high 35 digs and three service aces in UNI’s victory against Long Beach State in the final match of the tournament. The Panthers finished the 2011 season with an overall record of 32-2 and a perfect 18-0 conference mark. UNI returns 10 letterwinners and adds four newcomers to the 2012 roster.

Bradley is still searching for its first Missouri Valley Conference win, after falling to Northern Iowa last weekend. Lauren Zerante notched a career-best 28 digs Saturday against Northern Illinois and has collected 20 or more digs in four of the six matches since serving as the team’s setter Sept. 1. Zerante has averaged 4.38 digs per set over the last six matches, and her current average ranks as the best season average for a BU player since Kaitlyn Comiskey in 2007. Bradley finished the 2011 season with 12-16 overall record, including a 5-13 finish in league play. The team returns four starters and nine letterwinners, with the addition of four newcomers.

Illinois State is hosting a “Rec. Appreciation Night” Friday, and returns its annual “Pack the Arena” night and will recognize the 1982 and 1992 volleyball teams , when the team takes on longtime rival Bradley Saturday.

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