Redbird Volleyball Hosts Wichita State, Missouri State
Nov. 17, 2011
NORMAL, Ill. - The Illinois State volleyball team (17-11 9-7 MVC) will host Wichita State and Missouri State in its final weekend of conference play. ISU will face WSU (17-9, 11-5 MVC) Friday at 7:05 p.m. (CST) and match-up against MSU (20-7, 13-3 MVC) Saturday at 7:35 p.m. (CST).
The Redbirds suffered an uncharacteristic, three-game sweep to Indiana State last weekend. The ‘Birds and the Sycamores have been facing off in a two-match series since 1992, and the two teams have only split the series six times in 20 seasons.
Illinois State was led by LeighAnn Hranka, who had 10 kills for a .280 hitting percentage. Hranka was the only player to produced double-digit kills and has recorded double-digits in 21 matches this season. Kristin Stauter also aided the Redbirds tallying three kills, 27 assists and two service aces, while Laura Wakefield led the defensive efforts with 12 digs. Stauter has accumulated 16 double-doubles (assists/digs) this season.
Heading into the final weekend of conference play, the Illinois State senior class has helped compile its best team record in the past four years.
“You don’t approach this week any different than the entire season,” head coach Melissa Myers said. “We are preparing the same way, lots of energy and enthusiasm and trying to get better in every aspect of the game.”
Wichita State is coming off a road sweep against Southern Illinois and Evansville. The Shockers have won their last three matches, and nine of their last 12. Emily Adney led WSU compiling 35 kills and recording hitting percentages above .400 in both matches. Adney recorded a match-high 23 kills against Evansville, which helped earn her MVC player of the week honors. Ashley Andrade helped the team after compiling 13 kills, including eight kills for a .700 hitting percentage against Southern Illinois. Wichita State ranks third in conference standings and first in team hitting percentage (.265).
Missouri State ranks second in the Valley and has won its past five matches, including three three-set sweeps. The Bears recorded their 20th win for the 13th-consecutive season after defeating Southern Illinois Saturday. Carly Thomas led MSU after compiling 30-plus assists and double-digit digs in both matches. Thomas has recorded 19 double-doubles (assists/digs) this season and ranks first in the Valley in assists per set (11.48). Karen Rivatto added 21 kills, 18 digs and six assist on the weekend.
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