|Redbirds deal out defeat to Braves in straight sets|
|Written by Todd Marver, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Thursday, 20 October 2011 22:09|
It could be easy to look ahead to a matchup against a nationally ranked squad.
With a matchup looming tonight against No. 11 Northern Iowa for the Illinois State volleyball team, the Redbirds took care of business last night, disposing of the Bradley Braves in three sets (25-19, 27-25, 25-19) to improve to 14-8 overall and 6-4 in the MVC. BU fell to 7-12, 1-9.
“This is a good Bradley team,” ISU head volleyball coach Melissa Myers said to WJBC radio. “Records are so deceiving.”
Sophomore outside hitter Shannon McGlaughlin posted a match-high 12 kills, while sophomore middle blocker LeighAnn Hranka chipped in with 11 kills, 13 digs and four blocks to lead ISU.
“Shannon McGlaughlin had a fantastic match and was good all the way through,” Myers said. “I thought she was on fire and made some really good choices. I really liked the way Hranka stepped up and she struggled early, but found a way to get back through.”
Senior setter Kristin Stauter earned 33 assists, six kills and a .857 hitting percentage while junior libero Jenny Menendez tallied a match-high 15 digs for the Redbirds.
ISU trailed by three points early in the first set, but sophomore outside hitter Angela Rego broke a 7-7 tie with a kill to give ISU an early 8-7 advantage in the frame. Bradley regained the lead at 11-9; however, the 'Birds went on a 6-0 run to take a 15-11 advantage.
A McGlaughlin kill helped finish off the first set for the Redbirds to take it, 25-19. The Morton, Ill., native led ISU in the first set with five kills and no errors. The Redbirds hit .306 in the frame.
The second set was back-and-forth with five lead changes and 13 ties. Bradley scored the first two points of the set, but ISU came right back to even up the score, 2-2. The Braves outscored the Redbirds 7-4 from there to gain a 9-6 advantage.
ISU rallied to take a 21-18 lead after tallying three consecutive scores. The Braves went on a 4-0 run of their own to grab a 22-21 lead. However, back-to-back kills by McGlaughlin gave the Redbirds the lead again, 23-22. BU forced another tie at 25-25, but ISU scored the final two points of the frame to win it, 27-25.
The Redbirds held a four-point advantage, 12-8, early in the third set, but the Braves went on a 3-0 run to cut the ISU lead to one point, 12-11.
ISU extended its advantage back up to three points at 15-12 on two kills from senior middle blocker Tabitha Visk, and the Redbirds continued to hold a three-point lead, 18-15, until ISU went on a 3-0 run to take a 21-15 advantage. A Stauter kill closed out the match, 25-19 and clinched a 3-0 victory for the 'Birds.
“3-0 is tough,” Myers said. “Bradley has taken sets from everybody. To get out here 3-0 is huge tonight.”
Visk earned two kills and eight assists, while Hranka earned four kills and three blocks to lead the Redbirds in the third set. The Redbirds earned a .360 hitting percentage in the final frame of the match.
“Our defense was great in the third set and I like that we had a low number of unforced errors,” Myers added. “We could do some things better as far as our transition offense with our middles and so forth, but at the end of the day this was a good match and it can be tough sometimes to play on the road, but I really like the way we played tonight.”