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Redbird Volleyball To Host UNI And Drake This Weekend

Written by on October 22, 2021

Image courtesy of goredbirds.com

NORMAL Ill.- The Redbirds are on a 3 match winning streak, now 6-3 in conference play coming off of a win over the Bradley Braves last Monday. The Redbirds look to extend that win streak at home this weekend as they match up against UNI and Drake.

Last match against Bradley took the Redbirds into the 5th set. Much like their previous match against Valparaiso, errors plagued the 2nd and 3rd sets for the team. That changed going into the 4th, however, as the girls were able to get hot offensively with 3 Redbirds finishing with kills in the double digits.

“As a team, we’re all very competitive. In those couple of sets at Bradley, we just lost our competitiveness a little bit and the fourth and fifth we just knew we had to go. We know there aren’t going to be any easy matches in the Valley and we’re always going to prepare properly for every single match” said sophomore Tamara Otene on their performance against Bradley and the Redbirds upcoming schedule. 

Friday the Birds will face off against UNI. The last time they played the Panthers, Illinois State won 3-2 in an exciting 5 set game. The first two sets belonged to the Redbirds as they outhit UNI and put up 17 kills. After a close 3rd and 4th set, the Redbirds clutched up and won the 5th with 13 kills compared to the Panthers 5.

Saturday Illinois State will play Drake. Last time they played the Bulldogs, the Redbirds were shut out 0-3 to open Missouri Valley Conference play. Otene and junior Sarah Kushner combined for 26 kills, however attacking errors gave Butler the advantage that led to their win over the Birds. 

The team as a whole is experiencing great success offensively and defensively as of late. Otene has registered 10+ kills in every MVC game this season, Sarah Kushner has recorded 15 double-double performances, sophomore Kaitlyn Prondsinski is on a 3 game streak with 10+ kills, and junior Kaity Weimerskirch has finished with at least 10 digs for the 19th time in 21 games. 

“Literally the entire team. You can’t play volleyball without having a good pass, a good set and obviously attacking. The attackers get so much of the credit, but the setters are a key part in what makes us such a successful attacking team” said Otene when asked about her individual performance this season.

Both matches will be broadcast on 103.3 WZND with Friday’s beginning at 5:50 p.m. and Saturday’s at 6:50 p.m.