The Illinois State volleyball team earned another 3-0 win at home on Friday night against Indiana State, improving its record (10-4, 3-0).
Friday night was the Redbird’s “PACK the Arena” night which held 1,720 fans. This was the 11th largest attendance at Redbird Arena for Illinois State volleyball in the program’s history. Junior Ashley Rosch led the team offensively with 14 kills on the match.
“It’s always good to have a crowd like this at ‘PACK the Arena’ night. We had a great crowd,” head coach Melissa Myers said. “I thought we really controlled much of the match. Our goal tonight was to try and not let too many points … runs in a row.”
To start the match, the ’Birds and the Sycamores traded points before ISU gained a 9-5 lead. After a timeout from Indiana State, Rosch had back-to-back kills, helping the Redbirds to an even larger lead, 16-10. The offense kept swinging hard, and Eliza Smith and Leigh Ann Hranka tacked on kills for the Redbirds, 18-12.
The Sycamores answered back with a 3-0 run to tighten the gap at 19-15. But the Redbirds kept the momentum and closed out the set 25-18. Kaitlyn Early had 11 assists while Stacey Niao and Rosch had four kills each.
In the second set, Illinois State continued to roll over the Sycamores with a 9-4 lead. Indiana State fought back to get within three points, 10-7. Emily Schneider had back-to-back service aces to give the Redbirds a 20-14 advantage and forced an Indiana State timeout. Coming off of the timeout, Schneider recorded another ace and gave the ’Birds the drive to go on an 8-1 run. The Redbirds crushed the Sycamores 25-15 in the second set.
“They’re going to get their kills sometimes, but we need to make sure we side out right away. And I thought we didn’t do as well with that in the second set,” Myers said.
Indiana State came out in the third set fighting and tied the game up at 13. Then the Redbirds had an attack error and allowed the Sycamores a two-point advantage, 18-16. Illinois State went on a 3-0 run to come back in front, 19-18.
After an Indiana State timeout, the ’Birds earned two more points bringing the score to 21-18, and forced the Sycamores to return to another timeout. The Redbirds kept up their play with a 5-0 run to claim victory over the third set, 25-19.
“Overall I think it’s great to go out 3-0 … I think Indiana State did some good things,” Myers added. “We were able to keep them low on their hitting numbers. We didn’t do as good as a job stopping them in the third set.”
The team will play their first conference road match of the season at 7 p.m. on Friday against Loyola.