The Redbird volleyball team dropped a match to SIU in three sets Saturday. (Photo Courtesy GoRedbirds.com)
By WJBC Staff
CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Illinois State (7-5, 1-1 MVC) volleyball team fell to Southern Illinois (11-1, 2-0 MVC) in three sets (21-25, 16-25, 23-25) Saturday afternoon. The Redbirds struggled to slow the Saluki offense which recorded a .243 team hitting percentage. The Redbirds were led by middle hitters Emily Schneider and LeighAnn Hranka who posted eight kills apiece.
Illinois State marked the first three points on the board and extended its lead to 11-6, with a double block and kills from Kaitlyn Early and Schneider. Laura Thole took control for the Salukis and notched three kills in four points to give Southern Illinois a 15-13 lead. The Redbirds made a four-point run with two kills from Ashley Rosch and two blocks from Brooklyn Hlafka to regain the lead, 17-16. SIU broke away at the 20-point mark, after Alysia Mayes recorded two kills and two service aces to finish the set 25-21.
Mayes continued to produce for the Salukis in the second set, posting five kills in the first eight points to put SIU ahead 8-4.Thole followed Mayes’ lead and recorded two-consecutive kills to extend the Salukis’ lead, 14-5. Rosch notched back-to-back kills late in the set, but the Redbirds were unable to make a comeback and the set ended in a 25-16 SIU victory.
Southern Illinois carried over its momentum from the second set and posted eight-straight points for a 9-2 lead. The Redbirds battled back and compiled a three-point run with two-consecutive points from Shannon McGlaughlin and a SIU attack error (17-14). Illinois State was able to fight back within one point and held SIU at match-point for three-straight rallies, but a kill by Mayes closed the set 25-23. Mayes led SIU with 15 kills and a .464 hitting percentage. She recorded eight kills and had no attack errors in the second set alone.