Redbirds Drop Five-Set Match to Missouri State
Ashley Rosch

Ashley Rosch

Nov. 2, 2012

NORMAL, Ill. -The Illinois State volleyball team (13-10, 7-6 MVC) dropped a five-set thriller to Missouri State (14-12, 8-6 MVC) Friday night at Redbird Arena (22-25, 20-25, 25-20, 25-21, 14-16).

The Redbirds were led by LeighAnn Hranka (14), Brooklyn Hlafka (16), Stacey Niao (15) and Ashley Rosch (12), who all posted double-digit kills. Jenny Menendez and Rosch led the defensive effort, digging-out 27 and 20 attacks, respectively. Kaitlyn Early posted 54 assists in the defeat.

In the first set, the two teams exchanged points until Missouri State jumped ahead to a six-point lead 15-9. Illinois State regrouped and got within three points, 18-15, off of three-straight Redbird points. Missouri State responded, eventually stretching the lead to six points, 24-18. Illinois State rallied for four-straight points and closed the gap, cutting the Bears' lead to two points, 24-22. ISU came up short, dropping the first set 25-22. The Redbirds had seven team blocks in the set.



In the second set, Illinois State trailed as Missouri State jumped out to an early five-point lead, 6-1. The two teams continued to exchange points, while MSU maintained the lead, increasing the gap to eight points, 19-11. The Redbirds responded scoring seven-straight points, reducing the lead to one point, 20-19. The Bears fought back, scoring three-straight points in a run of their own, going up 23-19. The Redbirds were held to only one more point and fell 25-20 in the second set. At the end of the second set, ISU recorded 19 kills compared to nine in the first set.

In the third set, the Redbirds grabbed their first lead of the match, 8-7, but the two teams traded points before ISU went on a 6-2 run to take a 16-12 lead. The Bears pulled within two points, but Illinois State stretched the lead to six, 23-17. MSU went on a 3-to-1 point run, reducing the score to 24-20, but the Redbirds were able to score, winning the set 25-20. Stacey Niao led the Redbirds in kills converting 5-of-11 attempts with only one error.

Illinois State led early in the fourth set, capturing a four-point lead, 6-2. Missouri State battled back tying the game first at 9-9, and again 14-14, before reclaiming the lead, 15-14. ISU was strong at the net and battled back to take an 18-17 lead. The Redbirds gained momentum, forcing a MSU timeout. After the timeout, ISU scored three-straight points to win the set 25-21, forcing a fifth set.

ISU had back-to-back blocks to tie the fifth set, 6-6, forcing a MSU timeout. After the break, the Redbirds scored three-unanswered points, forcing another MSU timeout. Illinois State continued to play strong at the net, taking a five-point lead, 11-6. Missouri State answered with three-straight points of their own, pulling within two points, 11-9. With a one-point advantage, 13-12, ISU took a timeout, but MSU tallied two points to take the lead, 14-13. Illinois State answered to tie the game, 14-14, but late Redbird errors gave the Bears the win, 16-14.

Illinois State will be back in action Saturday, as it hosts Wichita State at 7:05 p.m. Your online source for Illinois State Athletics, tickets, Weisbecker Scholarship Fund gifts, multimedia, Redbird merchandise, photos and more.