Redbird Volleyball Heads to Southern Illinois, Evansville
Nov. 3, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. -The Illinois State volleyball team (15-10, 7-6 MVC) is back on the road to face Missouri Valley Conference opponents Southern Illinois and Evansville. The Redbirds will face Southern Illinois Friday at 7 p.m. (CST) and Evansville Saturday at 7 p.m. (CST).
The Redbirds improved to a 7-6 MVC record after splitting their matches last weekend. Illinois State swept Drake for the second time this season after displaying a solid offensive effort. Five Redbirds recorded hitting percentages above .250, and the team produced higher kills and hitting percentage numbers. Dispite impressive performances by middle hitters, Tabitha Visk and Emily Schneider who recorded a .368 and .478 hitting percentage, respectively, the `Birds fell to Creighton in a five-sets. Pin hitters Shannon McGlaughlin and LeighAnn Hranka each produced double-digits for a combined 25 kills. The duo compiled double-digit kills in back-to-back nights, including McGlaughlin's ninth and Hranka's eighth double-double (digs/kills) of the season. McGlaughlin ranks second in the Valley in kills per set (3.54) and Hranka ranks seventh (3.08).
"We've been able to build a lot of depth, which has continued to help us this season," head coach Melissa Myers said. "It is always tough to play on the road and we know that going in. Both of these teams are really going to push for a good match and there will be a lot of challenges for all of us as we head into the weekend."
Southern Illinois ranks eighth in the Valley with a 3-9 conference record and is in the midst of a six-match losing streak. The Salukis most recent loss was to Evansville in three-sets. The team was led by Jessica Whitehead with 11 kills, who was the only SIU player to produce double-digits. Whitehead ranks first on the team in kills (290) and third in the Valley in kills per set (3.41). Alysia Mayes leads SIU in blocks (69) and hitting percentage (.368), including holding the first-place spot in MVC hitting percentage figures. The loss at Evansville marked the seventh-consecutive season the two teams have split the series.
Evansville held the Salukis to less than 16 points throughout the match to mark its first win in four matches. Brooke Maher led the Purple Aces with 11 kills and Ellen Sawin added 10 kills for a .643 hitting percentage. The Purple Aces out hit Southern Illinois by 13 kills and a .352 team hitting percentage, compared to SIU's .047. Evansville combined for 11 more digs and four more blocks than the Salukis. The Purple Aces rank seventh in the Valley with a 3-9 conference record and ranks second in the MVC with 17.5 digs per set.
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