Tough Road Challenge Awaits as Volleyball Heads to Iowa
Oct. 16, 2013
NORMAL, Ill. - Coming off an emotional sweep of Wichita State and Missouri State this past weekend, the Illinois State volleyball team (14-4, 7-0) will head back out on the road to face Northern Iowa (13-6, 5-2) Friday followed by Drake (2-17, 0-7) Saturday. The Panthers and Bulldogs are the only remaining conference opponents that the Redbirds have not faced this season.
Perfect in conference play through seven matches for the first time since 1998, the Redbirds are led by Ashley Rosch with 203 kills, averaging 2.99 kills per set. Stacey Niao ranks second with 167 kills and 182 digs, while Emily Orrick leads the team with 282 digs, averaging 4.34 digs per set. Orrick set a career-high with 30 digs against Wichita State this past weekend. Kaitlyn Early, who earned her first-career Missouri Valley Conference (MVC) Player of the Week selection Monday, has 717 assists, averaging 10.50 assists per set, while also collecting 170 digs.
Northern Iowa holds a dominant all-time record against Illinois State, going 45-19 against the Redbirds. Currently third in the conference standings, the Panthers are led by Macy Ubben with 210 kills, while Shelby Kintzel has added 196. Kinsey Caldwell leads the offense with 813 assists, as UNI leads the MVC in kills and assists. Defensively, three Panther players have collected more than 200 digs each.
Under first-year head coach Darrin McBroom, the Bulldogs have picked up victories over Montana State and Western Illinois. They are led this year by Amanda Platte with 190 kills and Sarah Madden with 336 digs. Madden and Samantha Meyers have both recorded double-digit service aces, while Rebecca Brown has 487 assists to lead the offense.
Dating back to one of the Redbird's most successful seasons in program history, ISU went 17-1 in conference play in 1996, losing only to the Bulldogs in a five-set match Sept. 21. The loss denied ISU its third perfect conference record in a season, all-time.
All Redbird matches can be heard live on GoRedbirds.com and WJBC.com.
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